If you build it, they will come. But what will they have to say about it once they arrive? The website over which you labored so much could actually become a net negative to your business. That is not what anyone intends when going digital. You were told that if you wanted to be relevant, you had to have a website, ecommerce options, and SEO, whatever that is supposed to mean. So you went out and hired a geek to put it all together, only to end up with a bunch of negative business reviews.
Those negative reviews are definitely a problem. Even after you make changes to your site, those reviews will be there forever as a warning sign to others not to visit your site or do business with you. Word of mouth is the lifeblood of your business. Bad word of mouth is poison in the veins of your business.
Yelp is one of the biggest players in the reviews game. You can’t ignore it. You have to learn the secrets of how to go about removing Yelp reviews that unfairly harm your business. It is not only possible, but necessary.
Your website is a good start, but there is a lot more to it that you were not told in the beginning. An unattractive website is worse than no website. A slow website laden with extensive ad tracking is quickly becoming verboden. A website that doesn’t render properly on a low-end smartphone is useless. You can get people to visit your website just long enough for them to decide they hate it. They will quickly bounce and write negative reviews about their experience on social media. Before going over things you can improve on your site, it is vital you understand why reviews are so important in the first place:
Business Reviews are the New First Impression
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. As it happens, the modern truth might be worse than that. You might not even get a chance to make a first impression at all. If the first thing people see of your company, product, or service is a review, that is hardly a realistic or fair first impression. However, in our present situation, that is what passes for a first impression.
Reviews have become the starting point for shoppers. This was true even prior to COVID. Shoppers don’t go to the store to evaluate the product. They go to the store to buy the product. They have already evaluated it from online reviews. After reading enough reviews, a person feels like they have experienced the product. Again, this might not be fair or accurate but it is the way things are.
In order to be successful in this environment, you will have to do everything you can to make sure those early reviews are positive. Here are a few suggestions for doing so:
A User-Friendly Website
Start off on the right foot with your potential customers by offering a user-friendly website. A lot goes into what it means to be user-friendly, including but not limited to:
- Fast load times
- No nags about cookies
- Minimal and non-intrusive advertising
- Clear, intuitive navigation
- Works well on all smartphones, tablets, and desktop browsers
- Accessible by the visually impaired
So many sales are lost at the home page. They never click through to learn anything useful about your offerings. Some websites are so focused on making a strong pitch that they get in the way of the customer finding the information they want, when they want it. Often, all they really want to know is the price because they have done the research elsewhere. They do not want to know your history. They do not want to look through the gallery.
Don’t treat your website as a car dealership. Good reviews start with the user-friendly website.
A Business That Protects Customer Data
How much data do you get from every customer who visits your site? How secure is that data? Is your website and data storage more secure than Sony, Target, the IRS? They all fell prey to hackers who stole sensitive data. Don’t be the kind of company that collects too much sensitive user data without clear and pressing reasons to do so.
Your service might be so vital that customers actually hand over that information, but they may not speak favorably of you as a company. There are many business models that feel exploitative. If you happen to run your business in a way that is similar to the way less reputable companies operate, you will be guilty by association even if you have the purest of intent. The best way to protect customer data is not to collect it when you don’t need it.
A Commitment to Service When Things Go Wrong
Life happens. That should be on the label of every product we buy. No matter how well made the product is, something is bound to go wrong. Life happens. And it is not always very kind to products and services. There is no shame in having a product that fails for some percentage of your customers. The story is all about how you support your customer when it happens.
Sometimes, you will get a better review after a product has failed than if it hadn’t because of your heroic efforts to make it right. People will say good things about the product if it lives up to expectations, but they will say great things about your company if you go above and beyond on their behalf.
Business reviews are the lifeblood of every modern business. Make sure yours are four stars by making your website user-friendly, protecting and respecting customer data, and going above and beyond to make things right when they inevitably go awry.