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Online reviews posted to web directories have quickly become an important gauge of every firm’s merit.  These online reviews also serve as a tool to dictate buyer behavior.  Most customer trust online reviews just as much, if not more than in-person referrals from co-workers, friends and others.  However, plenty of businesses are leaving web reviews to chance.  The question is what your firm can do to ensure it is controlling its reputation on the web.

 

Seek Feedback in a Proactive Manner

Be proactive by seeking feedback from current and former clients.  Instead of merely featuring these reviews on your website, encourage clients to post them online.  A steady stream of positive online reviews will enhance your local SEO, boost customer confidence in your company and provide you with the insight necessary to enhance your operations.

 

Respond to Negative Reviews

Do not let negative reviews go unaddressed.  If you notice one or several negative reviews in the online directories, respond with your firm’s official account.  Do not admit fault in this response.  Show empathy for the client, recognize his or her complaint and leave a brief message.  This is your opportunity to show the masses you genuinely care about your customers, especially the ones who are dissatisfied with your service.  The worst thing you can do is let those negative online reviews go unaddressed.  The lack of a response to a harsh write-up legitimizes it to those looking at online reviews of your firm.

 

Do not Fall Into the Trap of Posting Fake Reviews

Too many businesses manipulate online reviews assuming they will not be caught and no harm is done.  If your services are worthy of what you charge, there is no need to manipulate online reviews.  If clients somehow catch wind of the fact that you are posting fake reviews to online directories, word will spread and hardly anyone will be willing to pay for your services.

 

Check Your Online Reviews With Regularity

It is a mistake to assume every single client you serve is as happy as he or she indicates during your social interactions.  Even if you think your team has done an exemplary job serving clients, you should still take a look at your online reviews at least once each month.  If you notice any fake reviews, reviews with half-truths or bald-faced lies, address them immediately so web surfers do not assume your firm is not worth its keep.  Even if a particularly harsh review cannot be taken down, posting a reply will show prospective customers you genuinely care about their business.