Be the Star of Your Own Reviews

December 18, 2019 2:16 pm Comments Off on Be the Star of Your Own Reviews

The Review Solution

Star ratings are nothing new. We have been seeing them flash across our screens since the dawn of the Internet Age. Thankfully, stars haven’t lost their power, and are possibly even more important than the actual words a customer uses in a review. Why is that? 

According to Steve Wyer of Third Coast Interactive, star ratings are powerful because they are easy to read. They provide a glimpse into the overall quality of a business. And if you are a business owner, they determine how many new customers you’re likely to engage. 

What’s For Dinner?

Restaurants are one area where it is easy to see how star ratings affect business. More than one-third of hungry searchers will not even consider making a reservation at a restaurant with less than four stars. Evidence suggests that even a partial increase in these visual ratings can equate to revenue for eateries hoping to keep the kitchen busy. Filling in just half a star can boost consumer confidence, making it 30 to almost 50 percent more likely that a restaurant will fill its seats during peak dining hours. 

Manage Your Star Count

Online reviews matter, and your business’ star rating shines brighter than ever before. Today’s buyers are time-conscious and will keep scrolling if your front-facing image — your star rating — isn’t impressive. Here are a few tips on how to build a solid 5-star reputation:

  • Claim your auto-generated sites. Virtually all businesses have an online presence that they didn’t create. Facebook publishes pages based on user activity, Google uses directory information to add your business to its search function, and Yelp isn’t shy about inserting your business’ info and letting diners review you. If you do not claim these listings for yourself, the public will, and then you lose a valuable opportunity to own your online real estate. Claiming these pages also gives you a chance to listen and respond to feedback.
  • Keep an eye on review platforms. Although Yelp, Google, and Facebook are well-known, they are far from the only review platforms out there. TripAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, and Healthgrades are just a few examples of industry-specific sites that you need to monitor based on your services offered. 
  • Respond diplomatically. Make a point to respond regularly to reviews, both positive and negative. For the former, a simple thank you will suffice. For the latter, however, be diplomatic in your response. Apologize for any perceived infraction, and invite them to contact you directly to rectify the problem. Do not be combative, and avoid the temptation to blame the customer for their negative experience.
  • Get more reviews. One of the best ways to increase your star rating is to simply ask your happiest customers if they are willing to leave a review. Do this at the time of service, and they are more likely to oblige. By encouraging your customers to go public with their feedback, you capture more reviews and have a better chance of expanding your customer base.

Today’s online shoppers want convenience, and that is evident in the way they read reviews. Your star rating matters more than you know, and it is up to you to encourage your happy customers to post their opinion. Remember, someone who has had a negative experience is more likely to take to the internet to air their grievance, and asking for instant feedback from satisfied patrons can help balance the scales.

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Steven Wyer

Chief Operating Officer at The Review Solution
Steven Wyer is the Chief Operating Officer of Third Coast Interactive, Inc. and the author of Violated Online. As COO of Third Coast Interactive, Steven Wyer oversees platform development, sales, marketing and internal operations. These responsibilities include global expansion into targeted vertical markets that can best leverage the power of The Review SolutionTM, a service that offers consumers a convenient way to post online reviews for local, regional and national businesses.