In the world of online business, if your online presence is lacking to your competitors in any way, your business could suffer immensely. One way that you can prove to your clients and customers that you’re worth their time and money is to have solid reviews from your previous patrons. However, this is often easier said than done for many businesses. And because you have to rely on your customers or clients to accurately represent your products or services, it can be a little scary, too. So to help you as a business owner have better luck with your online reviews, here are three things to be aware of regarding online reviews.

Customer Really Trust Online Reviews

While logically it makes sense to most people that online reviews can be faked or forged, people actually trust online reviews more than you might think. According to Myles Anderson, a contributor to Search Engine Land, 88 percent of people will trust an online review they read as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend or acquaintance. This statistic just proves how important having good online reviews can be. So regardless of the type of business you’re running, whether you’re a medical professional or own a nail salon, there is a very good reason to be concerned with the way your business is perceived by the online community.

Take Care When Soliciting Reviews

Because positive reviews can be so influential to your potential clients or customers, it’s crucial to the success of your business that you have ample positive reviews on various online platforms. To achieve this, a lot of businesses will solicit reviews from their patrons. However, this can get you into a sticky situation.

According to Jay Baer, a contributor to ConvinceAndConvert.com, it is ethical to ask your patrons to leave a review for you online just so long as you’re not too forceful about your request or withholding anything from them in exchange for a positive review. If you take your solicitation of reviews too far, the whole scheme could backfire right in your face.

Addressing Negative Reviews

Although you want more than anything to have only positive reviews of your business posted online, there’s a high chance that not all your reviews are going to be glowing. Therefore, it’s important to know how to address any negative reviews that crop up. According to Diane Gottsman, a contributor to the Huffington Post, not all negative reviews necessitate being addressed.

Gottsman advises only addressing negative comments that are actually the fault of your business. And when doing this, she also suggests conducting the conversation in a private forum, not for all your other followers to see. This will help you to maintain control of the dialogue and help to not blow things out of proportion.

Online reviews can make or break your business in today’s tech savvy world. So to help you make the most of this form of marketing, use the tips mentioned above to help your online reviews work for you.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to editor.webposts@gmail.com.