As small business owners become aware of all the information about their enterprise they can find both good and bad news. They are irritated that somewhere there is information about their sales revenue, who owns their business or other things that they view as company only information.
Google local is an amazing tool for promoting local business, but search engines like Google bring all the information together and takes away the ability to own the perception of a company. Hopefully business owners are pleasantly surprised that people have positively reviewed their business. But what gets most business owners attention is the negative review. Those negative reviews are out there and being spread across the internet. Unfortunately they are also listed on a company’s Google Business listing. It is not all bad and here is a nice article discussing this issue: (Good or Bad – Reviews are important). Business need to embrace internet reviews and motivate their happy customers to review.
The natural way of life is that customers are more motivated to complain than praise. Many customers want to help local businesses, but for the customer there is a effort involved in providing a review. Most review services (Yelp, Yahoo, Google) require registration to provide a review. It is my experience that registering is too high a hurdle just to provide a positive review. The angry customer is more that motivated, but the good customer has better things to do.
So what is a business to do? How does sites like Amazon and Ebay get people to review others. The answer is they are already have an account and can simply write the review. Using that information, you can greatly lower the hurdle of reviewing a business. If a small business gets 4-10 reviews a year, they are way ahead of their competition. The secret is asking your customers with Gmail (Google) accounts to review on Google, your customers with Yahoo accounts to review on Yahoo and so on. My experience is if you have 1,000 emails around 200 to 300 of them will be either Gmail or Yahoo accounts. Getting 1-2% of these customers to favorably review your business should be easy, if not, you have greater problems than building a positive internet presence.