If you run a small or recently-established business, word of mouth can be crucial to its success. By that, we basically mean that it can suffer just as much from negative word of mouth as it can thrive from positive word of mouth. Customer reviews are a good case in point. You can’t control what people say about your company in reviews, but you can still do much to increase the chances of your business being the subject of positive reviews – and even benefit from responding appropriately to bad reviews.

The importance of being proactive

Ensuring that your business has a presence on Facebook, Yahoo and Google+ is good for local SEO – and you can receive help in many aspects of local SEO from experts from Jumping Spider Media. However, all of these websites enable customers of your business to publicly post reviews of their experiences with your company, and you should be alert to these. You should, naturally, be proactive by providing your customers with products and/or services of the highest possible quality, as doing this will give them good reasons to post gushing reviews.

There’s an importance to being reactive, too

When you see a positive review of your company appear on one of these websites, quickly post a message thanking the customer for their custom – either on the website or using contact details of the customer, if you have them. This should impress the customer and encourage them to recommend your business to people they know.

If, on the other hand, a negative review appears, you can again speedily post a message – again, using one of the two methods mentioned above – apologising to the customer and expressing your wish that they will give your company an opportunity to make up for their bad experience.