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Ellen Fruchtman: On Review Sites: All the Web’s a Stage

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On Review Sites: All the Web’s a Stage

Stay on top of the conversation in a 24/7 world

BY ELLEN FRUCHTMAN

Published in the February 2013 issue

The great thing about the
Internet is the notion
that your brand is out
there for many people to experience.
But as you know, everyone
is a critic. Gone are the days of
one individual having a bad experience
and potentially impacting
10 people. One bad experience
and your brand can turn to toast.
Conversely, the same is true for a
great experience. The question is
what are you doing about both?

A recent survey by American
Express found 58 percent of U.S.
consumers trust a small business
that has a positive online review.
Consumers are not only reading
the reviews, they are relying on
the opinions expressed to decide
if they are going to engage with the
business at all. Prior to engaging
with a business, 76 percent of consumers
regularly or occasionally
read online reviews to determine if
the local business was considered
good. There’s more:

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70% of online users trust consumer
opinions posted online
(Nielsen Report)

24% use online reviews when
deciding on purchases made
offline (comScore, The Kelsey
Group)

97% of customers find online
reviews to be accurate upon evaluation
(comScore)

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN FOR YOU?

1. Sweat the small stuff. Everything
matters when your customer is
in the store or browsing online.
There is very little room for error
or an in-store (or online) experience
that is second to none. That
experience, by the way, is a moving
target. Remember how we all
thought handing out a bottle of
water with a custom label was really
exceptional? Guess what? It’s
the norm.

2. There is no excuse for an uneducated
staff. The minute your customer
knows more than you is the
minute they’re going to say something
about it online.

3. Designate someone on your staff
to monitor your name online. Go
to wedding sites like The Knot or
Wedding Channel. Check out what
people are saying and get involved.
If you see a negative review, try to
contact that individual to see if you
can rectify the situation. If they’re
satisfied, ask if they’ll remove the
negative review online.

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4. Always monitor your Facebook
page. You have a great Facebook
presence, correct? It’s “the” place
for chatter and reviews.

5. Have a satisfied customer?
There’s nothing wrong with asking
them to post a review online.
If they do (and you should be
monitoring), send them a thank
you note and small token of your
appreciation.

Today’s customer has a stage
and platform unlike anything we
have witnessed before. Remember
when your mom used to tell you
“if you have nothing nice to say,
don’t say it at all”? Those days are
long gone.

About the Author: Ellen Fruchtman is president of Fruchtman Marketing, a full-service agency
specializing in the jewelry industry. Call (800) 481-3520 or visit fruchtman.com.

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