March 20, 2017
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What your customers are saying about you online is more important than your website, social media posts, or paid online ads. Many people will read reviews of your store and your products before making their first purchase. Discovering how to manage online reputation and reviews is one more learning curve for jewelry companies. In his session at the JA New York Show on March 13, "Power to the Consumer: Effectively Market Your Business with the Rise of the Reviewer," Matthew Perosi, of Sapphire Collaborative, offered simple steps to help jewelers navigate online reviews.

Perosi urged jewelers to use "proactive reputation management" for their business. He emphasized that jewelry companies shouldn't fear online reviews, instead engage with and encourage them. Here are some of the key steps to get started managing -- and gaining -- online reviews of your business.


Step 1: Claim Your Business

  • It's your business, so make sure you "claim" it on all major social and search platforms, especially those that feature reviews; for example Google, Yelp, Yahoo. It's simple to do. 
  • Make sure that the account/email address that you associate with the platforms is professional and easy for you and your marketing staff to access.
  • Every store should also have a Facebook Page for their business. 

Google Business Claim Process

1. Either Go to Google My Business on your desktop. Or Download the Google My Businss app on your mobile device.
2. You'll need to sign in using a google account.
3. Search for your business and then follow some simple steps to claim and authorize your administration of the business.


Yelp Business Claim Process

1. Go to https://biz.yelp.com/
2. Search your business to get started. You'll also need a Yelp account to manage your business page and reviews.

Step 2: Set Up Prompts for Customers

Once you have claimed your business, you can set up some cool features to help connect with potential customers and remind existing customers about your company.
  • Set up Facebook Check-Ins. By connecting the "check-in" feature for your store, you can offer incentives for in-store purchases and prompt customers to write reviews within 24 hours of visiting. As people check-in, their friends and followers see information about your store. It's organic marketing at its best.
  • If your company is set up as a google location, Google can detect where users have been, and remind them for a review. 
  • Start to incorporate requesting reviews into your sales process. Add a note to business cards of staff or create reminders to drop into the giftbag at purchase. Even simple signage in store with your social accounts and handles (@jewelersjewelers) requesting reviews and shares can spur satisfied customers to share their love of your business.


Step 3: Respond to Reviews

  • To help you manage online reviews, download the business version of apps for Google, Yelp, etc, so you can easily monitor reviews and questions from your phone or tablet.
  • Response time is important, make sure to reply within 24 hours or same week.
  • As a general approach: thank positive reviews and respond and make good bad reviewers.
  • High Positive Reviews (4+ stars): a quick thank you is all that is necessary, but it's a great opportunity to include more details about your store's features or the product for others to see when reading reviews. For example, a background on the style, your customer service features, or responsible business practices.
  • Good Reviews (3 stars): if there were critiques or complaints, acknowledge the pain points and tell them you want to improve and that you appreciate the feedback. Keep it light and sincere.
  • Bad Reviews (< 2 stars): Apologize and accept blame. A key point Perosi made was to also learn from the negative reviews by discussing them with staff and determining how the team can improve. 

Step 4: Troubleshooting Fakes or Unreasonable Reviewers

  • If you don't recognize the name or experience, investigate! You can reply and say you think it could be fake, if you are very sure. You can mark these reviews as spam to have the social/review platform investigate. You can also follow up directly with Support Services for Google, Yelp or Facebook and ask them to remove or investigate.
  • Ways to identify fake reviewers: Click on the reviewer's name/handle and view review history. Look for: locations that don't match your company's area, similar language across many reviews, a high frequency of reviews for products/services in far reaching areas.
  • If someone is accusing you of illegal practices. Take no action online and then contact a business attorney and the search platforms legal department to protect yourself.
  • When reviewers are incorrect in their perception of their experience (for example they are angry you didn't allow a return -- but the terms and conditions were made clear to them from the point of purchase): Acknowledge the reviews and be humble in your reply. Do not argue online, instead ask them to follow up with you in person via phone or in store. You want to take the conversation off line, but have a record of responding in a polite manner.
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