Before we close out this week's discussion of online reviews, let's reference back to the study we gave you in Monday's Nugget: http://bit.ly/oVuu21
Since it accounts for 57% of your online reputation visibility we need to talk a little about Yahoo! Local and how to manage your business listing there.
Yahoo! populates their listings with a phone book database. Unless you manage your own listing, any information you find there will be limited to that found in public phone records.
Only registered Yahoo! users can write reviews or edit listings on Yahoo! Local. You will first need to create a Yahoo! account to edit your own business listing.
To get started go here: http://local.yahoo.com
When you're on that screen, search for your store name and your zip code, then press the Search Local button. You should see your jewelry store in the list. Click it.
It is free to edit the basic information of your Yahoo! Local listing. Basic information includes the business name, phone, address and store hours. You have to pay them $9.95 per month if you want to add more detailed company information.
Yahoo! doesn't understand web user interfaces and they've made the edit process a little confusing. On your listing page look for the tab that says "Business Overview." There might be a few Review tabs to the right of the overview tab. To the right of the review tab you will see either a link for "Edit Info" or "Add Info".
You might also see a link for "Own this business? Enhance your listing" but don't click that unless you want to pay $9.95 per month.
When clicking the Add/Edit Info link you will see a pop-up window asking if you are the owner or a customer. Select owner. Once you get through the log-in screen you will see the basic info edit screen. It's pretty simple to edit and you should include as much information as you can.
When you are done just click the Continue button at the bottom. The next screen will show your pending, edited listing. That's basically all you need to do.
Yahoo! also give you the easy ability to "Comment on Review." Anyone is allowed to comment on a review, and in this case your Yahoo! account should have your business name instead of your real name.
We suggest you add your own comments to as many reviews as you can. Thank the people who say you are great and offer solutions to the problems people complain about.
Your replies to angry customers are public so make sure you always respond in a positive manner. If the customer identified a problem with an employee, you need to thank them for letting you know and assure them it will be taken care of.
If possible, invite the customer back into the store so you have a chance to solve the problem.
If the customer was 100% wrong, and you do want to defend yourself, then you need to find the nicest way possible to explain it. Perhaps the customer was rushing you and refused to allow you to provide your normal level of professional service.
Your review comments will not change the star rating of the review, but users will see that you are actively engaging customers.
We hope this week's series on review reputation management has provided insight into how important your online reputation is, even for a small retail jeweler. We'd love to read your feedback posted to our website directly or through the Facebook comments.