Business Reviews

Share your feedback about local businesses and tradesmen to help other consumers make better decisions about who they hire.

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Recent Reviews on Thomson Local

The latest reviews as they happen

Reviews Questions & Answers

Find answers to common review questions, including how to leave a review and how to deal with negative feedback.

Q

What are online reviews?

A

Reviews from consumers are fast becoming a significant factor in measuring the reputation and brand image of a business.

In fact, these days, an online review is almost as useful as a personal recommendation when it comes to influencing the buying decisions of consumers.

With the continued growth of online shopping and e-commerce, it seems likely that the value of online business reviews will continue to increase.

Q

How to write a good review

A

You should always endeavour to write a good review, regardless of whether your review is positive, fair or negative. That way, your review is far more likely to be read, understood and used by others.

Try to follow these three steps to write a good review:

  1. Describe what the product or service is
  2. Describe your personal experience with the product or service
  3. Explain why you would or wouldn’t use the product or service again

Your review is also going to be far more useful to others if it is:

  • Written in complete sentences
  • Has correct spelling and grammar
  • Is an honest and truthful account of your experience – rather than an attack
Q

How to write a negative review

A

If you’ve had a negative experience with a product or service, it can sometimes be tempting to go online and vent your raw emotions without a filter.

And while that approach might make you feel better, it’s probably not going to encourage positive change from the company or help other consumers to make an objective decision.

So instead, try the following approach:

  1. Don’t write the review while you are angry – always calm down first.
  2. Start out with a positive – such as describing your initial expectations, or what it was that made you choose the product or service in the first place.
  3. Focus on the problem – why did the product or service not meet your expectations?
  4. Suggest a solution – what could be done (realistically) to restore your faith in the product or service?
  5. Offer advice to other consumers – is there a better alternative available?
Q

How to respond to negative reviews

A

First and foremost, you need to accept that negative reviews are inevitable. You can try your hardest to please everyone, but sooner or later you’re going to receive negative feedback. The important thing is how you choose to respond to that negative feedback.

Here are our tips:

  1. Never reply in anger. Always calm down first.
  2. Thank the reviewer. Negative or not, the customer still gave up their time to share feedback with you. Thanking them will show that you care.
  3. Always treat the reviewer with respect. Remember this is a public forum and potential customers can read everything that is said.
  4. Don’t react in kind. Show that you can rise above the negativity, and respond in a calm, professional and useful manner.
  5. Come clean. Ask yourself honestly, are you at fault? If so, apologise for not getting things right on this occasion and offer to put things right.
  6. Take things offline. If you’re not at fault, resist the urge to prove the reviewer wrong, as that is likely to trigger a public argument. Instead, try to take the discussion offline, such as inviting the reviewer to get in touch via phone or email. If you are able to resolve the matter offline, the reviewer may be willing to change or delete their original review.
  7. Don’t leave a reviewer hanging. If you need some time to look into things, or if you’re not quite sure what to say, don’t delay in replying. Instead, thank the reviewer for their feedback and tell them that you are looking into the matter and will be back in touch soon.
  8. Stick to your word. If you promise to reply, then make sure that you do. If you promise that someone will contact the customer offline, make sure that they do.
  9. Fix the problem. Is this an issue that’s likely to present itself again? If so, get it fixed and avoid any further negative reviews about the same issue.

Remember, this is your opportunity to show that you care about your customers, even the negative ones! – who, if handled correctly, could become your very best customers.

Q

How to get more reviews

A

As yourself honestly, how often do you take the time to review the products and services you use? Even if you can that you leave reviews often, I would hazard a guess that most of the time that is because you have been prompted to leave the review.

And herein lies the key to getting more customer reviews:

  • Make sure you ask the customer for a review. No need to beat around the bush, just tell the customer that you are working on improving your business and an online review would be beneficial to you. This is a reasonable request, so there is no need to feel awkward asking.
  • Make it easy for customers to review you. Don’t just ask the customer to leave you a review on Trust Pilot, give them a direct link to your business page on Trust Pilot. If the customer has a Gmail, send them a direct link to your business on Google so they can leave a Google review via their Google account.
  • Don’t wait too long to ask for a review. People are far more likely to leave feedback if you are still fresh in their mind. The longer you wait, the less chance of getting a review.
  • Don’t be afraid of reminding people. A simple email to the customer a few days later asking for feedback is not an unreasonable request. Just be mindful of GDPR if you do keep a record of customer contact details.
Q

How do reviews help with my SEO?

A

Reviews definitely help with your SEO, but not in the way you might think.

For example, a common misconception is that the text of the reviews will somehow improve the SEO of your page, but why would it? The text in a review is about a customer’s experience and wouldn’t have the same SEO impact as a well-crafted bit of content that describes your business and its services.

In reality, the SEO benefit of online reviews is mostly indirect and more about influencing how people perceive your business, and ultimately, whether they decide to click or call. This ties in with the fact that a higher click-through-rate via Google search tends to result in a higher ranking.

Positive Google reviews can also lead to an improved presence in local searches. This is because Google relies on the endorsements from others – whether it be backlinks to your website or positive reviews on your Google My Business listing.

Q

Can negative reviews harm my SEO rankings?

A

As we established earlier, the text of a review doesn’t influence the on-site SEO of your website. Instead, the SEO effect is felt via the perception of your business online.

If your business has a poor rating online, you can expect that rating to influence how willing people are to click on the links to your website. Fewer clicks on your links and more clicks on your competitor’s links result in a reduced click-through-rate – which contributes to reduced rankings.

Q

Can I repost my reviews elsewhere?

A

Of course. Just be mindful of how you do it

For example, if you post the review on your website, you should also provide a link back to your Thomson Local business listing. This will allow potential customers to verify that the review is genuine – which adds to your credibility.

Alternatively, why not use our Reviews Widget? This widget automatically provides a link back to your Thomson Local business listing and displays a live feed of your latest reviews.

Q

Should I try to get reviews from anywhere else?

A

Absolutely. If your business is getting great reviews, then you should be shouting about it from the rooftops. Remember, the goal of gaining reviews (beyond merely gaining actionable feedback) is to improve the perception of your business online. So, the more presence you have, the better the result.

You should aim to get reviews on the following main review platforms (if applicable to your business type):

Q

How do I remove a review?

A

Advertisers on Thomson Local are able to remove guest reviews via their AdCentre account. To remove a registered review, an advertiser must report the review and provide a compelling reason for its removal. Our reviews team will then review your request and take any appropriate action.

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