How often do you pay attention to online reviews? Did you know, “92% of consumers read online reviews specifically for local businesses?” Online reviews matter, plain and simple. Online reviews allow people to learn about your brand, understand your reputation, and determine if they want to do business with your company. Also, reviews enable businesses to learn about shortcomings that need to be addressed and improved.
Online reviews need to be something you intentionally participate in gathering and managing.
How to Manage Online Reviews
There are several free online review tools and several paid review tools. It helps to have tools to manage the various areas with online reviews such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
Google is Dominant
Customers usually check Google before they check anywhere else. Google makes it easy for customers to review companies, and for their searchers to find what they want. Start by claiming your Google My Business listing and start encouraging your customers to leave reviews.
Bad Reviews Matter
A bad review can ruin your day, and it’s understandable when you work hard to be successful. However, use bad reviews to highlight areas of the company that needs to be addressed. Perhaps now is the time to discuss internal changes that have a direct impact on the customer experience.
Empathy is essential to customers. Do they feel that you are offering a sincere apology, or just doing this to safe face?
Do not delete the bad review. Respond immediately, reach out to the customer, and focus on rectifying the situation. Ask them to review or update their review following a positive discussion. When other people see how you respond to the negative review, they can clearly see how your company takes steps to improve from mistakes.
Do I Need Reviews?
Yes! Potential customers rely on reviews, but a lack of reviews will also damage your search engine ranking. According to Google, nearly 10% of the search engine algorithm rely on online reviews. If you are below your competition, take a look at their reviews compared to your reviews.
Where Are We?
If you want to be successful with online reviews, find out where people are reviewing your business. While Facebook, Google, and Yelp tend to be the most known, there are thousands of others including;
- Amazon customer reviews
- Angie’s List
- Better Busienss Bureau
- Consumer Reports
- Trip Advisor
Become aware of where you are being reviewed, and claim your profile on those review sites. Start engaging with your audience on these sites to boost your reputation and visibility.
Stay Relevant and Recent
An area where businesses often fall behind is forgetting to thank people for reviewing them. Share positive reviews on your social media accounts. Highlight the customers with positive experiences. Apologize to the customers that have a negative experience. Part of managing reviews is to ask satisfied customers to post reviews to continue gaining a positive reputation in your industry.
A great way to generate positive reviews is by rewarding your loyal customers and encouraging a review. Send them a free product or ask if they would like to be part of testing a new product and sending you a review of it. Customers will feel valued by the business for their ongoing support, and the business, in turn, generates a new positive review.
Natural Ways to Obtain Reviews
No one has enough time to ask each customer to review the business, so use automated tools to help. SMS text message services and email surveys with review links can remind people to leave a review. While these methods are helpful, here are some natural ways to obtain reviews:
- Focus on delivering a great product or service. People leave reviews when they are satisfied with their product and overall experience.
- Improve customer service. It helps to go overboard and truly fawn over your customer’s needs. Make sure you take steps to make them feel important with each employee and each interaction they have with the customer. If they have a bad interaction, they are likely to take to the review boards to vent their frustrations.
- Ask an influencer if you can send them your product and have them review and share it with their audience. Influencers are helpful to gather a new audience for your business, and they do a great job assisting with reputation building.
Reviews on the Go
An easy way to keep tabs on your customers is by installing apps on your phone. Google My Business makes it easy to respond to reviews and connect with customers in real-time. Keeping on top of reviews and responding promptly can often improve the customer experience. Outsourcing reviews can help when they do become overwhelming to manage.
Stay in touch with your customers and they will reward you with positive reviews. Keep your website updated with the latest SEO tips and tricks by signing up for our informative newsletter.