Before we get into the online review management strategy, let’s briefly define…
What is review management?
Review management is the process of frequently engaging with customer reviews and feedback to increase brand reputation and customer satisfaction.
What are the benefits of review management for businesses?
1. Improve brand reputation
When customers share a review and the business responds quickly, the client feels cared for. When new prospects see the highly engaged company through reviews (most people do review research before going to a new business), the likelihood of that person purchasing is high because they know that if any issue occurs, it can and will be addressed.
2. Increase trust
When people are searching for a service or product to solve their needs, typically, they look for signals (social proof) that show that a business will be able to solve their needs. When a prospect sees a business that handles its online reputation effectively, they will trust the collective intelligence and experience of other reviewers that a business can help them solve their needs.
3. Help with online visibility
Online reviews help with increasing SEO performance. If a website has multiple good online positive reviews, it can rank easily with its Google Business Profile. However, if the website doesn’t have reviews or the negative reviews are not managed, the Google business profile will have limited visibility. Other platforms like Yelp and Amazon, also use reviews as a factor for increasing the visibility of their listings. Depending on the type of product or service offered, businesses can leverage a online review management software to handle their whole online reputation in one single place.
4. Get feedback to improve business
One of the best ways to improve a business is to listen to customer feedback. Positive and negative reviews are a great way to get information that can be leveraged to improve business processes, services, and/or products.
5. Unfair Advantage against competitors
When you manage reviews effectively, you are building a competitive advantage against competitors as you are showing the target audience that you care more about customers’ needs and wants than other businesses in the same industry. But… then the question becomes…
How do you generate reviews?
There are two primary ways to generate reviews:
- Request reviews from the clients that had a great experience with your business. This will help avoid acquiring negative reviews, which can affect local SEO visibility. You can request a positive online review through email, SMS (if you have consent), and/or by calling recurring happy customers.
- Create a QR Code that links to the specific online platform to add a review on. For example, if a small business wants to generate positive reviews on their Google Business Profile (GBP), the small business can print a QR code and add it to the register so that the customer can scan the QR code and quickly review the GBP in person.
What should reviews include when a business does review requests?
- An image of product and/or service purchased
- A brief description of the product/service
- An honest four star rating or more
How do you respond to positive and negative reviews?
All reviews should be responded to as quickly as possible, ideally within a 24 hour period to signal to Google that this business is highly engaged locally. However, a positive review and negative reviews should be addressed differently. Positive reviews should include the keyword of the product/service sold and share a sincere thank you. On the other hand, a negative review should be addressed in public and asking it to be solved offline. After the issue is solved, ask the person to update the review. After the review is updated, respond to the negative review again thanking the person sharing that the issue was solved.
What can I do if I get fake reviews?
There are vendors that do negative reviews. It’s unfortunate and at the same time, its reality. However, there are options available. First step is to respond within 24 hours and in a professional manner. Also, make sure to offer a solution and try to make the person happy so that you can ask them to edit the review. If the negative feedback can’t be solved with the person, then the next step would be to contact Google here . As a last step, to manage fake reviews, make sure you monitor reviews for your local businesses on a consistent basis and regularly request reviews to offset the negative review. If you want a the Unfair Advantage team to look at your review management strategy, you can request a free digital marketing audit to uncover digital marketing opportunities and insights.