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Best Practices for Managing Online Reviews

Now, more than ever, consumers depend on online reviews before making a purchase, signing up for a program, and selecting services. No matter how big or small a business is, managing online reviews is key to a businesses’ online reputation.

A survey conducted by Brightlocal found that 90% of consumers check reviews online before visiting or buying from a business. Often online reviews are the first impression potential clients will have of your brand after your website.

Our team knows the importance of online reputation, which is why we have put together some best practices to help you manage your online reviews.

Assign the Task to the Right Person

Placing someone from your company in charge of reviewing, replying, and solving any issues that come through online reviews will be part of the voice of the brand; staying consistent is important! This person needs to be customer-focused and able to provide friendly and professional responses in all situations. Further, they should have the authority to resolve issues themselves or make the call to escalate the incident to management when needed.

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Identify Where People are Talking About Your Brand

Whether through Facebook, Google, or Yelp, it is important to audit all potential locations where your customers may be providing feedback and leaving reviews. Knowing where people are reviewing your brand will help you actively monitor those pages and provide active engagement by replying promptly to customers who took their time to review your company.

Alerts and Cadence

It’s no secret that people like being acknowledged by the brands they like. Especially when they leave a review. Ensuring that you have alerts set up that can notify you when a new review has come in can make a big difference if the review is negative. Replying to reviews on time can help you control outcomes when those reviews are negative.

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Replying to Reviews

Whether you receive a positive or negative review, it’s important to respond to that review to show your customers and search engines your commitment to customer satisfaction. Studies show that “53% of customers expect businesses to reply to their online reviews within seven days, while not replying at all can increase your customer churn rate by up to 15%.” This shows that you are genuinely interested in what your customers have to say, appreciate their positive feedback, and are available to remedy any negative experiences.

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Responding to Positive Reviews

By responding to positive reviews you are letting the customer know that you appreciate their compliments and that your brand is listening to them. Publicly responding to reviews can also help encourage others to leave positive reviews.

It is important to note that when responding to positive reviews it’s important to thank the customer for their positive feedback and let them know that you look forward to doing business with them again soon.

Never use reviews to upsell customers, offer them coupons, or provide any other perk that can be viewed as a bribe to leave you a positive review.

Responding to Negative Reviews

No one wants to receive negative reviews, but they are bound to happen once in a while. Fortunately, it is possible to manage negative reviews and in some cases turn those reviews into positive ones.

When responding to negative reviews, reviews have to be taken from an objective point of view. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. You will always want to sympathize with the customer, thank them for reaching out to you to provide feedback, acknowledge the issue at hand, offer to make things right, and offer to resolve the issue offline.

Summary

In today’s age of digital commerce and communication, customers have unprecedented access to the brands and products that they interact with on a daily basis. Positive and negative feedback must be taken, addressed, and responded to in order to grow customer loyalty. By actively monitoring your reviews you have the power to stay ahead of potential issues and focus on the most important part of your business, your customers.

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