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Reputation Management – The Ultimate Guide to Managing Customer Reviews

A decade ago, the landscape of online business looked radically different from its present form. Online marketing was just starting out. Since then, there has been a lot of evolution on the internet, and that includes the way businesses market themselves online. Most successful marketing strategies today include websites, social networks, and online advertising. Today, in our digitally connected society, the line between your online reputation and your reputation offline is so blurred it is virtually impossible to tell the two apart.

In ways we have never seen before, the internet has created communities and connected customers. Through online customer reviews, these customers help each other even though they don’t know each other. Reviews of any kind, whether in stars, comments, or grades, are aggregated, sortable, and viewable by anybody.

The online retail platform Shopify studied the impact of reviews and how they may generate business for companies. According to the study, consumers love online reviews and are more likely to visit your website after reading a review. As per another study, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal referral. Therefore, you must understand what these reviews can do, where to find them, and how to respond to them when necessary as part of your online marketing strategy.

It is also beneficial to solicit reviews on your website or other well-known review sites that your target clients frequently visit. Your sales funnel will grow as a result of all of these activities, which will help you build a pipeline of prospects and grow your business.

In this guide, we explore the different ways to source, learn, and respond to customer reviews. The quality of your business will be impacted by whether or not your customers talk about you, so you need to create positive reviews and address any negative ones as soon as they occur.

What Are Customer Reviews?

Written by past customers to share their opinions of products and services purchased, customer reviews serve as an evaluation tool for other customers. Depending on whether the review is positive or negative, others can choose whether or not to buy based on the opinions and impressions of others.

In the past, reviews were just a nice bonus to serve as confirmation of one’s choice. But now, reviews can greatly impact a business depending on their ratings, comments left, and even the responses to those reviews.

What Is Online Review Management?

Online review management is responsible for sorting, managing, and utilizing online reviews when shaping and enhancing a company’s reputation. A company’s performance is heavily influenced by reviews left by its customers. A single negative review can bring a company to its knees, but when used correctly, a positive review can boost a company’s sales and brand image. Online reputation management encompasses social media, online community engagement, and search engine results for your business.

Importance of Online Review Management

Review management is important to businesses as it allows them to keep track of their online reputation regularly. With online content constantly shifting, consumers’ perceptions of brands can also fluctuate dramatically. In order to improve perceptions of a business, companies need to know what their customers are saying about them online.

Studies show that more than 45% of marketers keep track of their reviews daily, while others do so hourly. Businesses can avoid losing sales and leads by regularly monitoring their online reputation. To protect their brands’ reputations, businesses should allocate resources to manage their online reputations.

Dealing with Bad Reviews

Make sure to spend some time investigating the nature of the problem shared by the customer. Before you decide how to react to a customer, consider whether the customer has a valid point to make. It is important that you are extremely cautious about how you react to the review, as well as how you plan to address the mentioned issues. To help you, we have provided an example below.

There is a client who believes that her doctor is disregarding her time by consistently being late to the appointments, and she is not pleased with the manner in which she is handled.

Review: The doctor consistently showed up 30 minutes late at every appointment, this is unacceptable!

Reply: Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. We were experiencing some scheduling difficulties. Our team has taken all the necessary steps in that regard, and we are confident that you will have a positive experience here in the future.

As you can see, the staff offers a brief and sincere apology in its thoughtful answer. This will not only help the customer feel acknowledged but will also aid in restoring their faith in the health care facility that is providing the service.

How to Respond to Bad Reviews?

However, even though receiving a bad review may be a cause of anxiety on your part, you may still be able to exploit it to your advantage in the long run. Follow these steps to portray your organization in a positive light:

Reply

If the need arises at a moment’s notice, you should be prepared to act. The communication a company has with its clients must convey the impression that every customer is important, regardless of the circumstances.

Don’t Delete

It is not a good idea to remove bad brand reviews. Rather than just disregarding an unfavorable review, ensure you contact the reviewer and schedule a meeting. A company’s customers are more likely to trust it if they know it will respond to their problems.

Take the Conversation Offline
Do not engage in a back and forth on a public forum. You should apologize publicly for the negative review, then switch to a one-on-one conversation with the unhappy customer.

Find a Solution That Will Satisfy the Dissatisfied Customer
It is essential to communicate with the customer to see if there is anything you can do to help their situation, whether over the phone, email, text. A customer who is upset is usually frustrated and wants to be heard. Take the time to talk to them and offer any assistance you can.

Request That They Change Their Review
Once you and the unsatisfied customer have reached an agreement, ask them if they would be willing to edit their original review. Formerly dissatisfied customers are typically glad to change their reviews after the issue is resolved.

How to Increase Positive Reviews?

Even though you have no control over what consumers say, there are some things you can do to influence how they rate your product. Following are some tips for it:

Respond Proactively

You will be appreciated by your customers if you produce an excellent product. Following up with exceptional customer service will greatly increase customer satisfaction. When you actively encourage your clients to share their experiences with you on the internet, you may increase your chances of getting these positive reviews.

SMS

You can use this method to get feedback from your customers. There is a possibility that consumers, even those with the best of intentions, may forget to leave a positive review amid daily chaos. It may serve as a pleasant reminder of their purchase and positive experience to send them a text message with a link to a review site.

Influencer Marketing

The role of influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important in marketing strategy. You can offer a free product in exchange for an honest review from a significant individual in your field.

How to Respond to a Positive Online Review?

Responding to positive reviews is equally essential as it helps you get more of such reviews. You should thank and appreciate the satisfied customers for their effort and time spent on the positive reviews. Your response should be short and to the point; use polite language and keep your message impactful. Listed below are some steps you can follow when responding to a positive review.

  • The customer should be thanked for his or her time and feedback.
  • Let the customer know you hope to see them again soon. (For instance, if you are an ecommerce company, you might say: “We hope you’ll buy from us again after this purchase.”).

As a result of this simple response, you will be able to strengthen your brand’s loyalty, encourage future customers to also leave reviews, and provide a better customer experience.

Managing Online Reviews Effectively

Online reputation management may seem overwhelming, but there are simple, yet vital steps to get things in order.

Set Alerts

An excellent tool for monitoring online reviews is Google Alerts. You’ll be able to react to all comments with this method. It allows you to receive email notifications. If you’ve set up alerts to tell you when your company’s name is mentioned, you’ll be able to see what’s been said and reply as fast as possible.

Use an Online Management Tool

A person or team responsible for monitoring multiple channels and platforms, answering questions, and responding to feedback and comments involves a lot of work. Therefore, it is important to use tools like Mention and Hootsuite to proactively respond to any review you get on any online platform.

However, you need to have a reliable internet connection in place, like the one offered by Windstream Communications, so that you can use these tools effectively.

Give a Response

Always acknowledge the reviews, whether it’s a good one or bad. It is always beneficial to respond. Prospective customers can see how responsive you are to negative feedback if you respond professionally. Since it is a sensible business practice, responding to positive feedback is also considered courteous, as it shows consumers that you appreciate them taking the time to share their thoughts.

Address Politely

There are many people out there who may read your comments on reviews. Therefore, it is imperative that you carefully think about what you say before you publish it. Never take criticism personally, and always respond politely and professionally. Even a bad review might turn out well for you if you respond professionally. Apologize for any mistakes you may have made to the reviewer and inquire as to how you may improve your service in the future.

Wrapping Up

Reputation management isn’t about hiding negative reviews or portraying a false image of perfection to your customers. It’s about accurately portraying your business and staying accountable for any mistakes you make.

It’s not about burying negative feedback. It’s about maintaining an accurate and positive customer perception. By dealing with issues as they arise, you become a better and more trustworthy company.

Online reputation management doesn’t require a huge budget or a dedicated team. It is a very straightforward process that can be carried out at home, using tools and resources available online. But make sure you have a reliable internet connection in place to stay online and actively respond to customers’ feedback. If you don’t have one, subscribe to one of the Windstream internet deals to get access to a fast and reliable internet connection.

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