Whether they’re shopping online or in store, modern customers are determined to find the best deals and get the most value out of their purchases. Research shows that about 95% of all consumers take the time to read through online reviews and ratings before making a purchase decision, meaning that impulse buys are most likely falling to the wayside. As a result, online marketers need to be proactive and vigilant when it comes to implementing strong review management strategies.
After all, review management is a huge asset for brand promotion. Keep reading to learn about the importance of review management and the impact it has on your bottom line.
Why You Need to Respond to Every Review
Depending on the size and scope of your business, it might not always be possible for you to respond to every customer comment, review, or rating in a timely manner. That’s perfectly understandable as long as you do eventually respond tactfully and appropriately. But don’t wait too long to respond and keep in mind that each response should be tailored specifically for each customer comment.
Of course, it makes sense to have quick generic responses for more common customer input like “Thank you for providing feedback. If you need more assistance, please feel free to contact us.” But when customers have more pressing or important questions and comments to get across, it makes more sense to come up with a well thought out and appropriate response that addresses the points they’re making. And it’s always better if the response comes directly from you because the last thing you want to happen is for your competitors or misinformed customers to
answer certain questions for you.
When prospective customers see you proactively answering customer reviews and feedback in a timely manner, it gives them the confidence they need to support your business. Establishing a prominent review management strategy as part of your online marketing plan is a great way to help you stay on top of your customer reviews.
Establish a Proactive Review Management System
Most of the time, customers only leave online reviews for businesses if they’re exceptionally satisfied or dissatisfied with the service or product they received. Sometimes, however, all it takes is a little extra push or encouragement for customers to leave a review. A little prompting combined with providing excellent and courteous customer service goes a long way. Customers need to know that they’re being well taken care of and asking them to write a review of their experience with your business demonstrates that you actually value their opinions.
It also leaves your business vulnerable to the mercy (or sometimes lack thereof) of your customers. Just be aware that sometimes even if you perceive a particular customer interaction to be positive, the customer might not always see it that way and sometimes you might get more negative reviews than expected. Think of this is a potential learning opportunity and don’t shy away from asking your customers about their experiences and what they think you could have done better.
Of course, practicality also means being realistic and prepared. With that in mind, you should create a feasible review management system that allows you to easily filter through the positive and negative reviews, so that you can efficiently issue appropriate reactions to all of them. At this point, you might want to consider farming out the task of moderating different types of reviews across a variety of platforms including social media comments sections, your web site, and on search engines.
Showcase Reviews and Testimonials on Your Web Site
Your web site is the absolute perfect place to display reviews and testimonials. After all, it’s the number one resource existing and prospective customers can and will turn to when researching your company, products, and services. While they’re browsing through your catalogue, they should also be conveniently afforded the opportunity to read through the experiences that past customers have had with your business.
Of course, there are some transparency issues involved in this regard. Obviously, most companies—even reputable ones—aren’t going to willfully advertise or showcase negative customer comments or reviews. Understandably, most businesses are keen on hiding them. Doing so, however, also means that you’re potentially missing out on worthwhile opportunities to correct misinformation about your business, rectify negative customer experiences, and answer their questions. Be selective about the types of reviews you showcase on your web site, but also be tactful in demonstrating your ability to rebuild and recuperate bad customer experiences.
Refrain from Writing Fake Reviews
Integrity, honesty, and transparency should be at the forefront of your business model. As tempting as it may be to fabricate positive reviews for your business, try to refrain from doing this. Not only is it dishonest, but it also makes your business look bad and can have negative repercussions if you’re existing or prospective customers ever find out you’re doing it.
Focus on building your brand instead and working towards establishing strong customer loyalty through exceptional customer service. As long as you have a reputable business that offers high-quality products, great services, and top-notch customer service, then you shouldn’t have to resort to making up false positive reviews. They should come organically from your happy customers.
Offer Great Incentives for Honest Customer Reviews
An effective way of encouraging your customers to review your business online is to offer them valuable and worthwhile incentives. It doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant; it just has to be sufficient enough to spike their interest and capture their attention. For instance, you could offer an incentive program in which customers who leave a detailed review and rate your business online will automatically be entered to win an exclusive grand prize of some sort. Make it clear that you’re not trying to influence your customers in any way to write positive reviews, but that you’re seeking their honest opinions.
Need help creating a viable online review management strategy for your business?
Numero Uno Web Solutions can help! We specialize in helping brands build a strong online presence by managing their social media, Google My Business, and other online platforms on their behalf. Contact us today to learn how we can help you better manage your online reviews.