The Importance of Managing Online Reviews
After researching statistics for reviews as of 2019 it is apparent that online reviews are becoming more and more important for consumers as the years go by. This is shown by an ever increasing percentage of customers reading online reviews and basing their considerations for a product or service on them. Because of this trend, we believe that now is the time to take advantage of these online reviews and use them to boost your business and get your name out there. Of course, it won’t be that easy as you have to rely on customers seeing your products/services and choosing to purchase from you and then leave a review. Furthermore, if more negative reviews are left than positive it could damage your reputation and turn potential customers away as statistics show. Because of this, it is important to manage reviews, comments and star ratings left on your products and services. Here are a few important tips that will help you to do so:
Responding to Reviews
It is good practice to reply to reviews left by customers and to address questions or queries. It is also majorly important to address negative reviews or comments as soon as possible as it shows that your business cares about its customers and are willing to improve where possible. Also, this will gain more trust with your potential customers and if they see the negative comment and the reply they may ignore the comment altogether and they will respect the response. Statistics show that over 89 percent of prospective potential customers will read the response left by the owner or a representative. This is a good chance to win the trust and loyalty of these potential customers and to persuade them to make a purchase.
Responding to Negative Reviews
Replying to a negative review is a chance for a business to make things right or to address any issues or simply even to dispute trolls. The original poster will see that the business has responded and attempted to fix the situation and the other potential customers will see this as well. When responding to a negative review it is important that a business owner/representative acknowledges the concerns of the reviewer and an apology for any inconvenience that may have been caused. The name of the representative/owner should be left as well as their title and contact information so that the problem can be discussed privately. If the situation is remedied it is good practice to ask the customer to politely update their negative review which will show other customers that the business is not afraid of facing its problems and trying to fix them.
Responding to Positive Reviews
Responding to positive reviews is just as important as responding and attempting to resolve negative reviews. It shows that your business cares if you acknowledge and thank customers for their positive reviews, after all they are promoting your product for you for free so some credit has to be given. Thank the reviewers for the time they took to share their experience with others so that they may be swayed into making a purchase too. A little tip that will help when replying is to include your business information to improve your overall SEO ranking. Another strategy that could be employed when replying could be to mention new promotions and products and inviting them to try them and share their experience with friends, family and others.
Review Websites to be Monitored
The most popular and trusted review websites on the Internet are sites such as Facebook, Yelp, Google and Better Business Bureau. It is advisable to monitor these websites for any mentions or reviews of your businesses or its products/services. It is also a good idea to use niche review websites and programs like Tripadvisor, Google Local Services and HomeAdvisor. Google Local Services is a fairly new system that helps to connect potential customers with local service providers in their area. At this moment in time it is only available in 30 major cities but if your business is located in any of these it could mean big things for your business if the reviews are mostly positive. This is because reviews are what shape and improve your local ranking on google which will make it easier to connect with ideal customers more frequently and everything else will be filtered out.
How to Increase Volume of Reviews
It may seem like an impossible task to increase the amount of reviews that are left on your business’ products and services but in reality it is quite simple. The majority of people that purchase a product or subscribe to a service will leave a review and are more likely to if asked. This can be done by sending a simple link within order confirmation emails that ask for some honest feedback. Using the demo from the link above shows that the customer simply taps positive or negative for their review and they either get fdirected to a review page or they have their negative review captured which will then be forwarded to a relevant manager in charge of handling complaints. No need for the review to ever go online. Asking in person is most successful so if a customer comes into the business and purchases something it would be good to include a policy in which whoever sells the item asks the customer to leave an online review later on by handing them a specialised business card with “Leave us a review” type of callout (with a direct link or a QR code that takes them to the review capture form) on it. Whatever the approach is it is always best to ask for feedback to see where the business is going right and if there are areas that require improvement. It will also ensure that your business is open and ready for the future.