Managing Online Reviews
Not too long ago, if a customer had a problem with a company, product or service, they only had a couple of options- call or write the owner/manager to discuss the problem. In today’s technologically advanced world where a customer can easily pick up their smartphone and instantaneously access an online review site(for thousands if not millions to see), it is no wonder that managing online reviews has become a critical part of businesses online behavior.
According to Local Results Online, 60% of consumers consider ratings and reviews when researching a product or service. So how should your company handle online reviews as well as manage and avoid negative reviews?
- Monitor Social Media and Online Review Sites – Someone from your company should be monitoring online sites from Facebook, Twitter and other social media for your company’s name and brand. Google Alerts can help with this. Monitor Online Review Sites as well including Yelp, Google Review and Angie’s List. Most review sites (even those for specialized niche markets) offer monitoring and alerts when your company’s name has been mentioned.
- Respond – Whether comments or posts are positive or negative in nature respond quickly and professionally. This shows that you are hearing what your customers are saying. It also shows that you are “on top of your game” to the customers who access these review sites. When you encounter a customer who is genuinely upset or feels wronged, reach out to them online and, if you can, personally to make amends for whatever happened. In the long run it will cost less to keep that old customer happy than convert a new one. If a post or review is stating false information and facts, you should also respond. This should be done calmly, and in a professional manner. Your grace under fire will be noticed.
- Promote Positive Feedback – Create a “rate my experience” section to your landing page. While you are at it, encourage people who post positive comments on social media to also review your business on the Online Review Sites.
Managing your company’s online reputation can take a little time each day but it is a critical step to fostering good relations with your customers. No one likes negative feedback. Fortunately, that feedback can help you fix weak points and make your brand even stronger if you handle the reviews correctly.