6 Online Review Management Tips to Improve Your Digital Footprint
No matter what business you’re in, online reviews matter. From associations to B2B & B2C to education to software and everything in between, your audience wants to share their thoughts about your brand—and your prospective audience wants to know what they think.
That’s why it’s so important for your business to have a clear online review management process. When you know how you’ll ask for reviews, how people can submit reviews, and how your team will respond (to the good and the bad!), you’ll be prepared to make the most of this digital word-of-mouth. Read on for 6 online review management tips that are an important extension of your overall digital marketing strategy.
1) Ask at Peak Times
The best time to ask for a review? Immediately after the interaction takes place or the sale is made! Depending on the experience, you can ask for a review either in-person or online. No matter what the format is, immediacy is key.
The sooner you ask for a review, the more likely someone is to leave one.
2) Make It Easy
If you’re asking for something from a customer, make it easy on them—nobody wants extra friction. Consider the best way to communicate where people can leave a review (Google, your website, a third-party site, the list goes on!). You can even share a direct link via email or text if it makes sense.
If it becomes too complicated to leave a review, people may abandon the idea quickly. In our fast-paced world, it’s best to set up the path of least resistance.
3) Respond to Every Review
Yes, responding to every single review may seem like a daunting task—but it should be a priority. After all, it’s important to remember that your reviews act as invaluable word-of-mouth referrals. These referrals are some of the most trusted data points that prospects use to learn about your brand. Plus, keep in mind this powerful stat: an estimated 89% of consumers read business’ responses to reviews when they are researching.
Whether the review is positive or negative, new customers looking for your service will see your interactions. When your business consistently responds to reviews with a helpful, friendly tone, this can establish a sense of trust and build a more meaningful relationship.Not to mention, it does increase the likelihood of return customers!
4) Offer Solutions to Negative Reviews
On the subject of responding to every review, let’s talk about how to respond to negative reviews. While negative reviews are not what you want to see, it’ll happen—and you should plan ahead accordingly.
Come up with an established process and template that your team will use to respond to negative reviews. This template can include important components—like thanking the reviewer for their feedback or using empathetic language. One component you should ensure is in every response to negative reviews? Solutions.
When you offer a solution, whether it’s saying that you’ll reach out directly to resolve the issue or communicating an updated process as a result of their feedback, it shows the customer (and everyone else who sees it!) that you’re invested in making things right.
Remember that 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews, so it should be top of mind. Professional responses to negative reviews and offering helpful solutions can lead to an increase in brand trust and loyalty!
5) Share Your Positive Reviews Far and Wide
An estimated 97% of consumers say that company reviews directly impact their decision on whether or not they want to give a brand their business. Because positive reviews directly impact sales, treat these reviews as valuable user-generated content.
That means sharing these reviews on your website, social media platforms, and incorporating them in case studies or testimonials. You may even consider adding them to your email signature.
6) No Incentives!
One last thing: remember that it’s frowned upon to offer any incentive to leave reviews. For many platforms, including Google, Amazon, and Yelp, this violates service terms.
These platforms aim to only display authentic reviews that foster trust. If we offer incentives for kind words, we diminish this authenticity and it can tarnish your brand.
Whether you want to chat about reviews or anything else related to your online footprint, I’m here to help.