Chances are, your customers spend quite a bit of time doing research before they make a purchase decision. There are a lot of different factors that might influence their decisions, and online reviews are often cited as a major influence for consumers. In fact, according to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Your business’s digital presence has a huge impact on whether a customer decides to purchase from you, and online reviews help to shape your digital presence. For better or for worse, online reviews can impact your bottom line. By taking charge of your online reputation, you’ll be able to achieve a better outcome.
The Basics of Managing Your Online Reputation
When a customer does leave a negative review of your business, it can be incredibly upsetting. It takes many years to build a solid reputation for your business, and negative reviews can make the wrong first impression with potential customers. Luckily, a negative review isn’t the end of the world. In fact, negative reviews provide you with the opportunity to take control of the situation and turn things around.
- Routinely Monitor Your Online Reviews. In order to avoid any unpleasant surprises, you should check all of the review platforms you use on a regular basis.
- Respond To Every Review. Make sure you are replying to all of your customer reviews, whether they are good, bad, or somewhere in between. Thank customers who leave positive reviews, but also be proactive about replying to negative reviewers.
- Be Willing to Listen. When responding to negative reviews, remember that your replies are public. Ask for more information about the issue if needed, and be willing to acknowledge their feelings. You may also discover that their feedback will help you run your business even better.
- Move It Offline. Once you are able to start a conversation with an unhappy customer, it may be easier to move the conversation to a more private venue, such as a phone call or email.
- Ask For An Update. After working with your customer and finding a solution, you may want to circle back and ask them if they would consider updating their review.
Collect And Share More Customer Reviews
Beyond managing your online reviews, you should also encourage your customers to leave new reviews. Collecting reviews doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take some time and effort. Luckily, the most effective way to generate more online reviews for your business is also the simplest; reach out and ask them to leave a review. After their service has been completed, or their purchase has been shipped and received, send them a follow-up email and ask them to leave a review.
While this method of collecting reviews is fairly simple, it will only work if you can take the time to manage it. There are tools you can use to automate the process, which can save you a great deal of time. For example, our online review software can quickly and easily capture customer reviews at the right time. Positive reviews can be automatically pushed out to a variety of different review sites, while negative reviews are routed directly to you so you have the opportunity to address the issue before it is published online.
Use Positive Reviews To Promote Your Business
Once you’ve found a way to collect more positive reviews, it’s time to put them to work for your business. Potential customers want to hear what others are saying about your business, so highlighting positive reviews can help you establish trust with a broader audience.
- Share positive reviews on your company’s social media channels
- Include customer reviews on your website
- Use highly-satisfied customers as case studies on your website, so potential customers can get an in-depth look at what it’s like to work with your company
If you’re not managing your online reputation, you’re missing out on a valuable tool for promoting your business. To learn more about how online reviews can impact your business, check out our blog “3 Ways Online Reviews Can Affect Your Bottom Line.”
Don’t have time to monitor and manage your online reputation? Let our team do it for you. Contact us today to learn more about our reputation monitoring and management services!