How To Create An Effective Online Review Management Strategy
We are living in an era where online reviews are more influential and relevant than ever before. Having an effective review management workflow strategy is the best way to keep up with the reviews you have and manage the process in the best way possible.
Reviews are a big component of most buying decisions. Just think about the last time you went to buy a product without reading reviews of it. A recent study puts this into percentage points — 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. This has a huge impact on which service provider or store gets called first and it also has a huge impact on lead conversion rates on your website.
So, the goal in this era is to know how to harness the user-generated reviews to your advantage through a positive review management workflow. And that is what we are expanding on below.
How To Create An Effective Review Workflow
Consumers are busy, we all are. They are trying to make ends meet, run errands and to be there for the people close to them. So taking the time to leave a comment about a product or a service they used/hired is something that can be a challenge and less of a priority.
However, posting reviews on sites such as Google My Business (GMB) or Yelp is so easy with a specific workflow and it absolutely leads to more revenue. According to a Northwestern University study, 80% of reviews from customers originate from emails sent to them which is why you should always make it easy for your customers to post positive reviews. We have a solution for this but will get into that later.
The image below illustrates the online review process well.
One great example is to ask your customers to rate your product on a 5-star rating system. Even though not all of them may give you 5 stars, getting more reviews will help you build brand authority and position your business to receive the first call for a sales inquiry.
Dealing With Negative Reviews
If you receive a negative review, it’s not necessarily a deal killer. What is, is the either you get in an online argument or worse yet you don’t respond to it. Negative reviews need to have a professional response from you. Consumers are less concerned your negative review than they are about how you responded to it.
Every business has reviews like these and responding to them publicly shows how much you care about your customer’s experience. Make sure to address the root cause of the problem and maybe you consider providing an offer to them to make up for their poor experience. Always take the high road. How you respond to negative reviews can actually gain your more business. People want to do business with professionals.
Here’s how we recommend you respond to a negative review. . .
- Never be confrontational
- Address the root cause of the issue (listen to what your customers are saying!)
- Always respond and apologize
- Offer to make things right
- Say thank you.
- Respond quickly
Be Careful With Your Negative Reviews
In the past, Google said that they may suspend businesses in extreme cases that are seen to actively “gate” negative reviews. Even though this is something that is hard to prove, you should never filter out negative reviews or post fake positive ones on your own. Google may notice this and penalize you.
If you are looking for a great tool that can help you monitor when your business is mentioned online, here’s what to do in setting up Google alerts for your business
Even though it is not refined, this tool is free and presents a cost-effective method of keeping on top of what people are saying about your brand online. When setting up Google Alerts, you should not forget that you can refine your search terms by using:
- Quotation marks (“ ”): Specific words or phrases
- (Site:): To be notified of new content on specific sites of high value
- Minus (-): To filter out articles containing certain keywords
And if you want a more sophisticated tool for your reputation management, there are paid tools out there that you can consider about your brand especially in the field of social media.
Proactively managing your reviews is something that can help a business thrive and get more customers both online and in-store. No matter what your marketing efforts look like when getting new customers to your business or on your website (or how much you spend on advertising), customer reviews play a huge role in your customer’s decision-making process. So, make sure to focus on them with your full attention.
If you need further assistanct with your review workflow management process, visit this page.