This modern, technological world we live in, a world where online reviews can be published in a second is a bit of a double-edged sword. In one regard, it’s a wonderful thing. It enables us to share and view information instantly, and it gives your business a chance to appeal to a much wider audience than ever before.
4 Tips for Managing Online Reviews
On the other hand, however, it can spread all information, especially negative information, in the blink of an eye. So, one person’s bad experience could lead to an unfortunate and incorrect view of your business by a multitude of people. Fortunately, you don’t have to fall victim to the “curse” of bad reviews; there are things you can do to take back control.
1. Monitor the Online Reviews and Mentions of Your Business Across the Internet
Perhaps the most important rule of dealing with online reviews is to know what’s being said about your business. Reviews can be written and published in under a minute and the longer they stay online without comment or intervention, the longer they are able to impact the public’s view of your business.
As such, you should check online review sites that feature your business daily or, if you can, multiple times per day. You can also set up Google Alerts, which will send you an email anytime your business’s name is mentioned online. And if you don’t personally have the time to check review sites, hire a person or a service to do it for you.
Remember, when it comes to managing your business and its online reputation, knowledge is power!
2. The Right Way to Request Online Reviews
A lot of people, regardless of how satisfied they are with your business and its products or services, normally don’t take the time or think about writing a review unless you suggest it.
When a client expresses satisfaction, thank him or her and provide links to your review sites. You can’t specifically say “please put this review on XYZ”, but you can thank them and say we would appreciate your additional comments on one of our review sites. Sending an automated email out to clients after they have purchased your products or services requesting feedback about their experience is another way to get online reviews.
You need to be careful when requesting reviews. If the review sites suspect you are soliciting reviews they will remove them and give you a digital hand slap.
3. Be Proactive in Responding to Online Reviews
Getting a negative review is never fun, but it’s part of being a business owner. If someone happens to relate a less-than-favorable experience with your business, don’t panic. One or two bad reviews can work in your favor.
For starters, having a few negatives peppered in among the positives makes your business seem real and doesn’t give off the vibe that you’re actually posting testimonials and using them as reviews. Secondly, how you respond to these reviews- hopefully with sincere apologies and problem solving responses can make your business look good.
However, if you start accumulating more negative online reviews than positive ones, it may be time to look at your business practices and potentially into professional reputation management assistance.
4. Simplifying the Process with Tools and Apps
These days, there are a lot of tools that give users the chance to relate their experiences about your business via a quick click on their mobile device on a wide range of review sites. Keeping up with all of these sites can seem next to impossible at times.
Make sure to take advantage of the tools and apps available to you through review sites and third-party tools. There are many that will allow you to access, view and even respond to reviews quickly and easily.
What tips do you have for managing your online reviews? Share and join in the conversation!