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 businesses 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 a multitude of people having an unfortunate and incorrect view of a business. Fortunately, businesses don’t have to fall victim to the “curse” of bad reviews; there are actions that will allow the business to take control.
1. Monitor the Online Reviews and Mentions of a Business Across the Internet
Perhaps the most important rule of dealing with online reviews is to know what’s being said about the 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 the business.
As such, the online review sites that feature the business should be checked daily or if possible, multiple times per day. Setting up Google Alerts will send a notification email anytime the name of the business is mentioned online. And if there’s not enough time to check review sites in-house, hire a person or a service to do it.
Remember, when it comes to managing a 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 a business and its products or services, normally don’t take the time or even think about writing a review unless it is suggested they do so.
When a client expresses satisfaction, thank him or her and provide links to selected review sites. Do not say specifically “please put this review on XYZ,” but the client can be thanked and be told that the business would appreciate their additional comments on one of these review sites. Sending out an automated email to clients requesting feedback about their experience after they have purchased products or services is another way to get online reviews.
Be careful when requesting reviews. If the review sites suspect a business is soliciting reviews they will remove them, and give that business 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 in business. If someone happens to relate a less-than-favorable experience with the business, don’t panic. One or two bad reviews can actually work out favorably.
For starters, having a few negatives peppered in among the positives makes a business seem real, and doesn’t give off the vibe that it is actually testimonials being posted and used as reviews. Secondly, how the business responds to these reviews – hopefully with sincere apologies and problem solving responses – can make the business look good.
However, if the business starts accumulating more negative online reviews than positive ones, it may be time to look at business practices, and potentially into professional reputation management assistance.
4. Simplifying the Process with Tools and Apps
These days, there are many tools that give users the chance to relate their experiences about a business on a wide range of review sites via a quick click on their mobile device. 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 through review sites, plus third-party tools. There are many that will allow a business to access, view and even respond to reviews quickly and easily.
What tips do you have for managing online reviews? Share and join in the conversation!