In today’s e-commerce driven world, building and maintaining a strong online reputation is nothing less than essential. Choosing not to take a proactive approach can backfire, as savvy consumers will share their experiences of your business regardless of whether or not you’ve asked them to.
The thought of taking control of your reviews can be daunting. Rather than thinking of it as a potential for bad publicity, embrace it as an opportunity to gather valuable intel about how your services are truly being received – and a chance for potential customers to hear good things from their peers.
Here’s our easy guide to begin, maintain and ace your online reputation management, no matter how big or small your business.
To get started, you’ll need to outline a process to begin requesting reviews from your clients. Not all of your customers will respond to the same format so, consider building in a few options such as via email, with a tablet at the point of sale or even face-to-face.
Next, select the most appropriate review platforms for your business. These could be generic, such as TrustPilot, or industry specific such as TripAdvisor. Many of these platforms will allow you to automate the process of requesting reviews, in addition to providing widgets or plug ins to display on your site.
Assign someone to be in charge of your online review management. This person should ensure that review requests are being dispatched in a timely manner, that a schedule is in place to prompt customers after a certain period if they haven’t reviewed and to monitor reviews left across multiple review sites. Keep in mind that your customers may choose to review your business on a site that you haven’t opted in to so, you’ll also need to monitor other review platforms on a regular basis.
A key difference between having an OK strategy and a stellar reputation management strategy in place revolves around your response as a business.
The latest research suggests that 96% of local consumers read the responses that businesses give to their online reviews. While as a business owner you may worry that a negative review will sink your chances of winning new business, that isn’t actually the case. In addition to many consumers expecting to see a mix of star ratings, responding to a negative review can actually turn it into more of a positive. 70% of consumers say that they are more likely to use a business that has responded to negative reviews.
Of course, how you reply is very important. A fast response is essential (this is also a ranking factor so being on the ball can give your local search presence a boost with very little effort) but the tone of your response matters, too. Your response should be professional of course, acknowledge the feedback and outline any measures taken in response to that experience. You may wish to invite the reviewer to get in touch to talk more about their experience offline. This shows that you value feedback and gives you a chance to put things right for that customer.
Need more help? Reach out to our team today.