With online review management, businesses build their online reputation one online review at a time. The strategy covers monitoring online reviews across all platforms, resolving complaints, taking the step of replying, and reporting fakes.
Online review management ensures that new customers find recent feedback and positive reviews from other consumers. It yields businesses the positive results of online publicity. But what exactly does it involve? And what strategies and tools will help you successfully manage your online reviews? Find out below.
4 Aspects of Online Review Management
There are four major features of online review management. Each of them need to be present for your overall review management strategy to be successful. They are –
Both customers and search engine algorithms place value on how recent reviews are. And the best way to increase your review count and make it recent is by simply asking.
You can send out automated emails to your customers asking them to review your business. In this email, start by thanking them for patronizing your business and if they are regulars then thank them for their loyalty to your brand. Next, ask them to review and share their experience.
In this email, do not forget to include a link to your preferred review platform. This is an effective way to begin the cycle of your online review management.
If you are an owner of a physical shop you can hand out cards requesting a review to be left, perhaps with a barcode leading to your preferred review platform. These gestures will help to encourage customers to leave a review for you right then and there.
Without reputation management software, you will need to manually monitor review sites along with niche platforms. You might need to set up a Google alert, physically visit your main review platforms frequently, conduct searches on your brand online, or make use of a social listening tool to know what people are saying about your brand. All that can be a lot of work.
Using reputation management software would make your work easier, especially if you use many review platforms or you are running your business in different locations.
Responding to reviews
Responding to reviews is another important aspect of online review management. Most consumers in the digital age make use of online reviews when selecting a local business. About 89% of these consumers are likely to take note of the business's reply to reviews when deciding which one to pick.
So, responding to reviews is very important for businesses and can have a direct impact on the relevance of their reviews. This means that if a business has recent reviews and they do not reply to them, then they are as good as nonexistent.
Replies to reviews become even more important when it comes to negative reviews. It is wise for you to reply quickly to regain the trust consumers have in your brand. These replies are simple to the extent of just creating personalized templates thanking each customer for their feedback. Such replies should include the reviewer's name and a specific address to the points raised in their review.
Knowing how important reviews are, it is expected that you showcase five-star reviews on your website as this would improve your brand image and speak for you in marketing your brand to potential customers. This is possible as most review platforms have widgets that you can install or highlights to upload and showcase your recent reviews.
The widgets are a piece of code you'll copy and then paste on your site, preferably your homepage or service page, this will showcase your reviews. Some tools can automate this process of showcasing reviews on your site for potential customers.
You can also manually add your favorite reviews to your website but this is not a very efficient way of showcasing your reviews as you would need to set aside time to update them regularly.
Tips for Effective Online Review Management
Now, with the knowledge of what online review management involves, it is time to start managing online reviews. What tips would help?
You will want to reply to every review individually, ensuring to refer to something a user said so they know you care.
To hasten the replying process, you can make a document with replies to typical reviews which you can upload with little tweaking. However, avoid copying and pasting the same reply so that reviewers do not feel like they have engaged with a bot.
When replying to reviews, especially when they contain tricky questions, consult your legal team. Also do this while drawing up reply templates, particularly for reviews or inquiries that touch discrimination done by staff or payment disputes.
When looking through reviews and ensuring to reply all, remember that there must be a few two or even one-star reviews but this does not mean you should not reply to them.
If a review hurts you or makes you upset, do not reply until you are calm and collected, in a better position to respond with a clear head and give a professional reply.
Have an automated process in place to generate reviews, consistently monitor these reviews, respond to reviews regularly, and market your products by showcasing your reviews.
Let's consider some tools that can help.
5 Top Online Review Management Tools
Now knowing the basics of online review management, you probably want to embark on it. The following are some online review management applications:
This is a public platform that has won the trust of millions of customers. On Trustpilot, customers can leave reviews for businesses and the businesses can give replies to honest reviews. It is a free platform available to both customers and businesses.
This online review management software is multichannel, meaning that it collects reviews from across many platforms such as Facebook, Google, and 200+ sites enabling you to access all reviews in one workspace. Birdeye sends out AI-generated responses to reviews and isolates the negative ones leaving them to team members to take corrective action.
Broadly is an online review management software that helps in collecting and managing reviews to help build a good reputation which would make you stand out in your niche. It is an all-in-one and easy-to-use app that helps businesses become easily available to customers.
Grade.us is another online review management software that helps you generate, monitor, and showcase reviews on sites that matter to your business. It positions itself as a management platform specifically for marketing agencies. Thus, it takes the workload off agencies seeking to help small businesses with their review management.
For retail businesses, SpotOn provides online review management as one of its solutions. And this helps in generally maintaining a good online reputation for your business in a way that eliminates both the high cost of hiring an agency and the time-consuming efforts of handling it all yourself. They offer a dashboard with marketing automation tools that help you maximize your reach.
This article has highlighted all the important things to know about online review management. Since online review management is crucial to succeeding online, the major aspects of review management (generating, monitoring, replying, and showcasing) should not be neglected. And by following the review management tips outlined above, with the help of a review management software, you can effectively maintain a positive reputation online. This way, as existing customers are sure to stick around, you are more likely to attract new ones.