Any business owner will recognise the pride that comes from getting a good online review, and the annoyance and potential embarrassment that comes from seeing a negative review from a disgruntled customer published online for the world to see. Did you know though that over and above the marketing and reputation benefits of having great reviews, they are also an increasingly powerful sales tool? Research by BrightLocal last year concluded that:

  • 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 91% of consumers read online reviews – meaning just 9% of your customer base won’t factor a review into their purchase decision
  • 73% of shoppers say reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant – so you need to be proactive about obtaining and using them

With undeniable evidence in favour of garnering and managing online reviews, are you doing enough to manage your online reputation and get game-changing reviews working harder for your team? If the answer is no, read on to find out how to make changes today.

Reputation management tactic #1: Get in the habit of asking happy customers for reviews

Having a store of positive and current reviews means customers are more likely to consider your product or service when it comes to spending their hard earned cash. There’s also SEO and reputation benefits from making a point of requesting customer feedback – you’ll take up more spaces on the search results, be more visible and enjoy a much better online reputation if you have lots of great reviews to back up your main site presence.

Being in the habit of requesting an online review from your happy customers also helps to manage your reputation by drowning out the occasional poor review with a slew of more positive comments.

BrightLocal’s survey confirmed that 7 out of 10 shoppers would leave a review if asked to do so, meaning there’s no reason not to actively source positive feedback. You can request a review in person, by automated email or over the phone.

Reputation management tactic #2: Make it easy for shoppers to leave reviews

Making it easy for your customers to leave reviews is critical to good reputation management – you don’t want any barriers which may block a happy customer from sharing their positive experience with the wider web.

You could sign up to a common review platform such as TrustPilot or TripAdvisor as a first step.

Consider having a page on your site which links to those platforms or a form which invites customers to leave their feedback.

Consider placing links to your review sites in all email footers, regularly share and solicit reviews on social media and consider alternative review formats. While some customers may be happy to write a comment others might prefer to choose a star rating. Vary the format and offer multiple platforms to ensure you cater to all shopper preferences.

Reputation management tactic #3: Monitor for poor reviews

Monitoring for poor reviews is part and parcel of reputation management. You can use a free tool such as Google Alerts, set up to notify you when your company name is mentioned, or subscribe to a specialist media listening service.

Additionally, you’ll want to have a structure and process in place for dealing with negative reviews. Consider appointing one team member to the role, giving them guidelines as to how quickly reviews should be acknowledged, when to take the conversation offline and how to craft a public response.

Need more help with reputation management? Contact the team at Adrac today to learn more about our services.