Review management can be difficult.
Hundreds of potential sites for your happy or unhappy customers to voice their thoughts, new online reviews going live every week, and activity prioritization makes it hard for many businesses to effectively manage their online reputation.
The problem is, 92% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. So those that fail to prioritize for create a plan of attack, risk falling behind competition in regards to local SEO and brand trust. What’s more, is you risk missing out on valuable information about your customers, their needs, and what their opinions are about your business.
With all of this in mind, we’ve created a list of 10 tips to help propel your online review management strategy to the next level.
1. Know the online review sites your customers use
You’re trying to effectively perform review management, so understand the review sites your customers use and your life will become much easier. Be sure to lay a foundation of the most popular review sites and build from there.
2. Bake response templates into your review management strategy
Positive reviews are the goal. But, negative reviews do happen. Be sure to create guidelines for responding to both positive and negative reviews. You don’t want to respond to every review with the exact same wording, but you do want to create a template to help guide the tone, goal, and positioning of the response.
3. Take note of your customers’ experiences
One major benefit, that is often overlooked, is the ability to understand your customers’ needs, wants, and opinions. It also allows your business an opportunity to see areas of the business that are performing well or not so well and give you actionable insights to make adjustments. If approached correctly, you can effectively design and understand your customer journey.
4. Ensure you have a well-established presence on Google
With nearly 100 billion average monthly searches on Google alone, the search engine serves as a review platform that can help drive large volumes of potential customers to your business. Not only is your exposure very high on Google, but your businesses local SEO can be impacted and even help propel you into Google’s desirable Map Pack.
5. Do NOT buy online reviews
Buying online reviews on sites like Yelp, or Google, or Facebook, may seem desirable. But, the long-lasting impacts of doing this and being penalized for the act, largely outweighs the short term impact of another positive review. Notice, I said “short-term”. That’s because many consumers can spot a fake review from a mile away and review sites will often take them down then penalize you.
6. Use an online review management platform
Much of these tasks can be set to autopilot by using an effective online review management platform like Podium. A proper system will help you manage existing and new reviews, know when new reviews go live, and provide an easy way for your customers to leave you reviews on sites that matter most to you.