How do you manage your customer reviews? Online review management is one of the keys to growing your reputation and driving more business, so it’s more important than you might think.
An overwhelming 89% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. It boils down to consumer trust, which, in today’s world, can make or break a business.
This not only makes it important to get more reviews, but to manage your reviews to take full advantage of their benefits.
Online review management might sound like hard work. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be – not when you utilize the best strategies and online review tools to manage your reviews.
What Is Online Review Management?
In a nutshell, online review management involves collecting reviews, responding to reviews, and marketing your reviews.
It’s a big part of online reputation management since reviews are now the most sought-after resource for businesses looking to build their online credibility and authority.
Unfortunately, even providing the best possible service you can isn’t enough to guarantee that customers will post reviews for your business.
This means that you need to request customer reviews.
On top of that, there are ways your business can leverage customer reviews – a part of online review management that’s essential for boosting engagement and building trust.
Overall, managing reviews is utilizing customer reviews to your advantage. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so it’s vital that your business utilizes reviews to increase consumer trust.
Why Managing Reviews Is Important
So why is online review management important for your business?
Put simply, online review management can:
- Increase consumer trust
- Generate customer loyalty
- Improve online reputation
- Improve local SEO
- Generate leads
- Increase sales
Needless to say, the benefits of online review management are well worth your time and effort.
The good thing about online review management is that it’s also a process that rewards itself.
By getting more reviews and managing those reviews, you can improve your reputation, increase business and, as a result, get more reviews… and the cycle continues.
3 Key Strategies For Online Review Management
Online review management doesn’t have to be hard work. We’ll prove it, as we’ve broken it down into three key strategies.
These are online review marketing, responding to customer reviews, and asking for more reviews with review requests, which we explain in detail below.
1. Market Your Reviews
Customers read reviews to find out if they can trust a business, which then determines whether or not they decide to make a purchase.
The keyword is trust. Reviews are social proof that your business delivers, which also makes them powerful marketing assets.
The thing is, review sites are not the only place customers have to read your reviews. So you should use marketing techniques to showcase your reviews to potential customers wherever possible.
This can involve posting reviews on social media, using reviews in local search ads, incorporating reviews in physical marketing materials (such as flyers), and using a reviews widget to embed reviews on your website.
All of these will improve your online visibility, increase leads, and drive sales.
A bonus here is that customer reviews are user-generated content, which makes them easier to integrate into your overall marketing strategy.
2. Respond To Your Reviews
89% of customers read replies to reviews as it can help customers get an insight to how a business treats its customers.
Friendly, appreciative review responses will therefore benefit your business – even if the review is negative.
And this is where your business can stand out from the competition, since as much as 75% of businesses don’t even respond to reviews.
What these businesses also miss out on is the fact that replying to Google reviews can improve local SEO.
So your business should aim to reply to as many customer reviews as possible, including positive reviews.
Still, responding for the sake of it isn’t enough – not if you want your responses to leave an impression on customers.
Review responses should be punctual, professional, and transparent. Mixed or negative reviews should also be acknowledged with a solution for the customer or a promise to improve.
3. Ask For Reviews From Your Customers
Providing the best products and services that you can still isn’t enough to guarantee reviews from your customers, unfortunately.
What you need to do is ask your customers for reviews, as well as use the best practices for your review requests to be effective.
This involves reaching out to customers punctually using appropriate channels, linking your review sites, and writing your review requests persuasively.
Email is ideal for requesting reviews as email addresses are relatively easy to collect. SMS is another channel worth taking advantage of as SMS has a 98% open rate.
Either way, it’s vital to include review site links in your requests. This makes the process easier for customers, therefore increasing the likelihood of receiving reviews.
What’s also important is that your message is persuasive – or else the customer won’t click the link. Be upfront with your request and express why their feedback is valued.
It Starts With Getting More Reviews
The above strategies will help, but it’s worth remembering that marketing reviews and responding to reviews are only possible if your business has reviews in the first place.
And, unfortunately, getting reviews is where most businesses struggle.
Coming up with a review marketing strategy isn’t just hard work; it’s time-consuming. Receiving reviews can also be inconsistent, meaning that the effort you put into requesting reviews might not always deliver the results you hope for.
The solution is to automate review requests.
Automation will not only take the hard work of requesting reviews out of the equation, but significantly increase the chance of your business receiving reviews consistently yet organically.
Manage Your Reviews With ReputationStacker
Managing online reviews, let alone a business, isn’t easy. But the thing is, online review management is essential in today’s world – at least if you want your business to keep up with the competition.
We understand this as it’s the reason we created ReputationStacker – a tool that automates review requests so businesses can get more reviews.
ReputationStacker automatically requests reviews from real customers using effective email and SMS review requests that link to the review sites of your choice.
It can even embed your reviews on your website thanks to its easy-to-use widget.
Ultimately, manually performing the above strategies can work, but why not automate it so you can focus on your business and your customers? With ReputationStacker, managing your online reputation is easier than ever.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.