Your potential customers straight away go to online reviews before considering your products and services. This gives online reviews considerable power to make or break your online reputation, ultimately your business.
Therefore, you need to begin with your online reputation management with effectively generating online reviews, followed by automating the process to make it convenient for your customers to do so and then tackle negative ones efficiently.
How to get online reviews?
Let’s start with the process of getting online reviews, sincere ones!
- Guide people to the places to leave review
If you want someone to enjoy your hospitality, he needed to be invited to your place with proper direction. Similarly, making a brand profile for your business on the online review sites (popular ones or related to your industry) like Yelp would give your customers a place to give their piece of mind on your brand and potential customers an opportunity to judge it on the basis of those reviews. These reviews are even show up in SERPs; imagine their worth when they are positive.
- Sold something? Just ask for their review!
Most people your customers (and you) included will not leave a review unless you politely ask them (or if they are negative!). Automating the process exceptionally helps; just drop an email after few days of the purchase (depending on your business / product / service) with a link to the brand profile on the (third-party) review website. You get a chance to engage with the customer as well as win honest feedback.
C.Incentivising the reviewers
If the automating and simplifying the review process is not helping as much as you thought, incentivising can. But that should not appear as if you are bribing in any way and it can also go against the terms and condition of the third-party review sites. So, check for such rules before employing this strategy to avoid getting penalized.
What could you do? One way is to offer discount or reward that boosts your sales additionally delighting your customers. Therefore, you would be technically incentivizing sales and not the reviews. Also increased sales will launch more review-asking emails to the new customers with high probability of most of them leaving a review with the info of discount as well.
How to deal with negative reviews?
Since you can’t please everyone, be ready to take care of negative reviews as well. You can follow these 3 simple tips to manage your online reputation and gradually convert negative customers into positive ones.
- Analyse the reviews
First rule don’t take the negative reviews personally and react. Try to see beyond the words: is it their feeling that is hurt or is there actually a problem with your product / service / staff as the customer trying to highlight.
If addressing the problem is possible do that as soon as possible else more similar bad reviews would cloud on your profile.
- Acknowledge their feedback
If you drop a swift acknowledgement of the receipt of the negative feedback on the review platform itself rather than in a private email, it greatly assuages the conscience of your customers. They see it a way to improve the relationship just make sure you do not start arguing. And other customers appreciate for the transparency you are trying to maintain.
- Ensure responses are quick and prompt
Not only must your acknowledgement be swift but your later responses to address the issue as well. Make your customer service department aware and alert on the same because it would cue that you take words of your customers seriously and want to improve just for them. Make sure all the platforms where you have a profile, be it on a review website or social media, are monitored continuously. You can also set up Google Alert of your product name and business to respond in time.