Before buying a product, paying for a service, or hiring a professional, most people will check reviews from previous customers and decide based on what they read. Good reviews, then, equal good business. For this reason, feedback from your customers is essential to your success.
But how can you encourage people to leave reviews? And what should you do with those reviews once you do receive them? These are essential questions because successfully managing customer reviews can be very beneficial for your business.
Why Is Managing Customer Reviews Important?
By some estimates, more than 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Reviews are seen as honest opinions shared by people who already have experience with your business; potential customers learn what to expect this way.
If your reviews are mostly positive, they’ll typically lead to more sales. If they’re mostly negative, you’ll likely have a more difficult time growing your business. And if you don’t have many reviews, that will seem suspicious.
Furthermore, the way you respond to reviews reveals a lot about your business. Responding the right way shows that you care about your customers and what they have to say. This can make a huge difference for buyers on the fence and sway them to choose you over your competitors. That is why you need to manage your reviews well – they make a massive difference for potential customers.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Successfully Managing Customer Reviews
So what can you do to manage your reviews? From encouraging customers to share their opinions to avoid the worst mistakes when replying, here’s what you need to know:
Ask Customers For Feedback
If you want to receive reviews, tell your customers that. Many of them doubt their opinions matter to the business, so explicitly asking for their feedback can inspire them to actually share it. Furthermore, many people simply forget to review a product or service in the chaos of everyday life.
Sending a follow-up email after they’ve made a purchase will remind them to come back to your website and rate your business. In most cases, simply asking for reviews will produce great results.
Make It Easy For Customers To Review Your Business Across Multiple Platforms
Very few people will go out of their way to leave a review. So if you want to encourage more reviews, you should make the process of leaving one quick and easy. Start by creating a review page on your website and include the link to it on your homepage as well as in your emails. You can also include a review field at the bottom of different product or service pages.
Then, create or claim profiles on review websites like Yelp and FourSquare. Finally, be active on social media. That way, your customers have plenty of options and can leave reviews on websites that they themselves use.
Set Up Notifications
When you have multiple profiles to manage, it can be hard to keep track of all your reviews. So it’s best to set up notifications everywhere you can; that way, you’ll know when you get a new review. You can also use Google to track your mentions – you’ll be able to find reviews even on websites that you don’t actively use.
One of the best ways for small businesses to compete is to treat their customers well and show they care. Big companies and corporations often don’t have the time to interact with every single customer they get, but you do, and this will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
A big part of these interactions is responding to as many reviews as you can. Even just saying thank you is enough to show that you’re reading your reviews and that they matter to you.
Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews
Replying to satisfied customers is easy. But what should you do when you get a negative review? It can be tempting to ignore those and hope nobody will see them if you don’t pay them any attention.
But this would be a mistake – you need to deal with the comments of unhappy customers. Apologize to them and try to make their experience better.
Not only might you change their mind, but you’ll show everyone that you’re willing to go the extra mile for your customer and can learn from your mistakes. This can make a big difference for potential customers who are worried about what will happen if things go wrong.
Don’t Try To Manipulate Your Ratings
It’s incredibly easy for people to spot a business that deletes negative reviews or posts fake positive reviews to artificially increase its star ratings. Don’t do that – even if you have the absolute best intentions, it’ll look a lot worse than just having a few negative reviews you’ve already addressed.
If the situation is truly dire, then the best way to combat negative reviews is to get more positive ones. Try doing some market research to find out what your customers want and adjust your strategies accordingly. Giving your customers what they want will make them happy, and more satisfied customers mean more positive reviews.
Other Tips For Managing Customer Reviews
When managing customer reviews, it’s essential to adopt the right approach. Don’t take criticism personally and let your emotions cloud your judgment. Instead, always keep it professional and follow site rules. Keep canned responses to a minimum; respond to each review individually to keep things personal.
The right tone of voice can make a huge difference: be friendly, grateful, and humble! Finally, remember that you can’t do it alone. As you get more reviews, staying on top of them gets more challenging. So delegate to your employees – just make sure everyone gets training in customer service first.
You may even need to use tools to automate review site management. Plugins other software can help you sift through spam and find relevant comments more easily. However, avoid bots that post responses – they’re usually more trouble than they’re worth.