How Can Brands & Businesses Manage Online Customer Reviews?

In the present digital era, online reviews matter a lot. They hold immense potential for driving significant traffic to your business website and storefront. They can help you build your brand image, make you aware of your customer experiences, and educate you on how to improve your products or services. In this scenario, it is essential to note that online customer reviews can both be a benefit and burden to brands and businesses of every other industry. As per various reports and surveys conducted, customers are willing to spend 31% more with businesses and brands that boast excellent reviews. Also, according to 94% of the customers, a negative online review convinces them to avoid a brand or business altogether. And then, some online reviews are completely fake and only threaten the credibility of a brand. So, how can brands and businesses manage positive, negative, and fake reviews? It is of the utmost importance for them to adopt a strategic approach for Customer Review Management. From monitoring reviews to responding to a customer online, brands and businesses can follow the practices given below for managing their online reviews.

 

1. Set Up Your Business Account on Review Platforms 

When it comes to providing feedback, review platforms and social media sites are some of the first places that customers usually visit. Hence, you must set up your business account on such platforms to give your customers a fair opportunity of sharing their experiences with your brand and its offerings. Also, if you have already claimed your business on the review sites, make sure that your business details and contact information are up-to-date at all times.

2. Decide Who Manages Your Online Reviews 

As a business owner, you need to decide well who will monitor, manage, and respond to your online customer reviews from your business account. Most sites and platforms have a policy of allowing only one response per customer review; therefore, you must always post quality and compelling responses.

Ideally, you should go ahead with choosing someone from your team who has a positive customer service attitude, an objective point of view that isn’t offensive, an amicable writing style, and the determination to resolve customer problems.

3. Monitor Your Business Mentions Well

Staying active by monitoring and responding to online customer reviews in real-time is another crucial aspect. If you respond well to such views, it shows that you are truly interested in what your customers feel about your brand, appreciate their positive reviews, and are available to improve their negative experiences, if any.

When we talk about online customer reviews, it is imperative to know when and where these reviews appear so you can respond to them as quickly as possible. Some online platforms where your customers can leave feedback about your brand or business include Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, and Angi (formerly known as Angie’s List). Also, there are some free brand monitoring platforms that you may want to check, like Google Alerts (it sets up alerts for the time your brand or business is mentioned in the search engine results), BoardReader (it searches, locates, and shows details from multiple web sources about what people are saying about your brand), and SocialMention (it aggregates user-generated content about your brand from a wide variety of social media platforms and search engines).

4. Do Respond to Positive Reviews

It is a good practice to respond well to positive reviews (4-5 stars) for your customers to know that you genuinely appreciate their compliments and are all ears for what they have to say. Furthermore, responding to online reviews on a public platform can help in encouraging other customers to leave positive feedback, which, in turn, would help in boosting your search engine rankings.

It is essential to note that your response to positive reviews should be short and sweet. What works best is simply introducing yourself and thanking the customer. You could also let the customers know that you look forward to doing business with them again.

5. Pay Due Attention Towards Responding to Negative Reviews

While nobody wants to receive negative feedback, they are bound to come every once in a while. The good part, in this case, is that it is indeed possible to manage negative reviews and even transform a negative experience into a positive one.

Whenever you respond to a negative review, you should try putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. In your response, you should first apologize for the negative experience they had to go through, sympathize with them, and move the conversation offline.

6. Ensure Never Posting Fake Reviews 

It is indeed unethical and a breach of site rules to post positive reviews about your brand or business or negative feedback about your competitors. It applies to brands and businesses and also to people who are not genuine customers. Additionally, posting fake reviews may be considered illegal; for instance, in some nations, brands and businesses opt for the legal way to challenge defamatory negative feedback or something they believe is false. Some of the review platforms and sites even filter out the reviews, which, according to them, aren’t genuine.