It’s no secret that maintaining positive online reviews is important for good business, with 95 percent of customers reporting that they regularly read reviews before making a purchase. The difficult part is figuring out how to manage those reviews so that they reflect positively on your business and its offerings.
Tips For Effective Online Review Management
Before telling your customer service staff to simply “make customers happy,” it’s a good idea to formulate a structured approach to online customer reviews. Your strategy should reflect the values of the company and provide a guide for tracking reviews and interacting with customers.
Although your response to each online review will be different in order to meet each customer’s individual needs, it’s a good idea to have a general strategy in place. Here are some important elements to implement into your strategy.
When reading your customer’s comments, be sure to pay close attention to the exact words they use and the feelings they’re trying to communicate. It can be easy to misunderstand a customer’s intent and respond inappropriately when skimming over reviews quickly.
You’ll also want to pay attention to highly rated competitors in your industry, checking out their customer review section and seeing how they respond to customers. This may provide you with valuable insight and inspiration as you approach your own customers.
While it may feel like a high expectation, one in five consumers expects to receive a response to their review within 24 hours. It won’t make or break your business if you take a couple days to get back to a customer, but this data shows that sooner is better than later.
Rapid response time communicates that you’re a responsible business owner that cares about your customers. It also translates to profitability, as businesses that tend to respond to a quarter or more of their reviews earn 35 percent more revenue.
It’s not enough to simply read reviews and reply with empty promises. If you’re receiving several reviews that suggest dissatisfaction in a specific area of your business, it could point toward a chronic problem that needs fixing. Are you finding that several customers complain about the same employee’s attitude? It might be time for a conversation.
If you aren’t receiving enough reviews, you may want to be proactive by emailing recent customers with a request that they review their experience. Customers are 36 percent more likely to leave a review after a great experience when prompted over email.
For more valuable online review statistics to guide your business’ strategy, check out Chattermill’s visual below.