The Impact of Online Business Reviews
Online reviews have supplanted word-of-mouth marketing in a revolutionary way. Every year, more people flock to popular social and review platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google to both praise and criticize local businesses.
However, for many companies, keeping up with the constant stream of customer feedback is a major time-suck, and understanding how to respond appropriately is a source of confusion and frustration.
Why People Trust Online Reviews
This means that one negative review can do serious damage to a business’s reputation, as it sits waiting to dissuade anyone who’s researching the company. On the flip side, positive reviews provide potential customers with reassurance that they’re making the right decision, and encourage customer conversion.
Review monitoring alerts you to new reviews posted about your business on any of the many social and review platforms across the internet.
Business reviews are coming in hot—more than 26,000 reviews hit Yelp alone every single minute of every single day. Monitoring all the feedback that’s being generated online is a major challenge for local businesses, and they need help to keep up.
Businesses that don’t monitor customer feedback may miss negative feedback from their customers, and they’ll miss the marketing opportunities that responding to positive reviews presents.
Having a solution that helps you monitor and respond to every review is essential because prospects are reading both reviews from customers AND the company response.
Responding to Reviews
Review response is an integral part of overall reputation management. Review management by responding to online reviews is not only a critical component in building a positive online presence, but also in encouraging other consumers to leave their feedback and engage with your business. Learn more about how to respond to positive and negative reviews by clicking on the provided link.
Why Respond to Positive Reviews?
A positive review is also a good marketing opportunity and one that shouldn’t be passed up. Beyond thanking the reviewer for their time and business, a review response is the perfect time to highlight the good qualities of the business and to spread the good word.
Why Respond to Negative Reviews?
A scathing review of your client’s business is more than just a digital comment card; it’s like a sign taped in their store window telling customers “beware of bad business.” Responding reasonably demonstrates that the business cares about the issue and it’s an opportunity to present their side of the story.
How To Respond To Reviews
Businesses that take the time to respond to their customers can really set themselves apart from the competition.
With Vendasta’s solutions, your local business clients can easily respond to online reviews and build trust, which translates into higher loyalty and increased sales.
Gathering Customer Feedback
Getting more positive reviews is a big part of cultivating a strong online presence, and should be a primary the goal for every local business. Each major platform has different rules regarding the collection of customer feedback. Many platforms have specific policies on review solicitation in particular.
Yelp does not tolerate businesses asking customers for reviews and suggests that “your best bet to get high quality and unbiased reviews about your business is to provide a memorable and amazing customer experience” (read more)
Google doesn’t prohibit asking for reviews, but their guidelines request that businesses “Don’t discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.” (read more)
An understanding of each platform’s review management best practices, and concepts like review-gating, will help you get the most out of them while also maximizing customer experience.
How Review Monitoring and Management Works
Monitoring your reputation online and responding to the full spectrum of customer sentiment is a huge customer service opportunity for the business, and an opportunity for you to demonstrate your value as the reputation management provider.
- Find the reviews and comments that businesses don’t know exist
- Improve customer service and public image with punctual responses
- Take negative feedback as points for business improvement
- Offer dissatisfied customers apologies and incentives to win them back
- Publish positive reviews in marketing and social media to win new customers
Review Monitoring and Management Resources
Top 10 Review Websites
White Hat Review Management
Ultimate Guide to Online Reviews
Vendasta’s Reputation Solutions
Vendasta’s white-labeled reputation management software allows your agency or media company to monitor and manage every aspect of a local business’ online reputation – including reviews, listings, and mentions.
Give your clients insight into what the online community is saying about them—monitor customer reviews, and get notifications whenever their business is mentioned on the web.