Requesting feedback and responding to reviews can help businesses protect and strengthen their reputation.
If you’ve received an unflattering or damaging review on your business, or you’re struggling to keep pace with customer questions and concerns from multiple online review platforms, do not panic. Many business owners don’t realize that they have options when it comes to managing their reviews, and there are tools available that are designed to make it an easy and seamless part of your workflow.
What is Reputation Management?
First, it’s important to understand what reputation management is and isn’t. Online reputation management does NOT mean that your business can, or should, actively influence or change their ratings online. Any attempt to add bias to online ratings, even through actions like incentivizing customers to leave a review or trying to delete negative reviews, only serve to erode customer confidence in the long run. Reviews and ratings, and all the benefits they bring your business, are only as good as their subjectivity. If there’s no consumer trust, there are no meaningful reviews, and that’s bad news for your business.
What good reputation management actually looks like is monitoring all of the reviews and ratings coming in for your business from a wide variety of sources, from Yelp to Google to Twitter and Facebook, and to respond quickly and appropriately. It is impractical (and, depending on the size of your customer base and your team, maybe impossible) to monitor each of these review streams individually. Instead, a great option for many businesses is to invest in an online reputation management solution, such as the one that River Avenue Digital offers.
The Business Benefits of Online Reviews
The availability of open, honest reviews can actually improve a business’s bottom line, even beyond the obvious benefit of cost-free endorsements from your customer pool’s peers. Online reviews can actually be leveraged to improve your local SEO. By publishing your reviews on your website and properly tagging them with Schema.org markup, these first-party reviews display star ratings in a business’s organic search results.
Review Management as Customer Retention
It typically costs more money to obtain a new client than to retain an existing one, and yet businesses tend to spend way more on marketing than on customer service. Managing your online reviews is indeed an important cornerstone of customer service, because many complaints and questions will never come into your stores or phone lines—they are instead left in online reviews and posts on your company’s social pages. And remember, no answer to a customer question is actually an answer—it sends the message that you don’t care about your customers or their feedback.
Reputation Management Solutions Can Increase Your Bottom Line
By helping you to automatically and seamlessly manage reviews and field questions and complaints from a large stream of sources, a reputation management system can increase your customer retention and attract new business. After all, a customer is likely to walk away from a business riddled with poor online reviews and unanswered questions, but a business that responds to complaints with the offer to make it right and promptly answers questions is a much different story.
Talk to us today at River Avenue Digital to learn more about how review management can help your business.