In our digital world, it doesn’t take much for a company to put together a professional-looking website and claim they’re a legit business.
But online reviews are one thing that sets the cream of the crop apart from the rest. If you’re looking to improve your review rating and boost your online image, it’s essential that you prioritize online review management so that you never miss an opportunity to make a positive impression.
Here are our top online review management best practices that you can start using today to build trust and earn more business:
1. Ask for Customer Reviews
It’s nice to think that your best customers would be raving about you online. But surprisingly, online reviews don’t always happen organically. Reviews do occur, but in many cases, it’s because the idea of doing so was planted by the business owner.
According to Search Engine Land, seven out of 10 customers will be happy to leave a review if asked.
Get in the habit of asking your customers or users to leave their comments and a star rating so you can prove you’re the best around.
What’s more, doing so can help you cloud out any bad reviews or negative publicity you receive (because bad reviews can and will happen to anyone!)
2. Respond to Bad Reviews
No one wants to see a bad review pop up with their name on it, but you should use this opportunity to make your business stand out for all the right reasons.
First and foremost, address these negative reviews in a way that the public can see how you responded.
For example, if a customer leaves a bad rating on your Google My Business listing, write a response to that review that will be made public. It gives you a chance to provide more context to anyone reading the review and show how much you care about your business’s image.
Next, don’t write off a negative review as a bad thing. In some cases, it might be completely unfounded. But in other cases, it gives you direct insight into the customer’s mind and will allow you to learn and grow from it.
Take their words seriously so you can know exactly how to improve in the future.
3. Avoid Dishonest Review Practices
There’s a certain etiquette for getting online reviews, and it’s becoming easier to spot instances where business owners didn’t act with integrity.
For example, there are services you can pay for that promise to flood your platform with positive ratings and reviews, but you should understand there are consequences to this.
For starters, this is the equivalent of spamming and could have you banned from review platforms. And most people can recognize a fake review when they see one, which will only erode trust with your audience.
Also, as much as you loathe a negative review, don’t be tempted to delete it. Many users will likely re-post it and mention that their last review was deleted, which doesn’t bode well for your image.
Engaging in dishonest review practices can do more harm than good, so think twice before doing things like paying for good reviews or deleting negative reviews.
4. Hire an Online Review Management Service
The single most effective thing you can do for online review management is to hire a professional service that will monitor your online reputation and help you respond accordingly.
They do all the tracking on your behalf and can help you discover opportunities to improve your reputation before it spirals out of control.