Managing Online Reviews Effectively

November 25, 2014 Kathy Watts permalink

ChecklistOnline Reviews are important. Studies show that a majority of today’s consumers look at online reviews and use them as a tool when deciding what company or service to use. Negative reviews are especially scrutinized and can have more of an influence on whether or not a consumer chooses you. The good reviews showcase how great your business, staff, and services are. But the bad ones can also be really useful, especially if you handle them appropriately and effectively. I know when I am shopping around for a new business, I usually look at both good and bad reviews. And I usually find that looking at the bad reviews, and how the business responds to those (or if they even respond at all), can be the most telling about your business practices and customer service. A business that is responsive to their online reviews (both good and bad) and who appropriately handles the negative ones is a business that will win my patronage.

Here are a few tips for managing your reviews effectively:

Make it Easy for Your Clients to Post and Read Reviews
Make the reviews section or button on your website easy to find. And make sure you promote online reviews when your clients visit you as well, by providing them with the link to your reviews page and asking them to please review their visit.

Listen to Your Clients
Pay attention to what your clients say in reviews, and then take that information and use it to improve your business. Your clients are your best source of information on how you are doing as a company. So really listen to what they have to say, both good and bad. Then take that information and use it to shape your customer service and business practices going forward. Clients who really feel like their opinion matters will be loyal clients for years to come.

Be Responsive
Designate a person to manage reviews and make sure you are responsive in a timely fashion and appropriate in your responses. Be professional and polite even if the unhappy client is not. It is also a good idea to take the conversation with a negative reviewer private initially. Email or contact them privately to address the situation and then post a response online once you have resolved the situation. We’ve all seen those negative reviews that turn into a back and forth volley of snarkiness and unprofessional behavior on both sides. Nobody wants that as an online review or as the end result of a complaint. No client is more loyal than an unhappy one that you have turned around.

By effectively managing your reviews online, you will help grow your reputation and also provide potential customers with valuable information about your business and the quality of the services you provide. By ensuring that you have a good online reputation as a business, you are ensuring that your business will continue to grow.

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