Have you ever considered how you can make the most of your customer reviews? Obtaining positive feedback from your audience is not only important but essential.
However, dealing with online reviews can be overwhelming as it requires expertise in SEO, online marketing, excellent customer service, significant time investment, and substantial effort.
But do not worry! The rewards are worth the effort. By taking advantage of valuable customer experience insights, you can build trust and social proof. We understand that your internet reputation is essential for you to achieve success.
Read further to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of managing customer reviews to enhance your online visibility and boost sales.
Why Reviews Are Important for Small Business
What makes customer reviews essential for online success? While it’s common knowledge that customers’ opinions hold significance, not everyone understands the reasons or how neglecting them can negatively impact a business.
To put it simply, positive reviews from customers can motivate other people to make a purchase. This is because they help establish trust in your brand or business. According to recent statistics, most online shoppers rely on ratings and feedback from other customers to make purchasing decisions.
In addition, customer reviews can enhance your credibility. In turn, it will lead you to increased website traffic and higher click-through rates. The most significant benefit, however, is that feedback from your audience can help you understand why your customers appreciate your product or service.
It is, therefore, essential to utilize an online customer service tool to manage reviews and simplify the process of leaving feedback on your website for customers.
So, make sure to track and respond to customer feedback. This will help you remain up-to-date, pertinent, and engaged with both current and potential customers.
Customer Reviews Statistics
Consider these stats to know more about the importance of customer reviews today:
Online reviews are trusted as much as personal recommendations by 91% of consumers. (BrightLocal)
Reviews for local businesses are read by 86% of consumers. (BrightLocal)
About 88% of consumers globally check reviews when they come across a local business. (Podium, 2021)
It was found that up to 62% of consumers would refuse to endorse brands that practice review censorship. (Trustpilot, 2020)
89% of consumers read local businesses’ responses to reviews. (BrightLocal)
86% of consumers are open to leaving reviews for businesses. (BrightLocal)
40% of consumers are discouraged from using a business after seeing negative reviews. (BrightLocal)
Around 59% of consumers rely on Google for reviews, making it the most popular channel for people to turn to for reviews. Bizrate Insights (2021)
In terms of online review statistics, about 54.7% of online shoppers read a minimum of four product reviews before buying, while roughly 44% read three or fewer reviews. Bizrate Insights (2021)
When reviews contain user-generated content like photos and videos, 65% of shoppers are more likely to trust the products that are being reviewed. PowerReviews (2019)
It was found that 63.6% of consumers check Google’s online reviews before they visit a business website. (ReviewTrackers)
Online reviews are a critical search ranking factor because they account for 15.44% (or 3 of 8 factors) of Google’s algorithm pie, specifically the review signals like quantity, diversity, and velocity. (Moz)
With that in mind, we’ve created a list of do’s and don’ts to guide you in taking advantage of the power of customer reviews, whether they are positive feedback or not.
The Dos: How to Manage Your Customer Reviews
Here are some things you need to do to improve your online presence and increase sales.
Do: Create and Claim Your Business Pages
Consider creating a profile on sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google if your company is not yet listed. This will not only give you access to features like page statistics, but it will also help improve your search results.
Claim your business by filling out the necessary information. Be sure all of the information provided is current and correct on your listings. By claiming your business, you do not leave any room for customers to leave negative reviews without having the ability to respond.
If there are already reviews on your business listings, it is important to respond to customer reviews, no matter how long ago they were posted. This demonstrates to customers that you value their feedback and care about addressing their concerns. Even if you don’t agree with the customer’s perspective, it’s essential to remain polite and professional in your response. This not only has the potential to win back dissatisfied customers, but it also sends a positive message to future customers that their opinions matter to your business.
Do: Monitor Your Mentions and Reviews
Do not know how to manage your online customer reviews? Several companies provide complimentary platforms and tools that will alert you when your brand is mentioned or when a new online review about your business is posted. You can sign up for notifications from Yelp and TripAdvisor or claim your business on Google. This will help you receive instant updates each time and address customer inquiries in real time. Joining the major review sites not only has business benefits, but it also enhances your website’s SEO. Online reviews are believed to comprise around 10% of the criteria used by search engines like Google to rank search results.
You can also take advantage of Google Alerts. This will help you set alerts and notifications so you can be notified when your company name appears in blogs, videos, news articles, or web pages. Google is continually enhancing its services and offers notifications in real time. This is incredibly beneficial when attempting to handle a crisis or simply respond to a review.
When it comes to online reviews, time is crucial. By responding to your customers in real time, you demonstrate that you are prompt and attentive to your customer service. Whenever a new review arrives, make sure to respond to it promptly, regardless of whether it is positive or negative.
Failing to keep track of your reviews means missing the chance to show gratitude to satisfied customers and resolve any negative experiences for unhappy customers, which presents an opportunity to turn a bad experience into a positive one.
While a 24-hour response time was once considered acceptable before, shoppers now demand a response within minutes. This trend is continuing to evolve, and the amount of time consumers expect a response is shrinking.
Do: Establish a Personal Connection
Make a personal connection with your customers and show that you are actively listening to their feedback to make use of the advantages of online reviews. This personal connection can also demonstrate that your business values the thoughts and opinions of its customers. Additionally, make sure to address the reviewer by their name in your response. This is because it will make the interaction feel more personal and less like a generic, automated response.
In your response, make sure to express your appreciation for their feedback, regardless of whether they provided positive or negative reviews. If the review is negative, accept the issue that was brought up and provide a solution or a way to make it right or make the customer feel special. This act will show your customers that you are willing to take responsibility for any mistakes. Your business will make a positive impression on them as an establishment that is dedicated to providing a positive customer experience. On the other hand, if the review is positive, take the time to thank the reviewer for their kind words and acknowledge the specific aspects of your business or service that they enjoyed. You can also provide discounts or freebies the next time they buy your products or services.
By establishing a personal connection with the reviewer, you can show that you are invested in the satisfaction of your customers. This can help to build trust and establish a positive reputation for your business. In turn, your business will achieve increased customer loyalty and improved customer relationships.
Do: Continue Disputes Privately
Do not argue online! When emotions run high, resist the urge to lash out with a barrage of insults and put someone in their place. This is not an appropriate way of handling situations online. The best thing to do is to contact them privately.
It is important to always present a professional and understanding demeanor when dealing with individuals who are dissatisfied with your service or product. Keep in mind that your online comments and responses should reflect your company’s brand and values. The customer’s interests should be your top priority.
It is not also advisable to be overly passive. If someone is making false accusations or defaming you, you can report them to the site administrator. If that does not produce any results, ask for contact information and give them a call. Present your side of the story in a clear and respectful manner.
If your business committed a mistake, take a moment to apologize for a customer’s negative experience. Express a willingness to improve, and this will show your client base that you care.
After the issue has been fully resolved, request the customer to reconsider their negative review. They can write a follow-up comment to their review, thanking you for resolving the matter and mentioning their satisfaction with the way it was handled. This way, future customers will see and learn that you are willing to ensure their satisfaction.
Do: Showcase Your Best Customer Reviews Examples
Your website’s homepage and most prominent pages should leave a strong and impressive impression. This is because an average user only spends 10-20 seconds on a webpage before deciding to exit, according to Nielsen Norman Group. So, make sure to capture the attention of your website’s visitors and keep them engaged enough for them to consider purchasing your service or product.
How to leave a positive impression? Entice your customers by displaying your best customer reviews examples! Showcasing some of your most outstanding reviews serves as a way to engage, welcome, and instill trust in your visitors. This can have a significant impact on sales conversions and maintaining audience attention.
The Don’ts: What Not To Do in Managing Your Customer Reviews
Here are some things you need to avoid when dealing with your customer reviews:
Don’t: Taking Your Time and Missing the Opportunity to Engage
Do not take too long to respond to reviews, especially negative ones. This is because you will miss the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings and provide resolutions.
Responding too long will also tarnish your online reputation. For instance, someone messages you online and waits ten minutes only to get a response that they need to call your business, and this call will take another 20-minute wait. This will cause your customer to leave a bad review based on their experience.
It is important to promptly address customer concerns and respond to online reviews. Establish a specific time each day or a weekly reminder to monitor and reply to reviews. You can use tools and apps to simplify the review management process.
Don’t: Handling Negative Customer Feedback with Indifference
Do not take the negative reviews personally! We understand that dealing with negative comments from customers can be challenging. However, you should take a new perspective that negative reviews can also offer valuable insights if approached appropriately.
Avoid defensive reactions. Ensure to exhibit your commitment to customer satisfaction by responding in a kind and understanding manner. Reply courteously, even if you are getting angry, and compose yourself before responding. Try to understand the customer’s perspective rather than solely focusing on your own.
Don’t: Fabricating Reviews
Fake reviews are easily recognizable, so you should avoid creating them! Identifying false reviews is simple as they typically originate from users who recently created their profile and have few previous reviews. Furthermore, creating fake reviews is unethical and not worthwhile. They also serve as a warning sign for consumers who are becoming increasingly aware of fake content. This will lead you to lose loyal customers and profits. Fake reviews can also result in being banned from some major review platforms, leading to a further loss of your business.
Regardless of the authenticity of customer reviews, the truth about their perception of your product will eventually become evident. Fabricating positive reviews will not be effective in concealing this truth.
Don’t: Making It Difficult for Your Customers to Leave Reviews
Bear in mind that 86% of customers are willing to provide reviews for companies, according to Search Engine Journal. A well-kept tactic for capitalizing on online reviews is to simplify the process of leaving feedback on your website. Research indicates that customers are less likely to leave a review if the process is overly complicated.
So, make sure that you have a clear picture of your customer’s interaction with your service and product. To facilitate your customers in sharing their positive feedback, you may incorporate a third-party feedback plugin on your product pages, sales emails, footers, and side menus of your website. This will make it easier for them to appreciate your product or service. You can also offer an incentive on their next purchase to entice your customers to leave honest reviews.
Furthermore, it’s important to find the right balance between not improperly requesting favorable reviews and making the process of leaving a review convenient for your customers.
Don’t: Not Following the Process
Establishing a process for responding to reviews is a crucial step in managing your online reputation. This is because managing reviews can be challenging, particularly if you receive negative feedback. By having a process in place, you can ensure that your responses are consistent, timely, and professional, regardless of the nature of the feedback. This can also help you avoid any miscommunications or misunderstandings.
When developing your process, consider factors such as who will be responsible for responding to reviews. You should also check the tone and language you want to use and any specific guidelines or policies you need to follow. Make sure to create a solid process to ensure that your business is represented in the best possible light. This way, your customers will feel heard and valued.
Your social media manager or the person who is responsible for responding to online reviews should possess certain attributes and skills, such as:
- Should have a writing style that is clear and concise to convey their message effectively
- Should be able to demonstrate friendliness and personalization in their communications, tailoring their responses to each individual and their specific situation
- Should display compassion and transparency when addressing any concerns or issues that may arise
- Should have the necessary authority to speak on behalf of the company and be able to take action to resolve any problems that may occur
- Should know when an issue needs to be referred to higher management to ensure that the best possible resolution is achieved
Start collecting reviews and properly manage them using these steps! Regardless of whether you are aiming to enhance your online reputation or looking to attract new and loyal consumers, one fact remains undeniable: reviews are crucial to proving your value to customers and prospects.
By implementing these straightforward steps, you can potentially achieve significant growth and expansion for your online business. Use positive or negative feedback to improve your overall offerings and the way you interact with prospects and customers. Continue managing and engaging with your audience to ensure the best possible outcomes for your business.
Let’s Get You Set Up
Need help managing your customer reviews? Proweaver, Inc. offers helpful insights and services to help you build value for prospects and create the best possible experience for all your customers.
Feel free to send us a message to learn more about our services.