"Customers who share their negative experiences have given you a priceless gift: they’ve shown you where your problems lie."
~ Jay Baer, Marketing Expert
Online reviews are important! This is pretty cut and dry. Online reviews are the yardstick by which people decide whether your product is worth investing in or not.
In today’s digital world, online reviews are the new type of word-of-mouth that leads to better conversions, so you want to be sure that your customers are spreading happy stories about your product or service. As such, online reviews have the power to make or break a business. But, what if you could turn these reviews into a powerful marketing tool for your business?
In this blog post, we’ll explore some effective ways to manage your customer reviews, how to handle negative reviews, and how to get customers to leave you a review.
We’ll talk about all of these in-depth but first, you need to understand why online reviews matter.
Why do You need To Stay On Top Of Your Reviews?
Think for a minute about what would you do when you purchase something, let’s say a smartphone. Unless you’re an Apple fanatic or absolutely certain what brand you’re going to pick, you’ll probably conduct extensive research by going to e-commerce websites like amazon or Flipkart, and checking out all the smartphone brands, their prices, and how past customers feel about them. And only when you’re convinced that other people are happy about the product and they’ve had a good experience, then only you're going to purchase it.
That’s the fact. Customer reviews are so important these days that we decide if a company is reputable and trustworthy based on them alone. Reviews provide customers with the knowledge they need to make purchasing decisions, but without the headache of working with vendors and retailers.
Let’s dig into some interesting statistics related to online reviews:
- 93% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase.
- According to the Local Customer Review Survey, 46% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from their loved ones, 35% of consumers trust reviews as much as recommendations from social personalities, and 27% of consumers trust customer reviews as much as professional reviews.
- A whopping 50% of consumers trust online reviews more than discounts or coupons when making a purchase.
- A single positive review can increase business conversions by 10%, while 100 reviews can lead to a 37% increase in conversions.
- In 94% of cases, negative online reviews convince consumers to avoid a business.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that customer reviews have a significant impact on a business’s reputation, sales, and success. Now that you’re convinced online reviews do make a difference, let’s go ahead and see how you can manage them like a pro.
Effective Strategies For Managing Your Reviews
As the advancing technology continues to reshape how people shop, review services like Google My Business, TripAdvisor and Yelp are becoming increasingly important marketing tactics. Companies that can master digital reviews can use them to build their brand and earn new customers – but only if they know how to do it.
But how can you leverage online reviews and gain a competitive edge? Let’s explore.
1. Establish Your Business On Prominent Sites
The first and foremost step is to make sure you have listed your business on all the relevant review sites where people can look for your business.
The most trustworthy sites people turn to look for business reviews are Google with 87% of customers using it to research local businesses, followed by Yelp with 48%, and Facebook with 46% of customers.
“Interesting Fact: 63.6% of consumers say that they look up google reviews of businesses before visiting their location or website.”
Google or any other review platform, you must ensure that all your listings are accurate and up-to-date, and provide every single piece of information your customers may need to make their decision.
2. Monitor Your Reviews Regularly
Having a chock-full of customer reviews is only helpful if you manage them in an effective manner. In order to use your reviews to your full advantage, you should monitor them on a regular basis and make strategic decisions to make improvements.
But the question is how to keep track of all your reviews. The simple way to do it is by visiting the review platforms and checking what people are talking about your business manually.
However, it can be a time-consuming and tedious process if you have many reviews to deal with since you will need to address each of them.
To make this process smoother, you can make use of online reputation management tools as well. Rannkly is one such review monitoring tool that is trusted by many reputed brands like Raddisson and ITC. With this AI-driven software, the business can get a handle on its online reviews across multiple platforms on a centralized dashboard.
This way you can easily monitor what is being said about your business, get a sense of customers’ sentiments and make informed decisions to ensure that your customers are happy. The system promptly notifies you of any new reviews so you can take action in a timely manner.
3. Be responsive to all reviews
Whether the review is positive or negative, it’s imperative that you respond to all the reviews to show your customers that you take their feedback in all seriousness and are committed to providing a great customer experience.
You must be wondering how is it possible to respond to all the customers especially when you have gazillion reviews on multiple platforms.
Rannkly’s dashboard makes it seamless for businesses to collect and respond to feedback from various sources. This can be done in two ways:
- First is a Template-based reply which lets you choose any reply for a specific rating from the predefined templates and customize it to fit your needs.
You can also respond to reviews using Rannkly's AI, which will automatically generate customized replies based on the tone and sentiment of your customers. In this way, customers will receive a personalized experience while saving a lot of time and effort.
Using this tool, businesses will not only be able to manage their online reputation more effectively but also engage with their customers, ultimately increasing customer loyalty and revenue.
4. Address Negative Reviews
No matter how good your reviews are, that one bad review can stir a wave of hesitation in the minds of your prospective customers. A staggering 60% of consumers are inclined to use a business if they can see the business owner responds to negative reviews.
Bad online reviews are not uncommon but how you handle them is what makes you stand out from the rest. Replying to negative reviews gives you an opportunity to minimize the damage to your reputation and regain customers’ trust in your business.
How to handle negative reviews
Addressing negative reviews can be challenging and unpleasant for a business, but handling them in an expedient and professional manner is crucial. This can be done by:
- Taking time to comprehend the customer’s concerns and the specifics of their experience. This will help you to respond in a more effective and thoughtful way.
- Responding to your customers in a timely manner. 80% of people expect the business to respond to customer reviews within 2 weeks. A quick response shows customers that you value their opinion.
- Apologizing for customers’ negative experiences and expressing empathy towards their concerns to show that you understand their frustration.
- Providing a solution to their problems or a plan to address their concern. If you’re not sure about the solution or have a plan, ask the customer how they would like the problem to be solved and work on it.
- Lastly, follow up with customers to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome.
- A personalized response can bring back 51% of your customers who had negative experiences.
While responding, it’s important to make sure your tone is professional and polite whether the review you’re acknowledging is harsh or rude. Swallowing your pride and not getting defensive is the key here. Even if this does not make that customer happy, the prospective customer will notice your efforts.
5. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
Online reviews allow customers to tell their side of the story and how their experience has been with the business. This acts as proof of credibility for other prospective customers.
The more reviews you have the more credible you appear to people. 55% of customers would prefer to buy from a business that has a large number of reviews with an average rating rather than from a business with a small number of reviews and a 5-star rating.
The most common ways to ask people for a review are: In an email, in person, on a receipt or invoice, via SMS, and via social media. Using discounts and other incentives can also help in increasing the number of reviews and providing valuable feedback for your business.
You might be surprised to see how many people are willing to leave a review when prompted by the business, only if you make it easy for them to leave one. Surveys that are too long can put off people and lead them to quit before they finish them.
The best way to get them to do so is by minimizing the efforts with quick one or two questions and asking them for a short review. To save effort, consider using review management software through which you can easily streamline the whole process.
Take Advantage Of Your Customer Reviews In The Best Possible Way
Customer Reviews can be a great asset for your business. All you need is a strategy to turn them into a powerful tool. Here are some efficient ways to make the most out of them:
- One of the best ways to use your customer reviews is to make a social media content piece out of them. By creating an attractive post featuring your 5-star rating and best reviews, you can show your audience that you're a business worth their time and attention. Customer reviews have statistically proven to get much more engagement than any other posts.
- The most obvious place to feature your online reviews is the home page of your website. You can also create a testimonial page dedicated to showcasing your happy customers and their feedback to bring potential customers one step closer to buying your product.
Rannkly lets you add your reviews on your website in the form of attractive widgets to build trust and attract new customers ultimately enhancing your online reputation.
Manage online reviews correctly from the get-go
There’s no doubt that online reviews are a powerful marketing tool that allows businesses to rise above the competition. Online reviews are one of the best ways to get new customers, yet so many businesses either ignore them or don't know how to use them to their advantage.
Effectively managing and leveraging your online reviews can really improve your marketing game and provide a better customer experience. In this era with new technology emerging all the time, it's high time that businesses get up to speed on the best review management practices.
So make online reviews a key part of your marketing strategy and reap the benefits.