As a small business owner, online reviews really matter. When a potential customer looks up your business, oftentimes the first thing they will notice is your star rating on Google or Facebook.
In fact, online reviews have become so important that 9 out of 10 people report that they read online reviews before purchasing a product or service. People want to know what their peers think of the product or service before they invest in it and reviews are a great way to get that information.
Unfortunately, for all the good and glowing reviews you will get from happy customers, the negative, and even fake reviews, are unavoidable. While it’s tempting to delete or censor those reviews, 60% of customers say that they will actively avoid a business that hides any reviews.
This guide will help you manage online reviews to highlight the positive ones and minimize the damage of any negative or fake reviews.
How to Manage Good Reviews
You got a positive review! That’s great! While the review will help drive positive engagements and attention, there are ways to make the good review stretch even further.
- Use it in a social media post: Take that positive review and turn it into a social media post. Add an eye-catching image and don’t forget to make sure you link to your website.
- Add a reviews tab on your website: People like to easily access reviews. Add a tab on your website for customer testimonials and reviews. Make sure to refresh it quarterly.
- Incorporate reviews into your paid ads: Use those positive reviews and testimonials as powerful ads. Adding review content to your ads helps strengthen your ad messaging and compels more people to look at your product or service.
How to Earn More Positive Reviews
The steadier the flow of positive reviews, the better. Encourage your customers to review products or services but reach back out to them and ask them to share their experiences. Give them a little incentive like a discount code or free shipping.
How to Manage Negative Reviews
The worst thing you can do with a negative review is hide it. The second worst thing you can do is ignore it.
People notice when a business is actively engaging with any negative reviews on their products or services. Seeing a company try to make it right or fully explain what happened can give potential customers peace of mind that they are investing in a business that cares about their services and/or products.
Here are the three things you should do when responding to negative reviews:
- Apologize first, empathize second and above all, own the issue from the beginning. Most customer complaints can be solved with a simple, “I am so sorry you had that experience; how can we help make it better?” The more you can humanize yourself, the better the outcome.
- Strike the right balance between professional and conversational. You want your conversation to be courteous and friendly but with an air of authority to make the customer feel like they are being treated like an individual and helped by a professional.
- Offer a practical resolution to the issue and thank the customer for their negative feedback.
How to Manage Fake Reviews
Sometimes more frustrating than negative reviews are fake reviews. They can be just as damaging as negative feedback but are thankfully easy to spot so you can address them and even get them removed from the platform.
Fake reviews typically have a few things in common:
- They lack specific details
- They are heavier on verbs than nouns
- They use lots of first person language to sound more sincere
- They usually are accompanied by either one or five star reviews
- The reviewer has a track record of leaving lots of reviews in a variety of different tones across the platform
Each platform has its own process for reporting fake reviews. They can sometimes be tedious but they are well worth the effort to get them removed.
Managing reviews can be tricky but handling them with the proper care will pay dividends. Have more questions about all things digital marketing and web? The experts at Simply Built Sites can help!