Managing a Business’ Online Reputation Requires Ongoing Management
Ongoing Reputation Management Best Practices
Dedicate One Team Member to Your Company’s Reputation
We recommend that you dedicate one team member to focusing on your online reputation. This team member will be able to regularly send out review requests, respond to reviews – and challenge any public reviews that may not be yours. This is a crucial step in reputation management and can steadily increase your company’s online reputation.
Create a Procedure to Gather Customer Feedback
A successful company understands the value of customer feedback. An honest and sincere critique is a quantifiable measure of the quality of customer experience at your business, and the best way to collect feedback today is through online reviews.
Careful management of customer feedback – both positive and negative – allows your business to identify anybroken processes that need to be corrected as well as identifying who your promoters and detractors are. However, this is most effective when you are able to generate this valuable authentic feedback from your current customer base.
The most effective feedback generation programs combine people and technology. In fact, 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if:
- They’re asked by a company representative
- It is simple to do
It is critical that your team create a positive, professional routine of asking customers for a review – and then present engaging, easy-to-use media that makes it convenient for customers to produce authentic comments and stories which your team can later gather.
Train Your Team to Get Involved
Everyone in your company who interacts with customers should be trained on the importance of customer feedback. This training should include educating your team about how good and bad reviews affect the company’s trustworthiness, as well as the immediate and long-term impact your brand’s online reputation has on the company’s revenue. This training is so important that we offer customer experience coaching & training for all our clients at Reputation Sensei.
From the moment a customer walks into your business, until they leave, your team should ensure that thecustomer’s experience will result in positive responses when they are asked the following questions:
- Are their needs being met?
- Do they feel like they’ve received quality service?
- How could their experience at the company be improved?
- Would they be willing to write a review of their experience?
Offer Multiple Channels for Customers to Give Feedback
To ensure the feedback experience is as frictionless as possible, offer several convenient response channelsfor customers to rate and write about your company. The best opportunity to gather fresh feedback is while the customer is still on location, during or immediately after they’ve checked out, or as they schedule their next appointment.
Granted, most will not want to take the time to do it at that moment, but do ensure there are satisfaction survey cards available for those that do. Also, be sure to display clear signage reminding customers to provide their comments and suggestions at a more convenient time. Once customers leave your business, there are other ways to elicit feedback.
Methods We Recommend for Eliciting Feedback
- Email – Send a follow-up email with a link to a survey or a review-capturing site.
- Text message – Use an automated text which contains a survey or a live link to a review site. Also, be sure to add a custom text code or QR code on satisfaction survey
- Conversations – Train your team to follow up with a phone call after the visit to ensure the customer is happy. At the end of this call, the team member can ask the customer to write an online review.
- Marketing Collateral – A key to getting more reviews is training your team to hand out review cards at the completion of service. These review cards can include custom short text codes or QR codes to help simplify the review process.
Respond to Every Review
Once your customer writes a review, it is critical that the company responds – and responds promptly. Responding to gathered reviews and ratings demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and is a significant component in building trust online.
The social validation found in online reviews and star ratings helps consumers make decisions faster and more confidently. This is supported by these compelling statistics below, which support the value of cultivated and nurtured reviews:
- More than 90% of North American consumers read online reviews to learn about a business or practice.
- Of that 90%, most read at least 10 online reviews, while many read over 20.
- More than half of consumers say that a business’ or practice’s star rating is almost as important as positive reviews.
- 70% of consumers want to see a company responding to their online reviews.
Acknowledge Positive Reviews
Companies should always acknowledge positive reviews. Recognizing and thanking customers for positive feedback builds trust and confidence in your business. And, when you acknowledge the review, be sure to ask consumers to share their positive comments on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.This allows their social networks to see your business.
What to Do About Negative Reviews
Naturally, no one likes seeing negative reviews or low ratings. In a recent study, 60% of respondents said that negative reviews made them decide against a business. With that said, not having any negative reviews is actually undesirable, because more than a third of service-seekers assume online reviews are fake if they are all positive. So remember that all feedback is useful for building a trusted brand!
Research estimates that it takes 12 positive experience reports to neutralize the negative impression given by a single unresolved negative experience. However, statistics indicate that if a business responds and resolves an issue quickly, 95% of unhappy consumers return and may even withdraw their negative reviews.
Currently, 65% of people who tweet brands expect a response within two hours or less – and 20% want acknowledgement within 20 minutes. Ongoing management is required to meet the expectations of your customers.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews or Ratings
1. Resolve the Problem Privately
If someone leaves a bad review, reach out to resolve the situation, but do it directly with the customer rather than on a public forum, where your efforts could be misinterpreted.
A British university’s research revealed that people are more than twice as likely to forgive a company that apologizes than one that offers them cash, proving that apologies are both powerful and cost-effective. If yourstaff made a mistake, apologize for it, then do what you can to make it right.
Get Reputation Management Help
Ongoing management of your company’s online reputation may seem overwhelming, but Reputation Sensei can help. Our coaches can train your team to integrate the ongoing management process into their daily operations and customer interactions seamlessly. In addition, our team can assist your business with review responses, survey requests and more. We offer a full-service reputation management solution.
Frequently Asked Review Management Questions
First and foremost, have a process that begins with your team having conversations with your customers to provide a review for your business. Seven out of 10 customers will leave a review – if they are asked and the process is easy. Second, you need technology to help drive the process. After the visit, sending out a cadence of text message and email requests is critical.
If you are a local-based business, we recommend that Google be your number one focus. If you rely on attracting customers from a localized area, you must appear attractive in local search results in terms of rating, number of reviews and frequency of reviews.
Yes. Companies should respond to negative reviews quickly, ideally in less than 20 minutes but at least within a 2-hour window. When you do respond, it should be to the customer privately. Your response should start with a sincere apology, and then you should follow with how you can resolve the issue.