While managing your business can be challenging at times, failing to manage your online reputation and reviews only makes it that much more difficult to attract customers and sales.
With a little guidance, you can get more from your online reviews. Rather than talking about what you should do, today we’ll focus on what you should not do.
1. Not asking for reviews
Many miss this one crucial step, thinking bad things might happen if they go down that path.
Just do it. If you’re confident in the product or service you provide, you’ve probably earned them and should start asking. Most that are content say they’re willing to do so. Note that it can require a reminder or two to make it happen at times.
2. Not asking for reviews soon enough
Another common misstep that can occur. You meant to do it, became sidetracked or busy, and when you did finally send the request or invite for a review, nothing but crickets. It happens, too much time passed and what could have been a great review has gone cold as a lead.
Submit a review request as soon as possible, once the sale is complete.
3. Not monitoring
If you aren’t monitoring your reviews, you aren’t able to respond, engage, alleviate concerns, solve problems or issues, or just be helpful. It goes a long way. Also, if you aren’t monitoring, then you probably don’t know whether your star rating averages around 5 stars, 3.5 or one.
Keep an eye on what’s being said about your company every day or two.
4. Not responding
When you respond to online reviews, consumers notice. Even better when it’s by management or the owner. It’s said that 78% of consumers like seeing management respond to online reviews, and it makes them believe that the business cares more about them.
Take the time to monitor, and respond. Most consumers expect a response within a few days.
5. Not offering to resolve conflicts
When there’s an issue or concerned that is voiced through an online review, this is an opportunity to try to help that customer, before their gone. It also helps that when you respond to reviews, your visibility by others is noted, and sometimes your efforts help to win new customers that were deciding whether to do business with you simply by how you handled disputes or issues.
Monitor, respond, and resolve where required. Know when to take it offline.
6. Not moving the conversation offline when appropriate
Depending on the circumstances, there’s usually a point where you want to move the conversation offline. Once it’s resolved you can re-engage the customer online via review channels. But to keep the entire conversation and communications online isn’t recommended because you can’t always tell how it will go.
When resolving conflict of concerns, move the conversation offline as soon as possible.
7. Not promoting great reviews on social media
While it’s true that social is not advertising and you don’t want to use it to constantly promote your company (only big brands can get away with this) there comes a time when you can toot your own horn on social. When you have a great review, it’s time to share.
Share customer success on social media at times. Once a week being ideal. Here's a handy tool to make before and after photos of your work.
8. Not creating and claiming review profiles
If you haven’t created or claimed your review profiles like Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp, it’s like leaving money on the table or closing early an hour or two early. It’s a missed opportunity that studies show contributes to revenue for your business.
Make sure you own, monitor the main options (Google, Facebook, Yelp) and influential ones within your market.
9. Not managing review profiles
It’s not enough to create review profiles, you want to manage them as well. This means making sure all details are completed, with photos uploaded, and you take the time to monitor and respond to reviews, both positive and negative.
Businesses that manage their profiles, reputation and reviews see more customers and activity than those that ignore to do so.
In closing, a few other things to keep in mind include not posting argumentative comments, not trying to incentivize reviews, not buying or posting fake reviews, and last but not least, never ask a customer for a ‘good review’. All of these are actions that can come back on you, doing more harm than good, and create reputation management issues in the long run.