Online reviews are a critical component of any business’s online success.
Reviews are often one of the first touchpoints a person has with your brand. They are unfiltered experiences that act as referrals and spur sales. They are also useful in showing that your business is legitimate, which can often be a major barrier when managing an online presence.
Unfortunately, many business owners go about managing their reviews all wrong.
Let’s fix that. We’ve compiled a list of 5 mistakes business owners make with their online reviews, and tips for doing better.
#1: Avoiding Them
Avoiding reviews is the worst thing you can do with them.
Because people took personal time to leave you feedback. They went out of their way to engage with your brand and they’re telling you that they’re committed.
Avoiding them turns your reviews into a mess. You both neglect those who care and fail to put out fires from those who are grumpy. If you pay attention to your reviews, you will gain valuable feedback about what you’re doing right, as well as what you could improve upon.
Here’s what to do: Take the time to read, review, and engage with your reviews.
If you don’t have tons of time to handle reviews personally, then at least hand them over to those who can. Social media services are one option to help maintain your image through efforts like review management. The engagement is hands-off so that means more time for you to do the things you’d rather do, without neglecting reviews!
#2: Faking Them
Genuine experiences foster genuine engagement from your community.You should never fake a review. Dishonesty is not a solid foundation for any brand, and your customers will know.
A fake review is easy to spot:
–People will notice because of the wording and tone.
–Platforms will pick up on it because of user activity.
Once people notice the fake review they will give your brand a negative image. Once word gets around, you will lose sales and could see your brand banned from platforms for faking reviews.
The fix to this online review mistake?
Encourage authentic reviews from customers, and remove barriers that would prevent them from leaving these reviews. Tip #4 will provide you with a few strategies for doing just that.
#3: Neglecting Them
A customer who had a bad experience may tell (up to) 15 others about it. However, a business that’s quick to handle these situations can stop the negativity. In some instances, a brand may flip the customer and win their business again, by responding directly to them.
But what happens when negative reviews go unanswered?
Neglected reviews spread a negative experience and dissuade others from engaging with your business. They could even damper the experience of those who do enjoy your brand.
The solution is simple: Respond to reviews even if they’re negative. You’ll either win your customer’s trust (again) or at least show transparency to others in your attempt to help.
#4: Not Soliciting Them
All that’s needed to get an online review for a business is to ask.
It’s as simple as this:
–Identify a recent customer or client.
–Touch base with them about their experience.
–Use the conversation to encourage a review.
Marketing automation makes the process even easier. This involves setting up automatic touchpoints to encourage reviews based on metrics (and we promise this is much simpler than it sounds!). An email or phone call at the right time is often enough to see your review count jump!
#5: Not Leveraging Them
Business reviews are feedback and feedback is business gold.
Feedback helps you learn what works and what doesn’t. It will allow you to discover the type of customer most engaged with your brand and find opportunities to offer better products or experiences.
You won’t gain this data if you’re moving on without reviewing your reviews. If you really take time to extract those tidbits of valuable feedback, you can leverage the points that jump out at you and add to your brand’s success.
Amplify Your Reach With Online Reviews
The points covered in this post outlined what so many do wrong with online reviews, in an effort to help show you what you can do right.
Avoiding these mistakes really comes down to doing what you can to engage with clients and customers. Encourage reviews, learn from them, and expand on them. Your embrace of reviews will do wonders for helping your business build its presence online (and create sales in the process!).
So, now we’ve got to ask…
Do you need help generating, engaging, and leveraging reviews? Need guidance to amplify your online presence? Drop us a line and learn more about what we can do for you!