Best Practices for Managing Your Online Reviews

According to the 2018 edition of BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Reviews Survey, consumers want to see more reviews, more recent reviews and higher ratings overall. They rely heavily upon and trust reviews but are also growing more wary about the possibility of review fraud. It’s important that your business has a set process for managing online reviews, as it is a vital piece of your online presence.

Generate New Reviews

BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Reviews Survey reports that 85% of consumers ignore reviews that are more than 3 months old. This emphasizes the importance of having a regular stream of reviews so your business maintains credibility with potential customers researching your business. 

While platforms like Yelp don’t allow solicitation of reviews, Google is a platform that encourages you to proactively ask your customers for reviews. Simply following up with your customers and asking them to review you will result in an influx of reviews. Building this into your regular follow up process should help bring in a steady stream of new reviews.

Respond Promptly

It’s important to respond to reviews regularly to show your customers you care about their experience. How quickly you respond and the tone of your response leaves an impression on new customers looking at your online reviews. BrightLocal’s survey mentions that about 90% of respondents said they look at how the business responds to reviews, though it is a secondary consideration for them.

If a customer leaves a negative review, a prompt response to that review can help ease the customer and turn their experience around. 

Stay Positive

In all review responses, even negative ones, maintaining a positive tone is key. If the review is negative you need to be apologetic that the customer had the experience they did, even if you know the reasoning is not accurate or was not your team’s fault.

Offer a Solution

Apologizing to a negative review alone is not enough. You want to take that apology one step further by letting the customer know exactly how you’re going to fix their problem.

Take the Conversation Offline

If you are dealing with a negative review, in your apology response, you can give the customer contact information to email or call directly to help resolve the problem. That way, any other grievances they have will be dealt with offline. This also gives you a chance to get on the phone and resolve the problem with them.
If the issue is resolved, you can ask the customer to update their review with their new experience. “We appreciate your feedback, and would like other customers to know how we’ve solved your issue. Would you mind updating your review to reflect this?”

Combat Review Fraud

Part of actively managing your online review platforms is keeping an eye out for review fraud, as this has become a common occurrence and is something customers are weary about when reading reviews online.

Search Engine Land reports on the recent fake review attack that impacted small businesses globally. A collection of 37 profiles left over 3 million fake 4-star ratings. In this most recent attack, these reviews came from hidden Vietnamese profiles that left star ratings without any comments.

The presence of fake reviews on your profile decreases the level of visibility and trust consumers have in your reviews and your brand, so it’s important to keep an eye out for review fraud and report fake reviews as soon as you see them.

More Review Management Tips & Tricks

Correctly managing your online reviews according to best practices is a time investment. If you still have questions about how best to manage your online review presence or need assistance doing so, drop us a line. We’re here to help!

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