Reputation management is a hot topic in digital marketing, as it’s an area of marketing that draws a lot of customer attention and requires consistent attention to keep up. If your company is without a reputation management plan or you are seeing a high rate of negative feedback, you should dedicate resources to managing and responding to customer reviews while keeping these essential dos and don’ts in mind.
Don’t: Ignore Your Online Reputation
Even if you do not claim the listing, your business is probably already featured on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other review sites. While some businesses assume they can just ignore these sites and focus on their own websites, you cannot ignore your online reputation. You have to go to the places where consumers talk about local businesses and claiming your listings will be the first step in guiding the conversation, so you can see more positive feedback and higher scores on review sites.
Do: Offer Avenues for Customers to Leave Feedback
Along with claiming your listings on existing review sites, it’s important to let customers visit your website to give feedback directly to you or write reviews that will automatically post to your social media pages. By accepting feedback directly on your website, you can mitigate some negative customer reviews with a chance to react and respond before their reviews meet the eyes of the public.
Do: Ask Customers to Write Reviews
To get a higher volume of positive reviews about your business, you may need to do more than just offer a place to leave reviews. Don’t hesitate to ask customers to write reviews when you’ve delivered a quality customer service experience, either by putting a note on the customer’s receipt, sending out a follow-up email, or asking customers directly when they visit your business.
Don’t: Get Caught Up with a Few Negative Reviews
It’s hard to please everyone, and even an established business with solid customer service can slip up or provide services that just fall short of expectations. In other words, negative reviews will come up occasionally, and it’s important not to panic when they do. You should respond to negative reviews and try to remedy the issue at hand, but don’t dwell on negative reviews or take them personally.
Do: Look at the Big Picture
Your overall star rating is going to mean a lot more to prospective customers than any one review. Keep this in mind as you work on improving your online reputation and see any negative or lukewarm reviews come in. You should also remember that newer reviews will be the most visible and carry the most weight for potential customers, so instead of focusing on existing reviews, you should work on bringing in more positive reviews in the future.
Do: Engage with Customers
When customers see that your business responds to reviews and works to make things right when a negative interaction does occur, they will have more trust in your business and view you more positively. Engaging on review sites also gives you an opportunity to control more of the narrative about what people are saying about your company and shows that you care what people think. And don’t just respond to negative reviews—thank customers for leaving positive feedback and let them know that their time is appreciated. When people feel that their opinions are valued, they are more likely to leave honest, constructive feedback that can do more for your business in the long-run than a generic 4-star review or no review at all.
Don’t: Argue with Customers
As you get in the habit of following up on customer reviews, it is tempting to fall into a trap of arguing with customers. Even if you know that the customer is not, in fact, right, you should not spend time arguing about the details of their reviews or trying to get a customer to admit fault. Remember that sympathies are likely to side with the customer as your business becomes vilified when you spend time getting into arguments on review sites.
If you don’t have the time to invest in reputation management or you simply don’t know where to start, connect with Anchor Wave to explore what Review Lead can do for your brand. You cannot afford to compromise a good reputation online, so give us a call at (520) 622-3731 to talk to one of our marketing specialists about how to boost your brand.