Online reviews can make or break your business!
Review websites have become important gatekeepers in the eCommerce space and, at the same time, an important part of the SEO process.
In this article, let’s look at how to make online reviews work for your business! Check out these 5 FAQs to learn more about review marketing!
Q: How do review websites work?
A: Six crucial components make up the review site ecosystem:
(1) businesses are listed on review websites either by themselves or their customers;
(2) unhappy customers write reviews - happy customers typically don’t bother leaving reviews;
(3) customer reviewers establish reputations for themselves on review websites by writing engaging reviews, which could become an income stream;
(4) businesses have their reputations established by consumers, with limited recourse to salvage broken reputations on review websites;
(5) potential consumers read reviews and base their purchasing decisions on what they read;
(6) businesses that do not actively maintain their image on review websites have to claim their listings retroactively.
Put into simpler terms, the more positive reviews you have on review websites, the more likely you are to rank at the top of searches; the fewer reviews you have, or the more negative reviews there are for your business, the less you are able to rank at the top of online searches. On top of that, review websites ask businesses to be passive recipients of reviews, leaving their online reputation to crowd-sourced feedback. What ends up happening is that passive online businesses become victims of a dissatisfied vocal minority, since satisfied customers don’t bother with leaving reviews.
Q: How can I manage my online reputation?
A: There are at least five things that you should do to manage your online reputation: (1) solicit good reviews from happy customers, (2) send reminders after the initial solicitation, (3) help customers write reviews for your business, (4) incentivize good reviews from your employees and their network, (5) respond to negative reviews. While these tips may be against the official policy of review websites, you risk losing goodwill for your business to a handful of dissatisfied customers looking to vent their frustrations online.
Q: How should I solicit good reviews from happy customers?
A: The easiest way to solicit good reviews with plausible deniability is to do it face-to-face, but this may not be an option for online businesses. The next best thing is to ship, along with your product, a humbly phrased message for potential happy customers that asks them to leave a kind review if they’ve been helped in any way by the product or service you offer. You can also send email reminders as part of your post-purchase follow-up to increase the likelihood of getting good reviews.
Q: How do I help customers write good reviews?
A: You can help customers who may not know where and how to leave reviews by providing a clickable link to your review platform of choice. You could also include step-by-step instructions and suggestive templates to help your customers articulate their feelings towards your quality of service.
Q: How should I respond to bad reviews?
A: When responding to bad reviews, you must remember that you are not addressing the unhappy customer. What you are doing is telling the other potential customers about your side of the story. You must, at all times, remain professional and calm in your tone of voice, as well as appearing human, just as you would if you were an actual customer service representative in a physical store location.