Reviews on platforms like Facebook, Yelp, and Google are an essential part of a business’s online reputation and can be the difference between gaining (or losing) a new customer. While many businesses understand the importance of reviews, they don’t have an online reputation management strategy. Mastering online reputation management and creating a plan to generate, monitor, and respond to reviews can be easy with the right software, but however you do it, there are a few steps you can take that can make all the difference.
4 Steps to Online Reputation Management Success
1. Set Up Right
The first step to building an online reputation management strategy is to get your business up and running on review sites. If you don’t have accounts set up for your business on Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business, build those out. Keep in mind that you will have to verify ownership, which is usually done through a phone call or letter.
When building out your business’s page, complete as many sections as possible and avoid leaving blanks. You will also want to use your business’s high-value keywords to be discovered by customers. Taking the time to resize graphics and images will pay off in dividends as it will give potential shoppers a visual tour of your business. Finally, don’t forget to link your new pages back to your website and any other relevant marketing assets to make it easy for customers (and search engines) to find your online review properties.
2. Generate Reviews
To fully leverage the power of online reviews, you will need to generate positive reviews from customers, which is easier said than done. Generating positive reviews is a long-term online reputation management activity that requires you to stay on top of it constantly. Here are some of the things you can do right away to automate generating positive reviews from happy customers:
- Add a line to your email signature
- Post a flyer in your store
- Ask customers for a review post-transaction (or print a line on receipts)
- Link each profile to your website (and create a “reviews” page)
- Send a request from your Affluent Solution’s Reputation Management tool dashboard
3. Monitor Reviews
If you use an online reputation management tool (like Affluent Solution’s software) you can monitor reviews as they come in and manage all your sites together from one platform.
If you’re doing it manually and logging in to each review site individually, be sure to set up a schedule to check for new feedback every few days. Depending on your opt-in settings for each site, you can set up email or push notifications to alert you when someone posts a new review.
4. Respond to Feedback
When an online review comes in for your business, it is important that you respond to it regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Thanking the customer for taking the time to provide you with a review is not only courteous but also shows that you value their feedback and are grateful that they took the time.
If you get a negative review, stay calm and take a few breaths before responding. Regardless of who is right or wrong, you never want to get into an argument in the comments section of a review. Apologize that the experience with your business was not exceptional and then offer to fix whatever went wrong over the phone or in person. Providing a local phone number (not an 800 number) or email will show others that customer service is a priority for your business.
Software That Helps
By letting businesses manage all their online reviews from dozens of sites in one central dashboard, Affluent Solution’s Reputation Management tool makes it easy to see what’s being said about your business online. Contact us today to learn how our Reputation Management tool will help you can spend less time managing reviews and more time providing the products and services that your customers know and love.