As the digital economy continues to grow in scale and importance, more and more customers turn to online reviews to help make purchasing decisions. For companies selling their products online, customer reviews can have a big impact on profit. Review management–the process of monitoring and responding to customer reviews–remains an under-utilized resource.
Popular Opinions: 7 Reasons Why Review Management Is Vital for the Next Decade
In the coming decades, the ability to manage your online reputation could mean the difference between the winners and losers of the business world. Here are some ways that review management could invigorate your business and increase your profits.
1. Capitalize on Online Reviews
When making a purchase online, customers can’t see and touch a product like they would in a store. Instead, customers turn to peer reviews from sites like Yelp, Amazon, and Facebook. Online reviews are hugely influential in today’s retail market, even for brick-and-mortar businesses like restaurants. In fact, 90% of online customers report that they use reviews when making purchasing decisions.
Businesses need an easy way to keep track of their online reviews and see what customers are saying about them. Reviews provide a valuable source of feedback that can guide your business plan and marketing strategies. As retail continues to move online, paying close attention to your reviews can give you an edge over your competition.
2. Establish Personal Connections With Your Customers
The ability to connect personally with customers is essential for any successful business, but it can be hard to do online. One way to connect with your customers is to respond to their online reviews. Responding to customer reviews can give you a surprising PR boost. According to a recent study from Review Trackers, 80% of customers think that a business cares more about them if they receive a response to their review. Since prospective customers are likely to read your responses, this could give you an edge over your competition.
Responding to negative reviews can be good for your public image, as well. If someone is dissatisfied with your brand, an apology can show that you value their feedback and are committed to making things right. Remember that many potential future customers will see the responses you leave, so this is a good PR opportunity.
It is a lot easier to connect with your customers online if you have a good system for keeping track of your reviews. One of the best options is to subscribe to an online service that compiles your reviews in one place. This will take the hassle out of managing your reputation.
3. Be Smarter About Your Social Media Presence
Social media platforms are one of the most popular places for customers to share their experiences with a brand. Thus, social media has great potential as a marketing platform. The ability to use social media wisely can attract customers to your brand and increase your profits.
Review management can give you an idea of what is being said about your brand on social media. This information allows you to make targeted posts that respond to customers’ concerns or needs.
The ability to connect with your customers is vital for any business, and it is no less important on social media. Once you understand what people think of your brand, you will be able to craft posts that resonate with your customers better.
4. Maximize Your Online Visibility
The term SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, gets tossed around a lot on the internet. SEO helps your website appear higher in the search results on platforms like Google and Bing. It is an important skill for maximizing your online visibility and attracting potential customers, but many online businesses don’t know how to use it to their advantage.
Review management is useful in finding out how customers access your website. If your business information on key sites like Facebook and Google is outdated or missing, that could put a dent in your customer base. A quality online service can sort through your business’s online presence and identify any gaps or inconsistencies. This will help you increase your search rank on the most important online directories.
5. See How You Stack Up Against Your Competitors
Online reviews provide a simple, tangible measurement of customer satisfaction. They can show you how customers view your business relative to your competitors. By comparing your reviews to your competition, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing plan. This gives you valuable insights into how to maximize customer satisfaction in the future.
Unfortunately, online reviews can be tedious to sort through on your own. There are dozens of websites that host reviews, and reading your competitor’s reviews may not be the best use of your time. Instead, rely on review management service to summarize your reviews and compare you to your competition on a number of different metrics. This allows you to gather valuable information from reviews without taking the time and energy to sort through them one-by-one.
6. Gauge the Public Perception of Your Brand
Reputation management is not limited to online customer reviews. Reviews are only one piece of the picture when it comes to your brand’s online image. An online service can help you sift through other web content, including news articles, social media sites, and blogs, and pick out references to your brand and products.
This gives you access to a far broader range of opinions about your brand than customer reviews alone could provide. The internet contains a vast amount of content, and the ability to efficiently filter for references to your brand will give you a clearer idea of your public image.
Not only can you identify references to your brand on a variety of websites, but you can easily find out whether they are positive or negative. Specialized reputation management software comes equipped with sentiment analysis, which allows you to classify the attitudes that websites express towards your brand.
7. Save Time With Automated Reports
The beauty of an online service is that it saves you the trouble of sorting through customer reviews on your own. What could be more convenient than getting executive reports of your brand’s online image sent straight to your inbox?
Automated reports allow you to stay updated on your latest reviews, giving you a real-time glance at how your public image is faring. They can also give you quick tips about how to manage your reputation. With a clear idea of what your customers think of your brand, your business will be more directed and you will be better able to satisfy your customers’ demands.
Learn How to Use Reviews to Your Advantage
As the internet becomes an increasingly important platform for marketing, the ability to manage your online reputation has become a vital business skill. For the businesses of the next decade, proper review management could mean the difference between success and failure.
Gain an edge over your competitors by subscribing to Affluent Solution’s online reputation management service. We will keep track of all your reviews and give you tips about how to optimize your online presence. Sign up for a free trial on our website and learn how to turn your reviews into profits.