Online Reputation Management

Author: Sammy Cooper

In the modern world, there is an ever-increasing reliance on online reviews when looking for a product or service. Whether you are B2B looking for a supplier for your business or a consumer simply trying to find a nice café in the local area, we are more often than not turning to the internet to see what other people are saying about a product or service.

Although personal recommendations from friends or family will always have their place, nothing affirms your decision to buy a product or service quite like seeing a large number of 5* reviews. Think about it… when was the last time you bought something online without reading the reviews first? Positive, negative or just plain informative, comments and criticisms from real-life users offer valuable insights that you just don’t get from an official company blurb.

With the consumer wanting more information about your product or service from external sources like Google My Business or TrustPilot, it’s important to manage your online reviews to maintain a good reputation.

Review Platforms

There are number of review platforms out there, but which one will get you the most traction?

Google my business

The first place to start when trying to build a hub of positive reviews is to set up your Google My Business (GMB) if you haven’t already. There is a huge number of benefits of having a GMB listing, with one of them being the ability to see reviews instantly when someone Googles your company. This is a chance to easily showcase your rating, giving an instant impression to any potential consumers.

TrustPilot

Another big player in the world of online reviews is TrustPilot. With 2.5 billion monthly impressions on TrustBox widgets, consumers are constantly seeking information from this platform, making it another ideal place to list your business.

With the ability to embed reviews on your website and enable rich snippets allowing users to see your Trust Rating when your website appears in a Google search, it can be a really powerful tool. Offering businesses both free and paid accounts, it’s a platform that can be used by all companies. From small, start-up SMEs to large, well-established companies, it’s a great platform to seek reviews.

Seeking new reviews

So, you’ve set up a platform where customers can review your product or service, now all you need is your first review! Generating reviews can be tricky, particularly if you provide a service with no natural follow up or confirmation email like you may get from an ecommerce product. However, there are a few strategies to get those five stars rolling in:

  • Send a personal follow up email – sending a personalised message after a positive interaction with your customer or client is a good place to start when seeking reviews. It will be fresh in their mind, hopefully prompting a positive rating and review.
  • Email campaign – creating an email campaign to send to past customers is an easy way to prompt reviews. Engaging text with aesthetic images that fit in with your branding can help encourage people to leave a review.
  • Incentivise the review – creating a competition and giving a prize to ‘one lucky reviewer’, or simply a cash incentive to anyone who leaves a review, can be very effective. However, there are some legalities around this, so be sure to seek advice from an expert before doing so.

Replying to reviews

It’s really important to reply to reviews no matter the nature of them. If you’re providing a good service it’s likely that you’ll have a number of positive reviews – great news. A short line to thank the customer or client for taking the time to leave a positive review can go a long way.

Managing negative reviews

You may come across the odd slightly negative review every now and then. Although you may initially see this as a bad thing – someone has put out a negative image of your brand into the public domain – it can be made into a positive. The ultimate goal is to change the opinion of the reviewer by solving the problem and creating a solution, which may even lead them to change their review rating. Good customer service can go an awful long way!

Standardising a process that deals with negative reviews will ensure they are always dealt with efficiently, effectively and consistently. Think about acknowledging their comments, potentially trying to move the conversation away from the public domain, how you can resolve the problem and what you can learn from it.

Share your successes

Positive reviews and testimonials make great content for social media. With platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram having become part of our everyday lives for a lot of people, it’s no surprise that consumers often look for information about a product on social media. This means that sharing your successes in a visual, engaging way can help boost your online brand awareness, profile and credibility.

In an ever-evolving digital age, online reputation management is massively important. It is a big task that may seem daunting. Get in touch with us if you would like any help or advice with managing your reviews – we’ll be more than happy to help.