Thursday, March 9, 2017

How to get more online reviews (and how to respond to the bad ones)

Happy shopper

Interested in getting more online reviews, but unsure where to start?

One way to begin is by getting your sales and marketing teams on board with the idea that online reviews matter, customer service matters, and the potential to gain or lose business based on your online reputation can be quite large. In fact, 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews (Marketing Land).

Here are a few talking points to help convince your staff of the importance of reviews:
    TBH Creative Google+ 5 Star Rating
  • Search results. Your company's rating on Google+ is highly visible any time you appear in search results. In addition to showing Google+ reviews, Google search results have also now display "reviews from around the web," and that includes your Facebook page rating. 
  • Buyer habits. The act of shopping has evolved as technology and information get more accessible. Consumers spend more and more time researching products and companies online before ever making a purchase. Reviews impact these decisions because "88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations" (invesp).
  • Improve SEO. New reviews posted to your website serve as new content that search engines will crawl and index, and this has long been recognized as added SEO benefit. In addition, reviews that have been formatted as rich snippets can increase click-through rates by 10-20% (eConsultancy).

How to get more online reviews

We all agree that online reviews are important because they impact buyers' decisions at an increasing rate, for better or for worse. Here are some strategies to ensure you're online reputation is as top-notch as your service.

1. Stand behind your product / service.

The best review strategy in the world can't negate poor service or lackluster products. If you are consistently hearing negative feedback from customers, do an audit of your team, policies, and customer service strategies. When you and your crew take pride in the business, campaigning for reviews is likely to make your ears burn with all the nice things people have to say.

2. Develop a strategy.

A variety of factors can impact your review strategy. These might include:
  • Determining who to ask, 
  • Whether to ask in person, on the phone, or by email, 
  • Where reviews should be posted, and 
  • How frequently new reviews should be posted. 
While it is considered bad form to specifically request "good reviews" from your clients, you have a bit of wiggle room when it comes to choosing whom to ask for honest feedback. It is important to note that many online reviews are unsolicited, and unsolicited reviews are often more negative than positive.

3. Monitor, respond, and follow up.

Since potential customers are interested in your company's reputation, one of the added benefits to collecting online reviews is the ability to show off your outstanding customer service. This applies to both positive and negative reviews. Keep the conversation going by responding respectfully to all of your reviews, showing others that read them how invested you are in customer experience.
Positive Review Example
One example of a positive review response.

4. Responding to bad reviews - ★☆☆☆☆

Most companies have been there at one time or another—you get a notification that a new review as posted about your company only to discover that an angry or dissatisfied customer has given you a poor rating. Don't panic! Today's consumers are savvy. A bad review or two is not likely to kill your online reputation, especially if you respond respectfully and with attempts to rectify the situation. As much as they hurt, bad reviews are actually a great tool for showing off your customer service skills.

Take our own Facebook page, for example. This reviewer has no apparent connection with our company or service, so we could have just ignored the review all together. However, by being proactive, we made it clear to potential clients exactly what was going on with this reviewer, and our response also gives a glimpse into our commitment to providing excellent customer service.
When TBH Creative received a random, 1-star review from an individual we had never worked with, we used it as an opportunity to convey to others how seriously we take feedback and customer service. 

Building up your online reviews is a commitment both to quality service and to following up with your clients. With growing numbers of shoppers researching companies and products online before making purchases, this is an investment worth making.

Speaking of requesting customer reviews ...

We work hard at TBH Creative to provide excellent customer service and offer results-driven solutions to our clients. If you are a client of TBH Creative, past or present, we would love to see your feedback! Leave a simple star-rating or full review to let us know how we're doing.
Sarah

About the author | Sarah Matlock

Sarah is a digital marketing assistant at TBH Creative, specializing in social media management and data analysis. She likes to blog about social media strategy, the latest trends in the industry, and how to engage the online community more effectively.

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