Online reviews can be a tricky subject for many brands and companies. Most business owners and managers are just that, owners and managers, not online reputation management professionals who know how to effectively deal with reviews.
Here are the most common mistakes that companies make when trying to manage their online reviews.
1. Flat-Out Ignoring Reviews
As I have previously stated, reviews matter. In my post about ORM, I described just how much reviews can mean to a company. Reviews can drive business or they can drive it away, and if a company chooses not to invest time and energy in review management, then this can become a source of trouble and frustration.
Sources say that 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 72% say that positive reviews make them trust a business more.
Reviews are there for a company to see the public reaction to their products or services and adjust if it seems like customers are not satisfied. If a business is selling to consumers, at the end of the day the consumers’ opinions are one of the only things that truly matters. Reviews are a reflection of these opinions and in order to get more customers and representation, a company has to accept that they are getting reviews and address them effectively.
It’s absolutely crucial to respond to customers’ reviews, good or bad.
Responding to good reviews shows that a company is actively checking their review websites and that they are responsive to their customers. It demonstrates that the company appreciates their positive reviews and if anyone else leaves one, they’ll be sure to respond with a thank you. Responding means the business clearly cares about their customers and wants to ensure that they feel appreciated for their positive review.
Responding to good review also shows that in the case of a bad review, this company won’t simply ignore it but will try to address the concern, since clearly reviews matter to them.
3. Not Responding to Negative Reviews
In the case of a negative review, a response is the only way the company can really remedy anything. They cannot take the review off the website, nor can they magically reverse the customer’s adverse experience, so a response is the one thing they can do.
A careful and thoughtful response to a negative review can go a long way.
A courteous response shows that the business acknowledges its mistakes or the customer’s unhappiness and is willing to do what it needs to guarantee satisfaction. It can serve to humanize the business and show that yes, humans make mistakes, but they own up to them and aim to fix them.
If the response accurately and politely addresses the customer’s concerns, apologizes when necessary, and offers some kind of recompense, perhaps in the form of money back or a guarantee of better services, this could even make the customer reconsider.
Sometimes, a response from the company can serve to show that perhaps the reviewer was not totally accurate or correct in their assessment of the company or their experience was not truly what they described. Customers are not always predictable and there have been instances with people taking to extremes in order to purposefully try and hurt a company through reviews.
Either way, even if a customer does not remove their review or further engage with the company, a response to a negative review demonstrates that the company takes responsibility and is willing to work with customers to make sure everyone is happy. It sends a signal to future customers that they can trust this business to be attentive to their needs because they pay attention to their reviews.
4. Taking a Long Time to Respond
Timeliness is key when it comes to responding to reviews. Customers expect responses to their reviews, especially negative ones, and it is within a company’s best interest to quickly resolve any concerns or disputes. The longer a bad review is left lingering on a review site, the more potential customers will see it and notice that it’s unanswered. This is the easiest way for a business to look bad. There can be plenty of good intentions to eventually reply to that review and try to resolve the complaint, but if it’s not done in a timely manner it will negatively impact the company and their future customer base.
However, a speedy response will show that the company is on top of its online reputation and that they are constantly monitoring their reviews. It will show that the company is active and savvy in the online review domain and that they will address any concerns as soon as they come up.
5. Not Asking People to Leave Reviews
Most people do not leave reviews. Most of the time, those who do either had an absolutely amazing experience, or a fairly bad one. Those who had an average experience or a pretty good one do not usually think about leaving a review because they feel they have nothing to complain about or nothing to rave about.
This can become a problem for businesses whose satisfied customers aren’t leaving reviews, whereas unsatisfied customers deflate the ratings as they are disproportionately represented on review sites.
Studies show that if asked, around 71% of consumers will leave a review for a business. Most of these people had a good experience but just didn’t think about reviewing the company. This is a great way to get more reviews, especially since many good reviews will boost ratings and hide that one bad review at the top. A volume of positive responses is the best solution to a negative one, and simply asking more customers if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review is an easy way to achieve that.
Customers can be asked to leave reviews either in person when they are finishing their transaction, or in a follow-up email or text.
6. Not Using an ORM Company’s Services
Returning once again to my previous post, Online Reputation Management is necessary for any company hoping to succeed in the 21st century. Most business owners and managers are too busy running their businesses to devote the right amount of attention and time to their online reviews, and their companies suffer because of that. ORM firms are there to help such businesses take control of their reviews and be able to respond to anything quickly and effectively.
For more information, visit ShoutAboutUs.com and schedule a demo today.
I’m the marketing coordinator for Shout About Us, I write these blog posts and also our email newsletters, and I post on our social media accounts. I’m passionate about lifelong learning, traveling, the beach, jigsaw puzzles, and fiction (especially Vonnegut)!