Before you can fully grasp why review management is essential for business, you must understand the nature of online reviews themselves.
It’s no secret that online reviews are more important today than they’ve ever been.
We live in an influencer society where the opinions of a select few individuals essentially define what’s in or what’s out.
On a smaller scale, online customer reviews are also extremely influential. When the positive reviews start racking up, your brand experiences positive effects.
When you let those negative reviews sit around without being addressed, you send a message to the world telling consumers to steer clear of you.
With a proper review management system, you get to take control of the narrative. It allows you to personalize the way the world sees your business.
For better or for worse, it seems that the customer is always right. When your business does something well, you want the whole world to hear about it.
For some reason or another however, customers are not always inclined to share positive reviews online for the rest of the world to see.
These reasons range from simply forgetting to do so, to finding it too difficult to do so, to never even thinking to do so.
For example, a customer can order a pair of shoes from your website that they absolutely adore. They might wear the shoes every single day for a year and tell everyone in their circle how much they love them.
The customer might feel like they’re checking all the appreciation boxes by wearing the shoes all the time and speaking highly of them to their friends.
As a result, they don’t ever consider leaving a positive review online.
While you may appreciate how this customer is a big fan of your shoes, it’d be far more beneficial for your business if the customer took to the Internet to voice their pleasure through online reviews.
Essentially, your business could be doing everything right to please customers but unless customers share the good news online, you will not reap the full benefits.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? In this case, it does not.
On the other hand, customers seem to have no problem letting the world know about unpleasant experiences they have with companies.
One unhappy customer who posts a negative review about your business online is more influential than 10 happy customers who post no review at all.
A great review management software system makes it easy for business owners to reach out and thank customers for their positive feedback.
It also makes it easy for business owners to communicate with customers who leave negative reviews and attempt to make amends with them.
Although dealing with unhappy customers can be as enjoyable as getting teeth pulled, doing so lets the world know that your business truly cares about making things right with customers.
To keep things simple, you want to maximize the number of customers leaving positive online reviews about your business while minimizing the number of customers leaving negative reviews.
If you’re operating your business the right way, you should have no trouble creating happy customers.
The last steps towards generating those coveted positive reviews are friendly reminders for customers to leave feedback.
So when you send customers order, shipping, and delivery confirmations, make sure to give them the option to leave feedback about your business.
Keep in mind that a lack of positive reviews online does not necessarily indicate a lack of happy customers.
As we discussed earlier, many satisfied customers fail to leave positive reviews for one reason or another. The importance of these positive reviews cannot be stressed enough.
The eCommerce Foundation says that 88% of consumers do research before buying a product or service. Consumers prioritize the opinions of those who have already purchased a product or service in the past above all else.
That’s right, you can conjure up the most well-written, mouth-watering product description of all time and still have it take a backseat to the customer reviews.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to please every single customer. Your business can do all that it can to keep customers happy, but there will always be those customers that have a problem.
When these unsatisfied customers take to the internet to express their grievances, it can have an adverse effect on business.
The goal of review management software is by no means to suppress the opinions of customers. In fact, negative reviews play an important part in maintaining a fair and honest online market.
Negative customer reviews help potential customers by either reaffirming their doubts about a product or service or raising awareness about problems that may arise with a product or service.
Negative feedback also highlights areas where businesses need to improve.
Let’s say that your pizza joint has been working tirelessly for years trying to perfect the cheese to marinara sauce ratio.
Every single employee in the establishment knows the exact amount of cheese required for each pizza along with the perfect way to evenly distribute the marinara sauce.
While you’re sure that all the pizzas served to customers are meticulously crafted, one customer gets online and has the audacity to say that the pizza he received was far too saucy and lacked cheese.
In his exact words he states, “It would have been nice to get a pizza with my sauce.”
For your pizza joint, a comment like this is pure blasphemy. Every part of you may want to sound off on this customer and give him a piece of your mind.
You might also consider just ignoring him altogether. While these choices might make you feel better, the correct choice is to direct the issue as soon as possible.
From your company account, reach out and apologize to the customer for his dissatisfaction with your pizza.
Inform him about the effort that your company puts into every pizza they make and assure him that the next time he visits the shop, he’s guaranteed to have a better experience.
No matter how popular and successful your business gets, always remember to appreciate your customers.
When someone takes time out of their day to leave a positive review about your business, make sure to let them know that you value their feedback.
Customers will be delighted to hear from their favorite companies and responding to reviews goes a long way towards establishing a network of brand ambassadors.
Reviews give businesses a clear idea of what customers expect from them. Understanding customer expectations sounds pretty straightforward, but businesses are often caught off guard by the demands of customers.
Some customers are picky and pretentious, but that’s not always a bad thing. Maintaining perspective and keeping a level head is key.
When you really think about it, these are the customers that raise the bar for business practices. If a business can please the most demanding customers out there, they can please anyone.
When going above and beyond becomes the new norm, you know that your business is headed in the right direction.
It’s also very important to respond to feedback, especially negative feedback, in a timely fashion.
As a brand, you never want to appear to be too busy for the customers. Always be genuine with your responses and make sure to address the root of the problem. Avoid making remarks that deflect blame and alienate the customer.
Humbly take the criticism in stride while assuring the customer that you’ll get it right next time.
Now that we have a better grasp on why reviews themselves are important, it’s easy to understand why staying on top of them is imperative for the livelihood of your business.
If you let positive reviews linger around without responses, customers begin to feel like they’re singing praises straight into the void.
In other words, they’ll lose any motivation they may have had to continue leaving positive feedback.
If you leave negative reviews unattended, not only are you sending a message to the customers who left the reviews that you don’t care about their concerns, you’re also sending a message to the world that you don’t care enough or are flat out unable to make things right with customers.
Consider implementing a review management software to ensure that your business remains in touch with the voice of your customers.