Managing Reputation on Company Review Sites
- Despite the Artificial Intelligence (AI) improvements, recent research examining the pandemic's impact on consumer behavior reveals an intense desire for human touch. When clients contact the customer support team, they want to talk with a human being.
- Consumers' opinion is more significant than ever since 87% of shoppers consult internet reviews before purchasing.
- Seeking online influencers is one of the best techniques for creating new business and increasing the volume of reviews.
This research provides the most recent and post-pandemic best practices about reputation management on company review sites. We included seven best practices regarding positive and negative review management. We also discussed strategies recommended by experts and the possible impact they might have on the company.
According to experts and statistics, the pandemic has caused a shift in consumers' behavior since they clearly prefer human contact over technology. After COVID-19, some of the best practices when tackling clients' reviews are to respond to feedback as soon as possible, build social proof, and professionally manage negative reviews. Besides, try new players like Apple Maps, report spam reviews, monitor user-generated content, and humanize the customer support contact process.
1- Respond to All Reviews
- Businesses frequently ignore online reviews entirely or react solely to good feedback, which is a mistake. According to a recent Rio SEO study, 78% of companies respond to positive and negative reviews, while only 17% respond to negative comments.
- However, the same study has shown that 48% of consumers say corporations should reply to positive reviews while 47% say the companies should answer to a negative review as well. Besides, 51% of consumers say they feel more comfortable with companies that actively react to their comments.
- According to Karen Pace, Director of Social and Content Marketing at Randstad US, one positive strategy to answer the many comments is to develop "templated responses for negative, neutral, and positive reviews." In this way, the customer support team will be able to react as quickly as possible to all shoppers.
2- Build Social Proof
- Buyers agree that first-party evaluations are likely to affect their purchasing decision 75% of the time. By expanding their material, the corporations may capitalize on good feedback and strengthen their online image.
- There are a lot of methods for naturally incorporating positive comments into digital marketing strategies. Seeking online influencers is one of the best techniques for creating new business and increasing the volume of reviews. Developing favorable relationships with influencers might assist the company in reaching out to more users in its target demographic.
- Influencers also play a key role in establishing the narrative about a specific firm. Customers will pay greater attention to these characteristics and highlight them in their evaluations when influencers emphasize what they appreciate about a brand.
- Almost 54% of people conduct product research on social media before purchasing. Besides, more than 79% of clients think social media users' evaluation impact their decisions.
3- Manage Negative Reviews
As negative feedback garners considerably more attention than a positive one, when it comes to facing negative comments there are some best practices to follow:
- a) Respond as soon as possible since the longer you postpone, the less likely you are to resolve the issue.
- b) It is the best practice to be professional. Try not to take the review personally. Instead, express regret and apologize for the customer's negative experience.
- c) Offer to solve the issue. Many firms make the mistake of attempting to explain the negative experience rather than offering to address the issue.
- d) Continue the discussion offline. Invite the consumer to contact you directly by phone or email to fix the matter at the end of your message. In this manner, you may manage any subsequent complaints away from the public eye and solve the customer's problems.
4- Try New Players like Apple Maps
- Since mid-2021, Apple Maps Reviews' ratings is available in the United States and Canada. This feature allows users to give a thumb up or down rating. While not as strong as Google Reviews, experts believe it is important to monitor online reputation there as well, as it is another way for potential consumers to find brands.
- According to Nigel Atkinson, Account Director at Rio SEO, extra attributes will be accessible for clients to give a thumb up or down, depending on the company's activity. For example, for restaurants, it will be possible for a reviewer to rate based on its "customer service, food & drink, and atmosphere."
5- Report Spam Reviews
- Unfortunately, receiving spam reviews is too frequent. Competitors usually post them to encourage prospective clients to use their product or service instead of yours. As spam reviews impact on company's reputation and average rating, they should be checked and addressed immediately.
- Some company review sites like Google and Yelp allow businesses to flag spam reviews.
6- Monitor User-Generated Content
- What your customers say about you is more significant than ever since 87% of shoppers consult internet reviews before purchasing. Therefore, it is paramount to monitor the brand's public reputation on a regular basis by using multiple channels like social media, blogs, and review sites. It is also the best practice to respond to clients' feedback across all of your locations.
- You may also use apps like Sprout Social or Mention to access user-generated content and determine whether something positive or negative is being stated about your brand. As a result, you can take steps to repair and improve your brand's reputation.
7- Humanizing Customer Support Contact Process
- Recent research examining the pandemic's impact on consumer behavior reveals an intense desire for human touch. According to a new Stella Connect study, 80% of consumers prefer to engage with a human when they require customer assistance rather than using self-service options. This is consistent with prior PwC research, which indicated that 75% of consumers prefer to contact a live person, even as technology for automated solutions improves.
- In addition, shoppers feel emotionally connected to the brand when the customer support team provides a rapid solution to their problems. According to Stella Connect's study, 86% of consumers are prompt to leave positive feedback when they know it will directly benefit the agent.
For this research about providing best practices for reputation management on company review sites, we leveraged the most reputable sources available in the public domain like RioSeo, Qiigo, My Area Network, PwC, and My Total Retail, among others.
We prioritized those best practices backed up with quantitative data or recommended by experts like Stella Connect, Karen Pace, and Nigel Atkinson.