How Can I

Educate My Clients

on the Benefits of

Review Management?

Review management  has become increasingly essential for those who sell products and services online. Even local companies that get most of their business from walk-in traffic are subject to the uncertainties of their online reputation. That’s why taking a clear-headed approach to solve the problem of negative or indifferent publicity is so important.

Statistics show that three out of four consumers choose companies that have positive reviews, and 60 percent of prospective customers avoid doing business with companies that have lots of negative reviews. [1] About 85 percent of people trust online reviews from strangers just as much as personal recommendations.

A one-star increase in your Yelp rating can result in a 5 percent to 9 percent increase in sales. Consumers also respond better to reviews that are more comprehensive or prominent. [2] However, let’s put away the scare tactics for the moment. The good news is that our services at ReviewNhit can automate review management so that you don’t need to face the prospect of daily reputation-related emergencies,

You can manage your online reputation, dispute inaccurate reviews and increase the number of positive reviews with the right review management software. Much of the work is done automatically with the review management plans available from our company. We can encourage customers to write more great reviews, post them where they’ll do the most good for your business and help you manage the critical art of responding to negative – and positive – reviews in a calm, professional and helpful way.

Contents

Agencies Need to Show Concrete Results

Review management can often seem like a pie-in-the-sky dream to average business owners who don’t realize the importance, urgency and benefits of managing reviews. Agency clients often believe that they have little or no control over online reviews. Our services can help you demonstrate the concrete benefits of review management software and planning.

Review Management Unleashed

Review management consists of various tools and processes that can unleash powerful benefits for business. The benefits apply even to neighborhood businesses that don’t receive a lot of online business because consumers read the reviews of local businesses before shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. The benefits of review management services for your clients include:

  • Rank higher in organic searches.
  • Improve customer service and curate exceptional customer experiences.
  • Manage reviews for multiple store locations.
  • Grow brand awareness.
  • Strengthen social following, and increase marketing opportunity.
  • Resolve complaints professionally to satisfy customers.
  • Increase sales and profits.
  • Manage reviews from a single place.
  • Save time on reputation management.
  • Automate data collection, and trigger alerts for certain situations.
  • Gather more complete profiles of existing customers.
  • Raise customer satisfaction, and build brand loyalty
  • Salvage negative reviews by demonstrating responsive customer service.

What Is Review Management?

The review management consists of four major areas:

(1) generating reviews

(2) monitoring reviews

(3) responding to reviews 

(4) leveraging the most favorable reviews

When you’re dealing with clients, you should be careful to use the language that you feel he or she would appreciate. Many business owners might respond better to “getting better reviews” or “managing the fallout from bad reviews.”

Many people use the terms review management and reputation management interchangeably, and we won’t quibble. Just recognize that some people see reputation management as having negative connotations – such as flooding the internet with fake reviews to drown out negative reviews by sheer volume.

Learn how to use Reviews to grow your agency.

Generating Reviews

Long-term success comes from providing attentive customer service to encourage people to review your company. There are many potential review sites where your customers can post reviews. The first step for business owners is to register with local newspapers, industry journals, review sites and networks. These directories and networks are called local citations, and they can be critical for publicizing your clients’ companies and products.

Local citations aren’t necessarily limited to local companies. Industry networks, social media sites and review sites also qualify. In fact, any mention of a business on the web is considered a local citation if it includes the company name, address, phone number and other particulars.

Registering for local citations is an important strategy for increasing SEO ranking and establishing a company as a legitimate business in the eyes of people who browse the internet. It’s important to check whether a business is registered correctly and that all the information is updated and accurate. The best practices for registering for all local citations include:

  • Obtain clear, high-resolution copies of the company logo.
  • Pick several high-quality photos relating to the business or its products.
  • Gather web addresses of the company website and other pages like social media.
  • Write a short but informative paragraph about the business.

After compiling the information, your clients should check all relevant networks and local media to see whether the company is listed and whether the information is correct. Providing updated copies of the logo and great photos helps convey a more professional image.

How to Increase the Volume of Company Reviews

Statistics show that review count is even more important than star rating in attracting more customers. According to Searchengineland statistics, claiming local citations on multiple websites can increase revenue by an average of 58 percent. [3] Businesses that respond to customer reviews earn about 35 percent more revenue than those who don’t. Reviews matter, but how can your clients generate more favorable reviews?

There are an unlimited number of ways to increase favorable reviews, and they all begin by offering great customer service. Stats show that customer service matters more than price and quality. Your customers can exercise their creativity or follow the steps that others have found to be successful. Some of the best strategies your clients can use to generate more reviews include:

  • Optimizing the company website, social posts, blog posts and emails to provide easy links to post a review or comment
  • Including several review-posting widgets in different parts of the company website
  • Using badges for third-party websites like Yelp, Google Business, Amazon and Facebook
  • Sending thank-you emails to customers and requesting reviews
  • Keeping requests short and sweet
  • Sponsoring contests and competitions for reviews with photos or video reviews
  • Avoiding fake or employee reviews
  • Asking for reviews on the back of cash register receipts
  • Using Twitter, Facebook and other social sites to promote reviews
  • Nurturing new customers by asking them for short reviews
  • Appealing to those who want to see their name and writing in print by mentioning the names of appropriate reviews sites where reviews are posted

  • Responding to all reviews to ensure review writers that their reviews are noticed
  • Trading reviews with customers who are also in business

Claiming free listings and generating plenty of reviews can earn your clients an average of $72,000 more in annual revenue than those who don’t bother. [3]

Choosing Where to Post Reviews

Your clients can’t always choose where to post reviews because many review sites accept unbiased reviews directly. However, your clients can encourage customers by listing the most respected and effective sites for their respective industries. Making it easy to post a review on third-party websites almost guarantees that customers will choose one of them.

Some of the best review sites for general businesses include the following:

  • Google

Google stands alone at the top of the pack for several reasons. Google uses proprietary algorithms to rank search engine queries, and a recent Moz study of Local Search Ranking Factors revealed that SEO ranked about 15 percent of scores based on local pack factors. That means that having lots of high-quality, positive reviews is one of the strongest ways to improve your clients’ SERP rankings.

Google also posts reviews and aggressively encourages customers to rank their visits to local stores, an initiative based on GPS tracking of most people in America with a phone or computing device. Google users can leave reviews with incredible ease.

According to Moz’s most recent Local Search Ranking Factors Study, review signals make up around 15% of local pack factors. Put simply, having a high quantity of recent, diverse, high-quality reviews means Google’s local search algorithm is more likely to favor your business and surface it for relevant search queries.

Google My Business can benefit any client’s business by generating lots of reviews that receive prominence in search engine return pages. Potential customers are likely to see these reviews first. Google also favors its own reviews over reviews from other sites, so generating good Google reviews will boost your clients’ organic search results.

  • Yelp
    Yelp allows consumers to post reviews about local businesses, and the company also provides training and advice to business owners on how to respond to reviews. The company also provides business intelligence that includes health inspection scores for restaurants. Regardless of whether your clients register or advertise with Yelp, it’s likely that popular local businesses will receive reviews. It’s important for your clients to monitor Yelp to see what consumers are discussing online.

  • Amazon
    Amazon is an incredible marketplace forum that posts millions of reviews. The juggernaut verifies that customers actually bought a product before reviewing it. Of course, it’s necessary to market products on Amazon to get them reviewed, and your clients have little control over the reviews other than asking customers to review their Amazon purchases.

    However, the benefits of working with Amazon can be tremendous for your clients who can get marketing insights from business partners, learn what customers like and don’t like and discover what products buyers purchase in addition to the products they sell.

  • Facebook
    Facebook is one of the most popular forums for reviews, and members can create profiles, send messages and connect with businesses and other members. Many companies choose Facebook to run customer service pages. Members can use Facebook’s strong data to follow their favorite businesses and target particular customer demographics

    Your clients should understand that Facebook has a huge audience, and that fact can be beneficial or problematic for companies that don’t have sufficient staff to manage a possible flood of inquiries. People talk about companies frequently on the world’s most popular social media site, so it’s important to monitor social chatter about any company with a Facebook presence.

 

  • TripAdvisor
    TripAdvisor provides reviews for any type of business, but the focus is on travelers who are looking for hotels, travel deals, restaurants and other products and services while away from home. Hospitality companies of all kinds receive big benefits from favorable reviews posted at TripAdvisor. The site operates in more than 25 countries.

 

  • Local BBB Website
    Reviews can be posted at the local Better Business Bureau, which is committed to helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities. The BBB educates consumers, reports on local scams and investigates claims of fraud.

  • Manta
    Manta operates as a business service directory and search engine with a large volume of traffic and review options for small businesses. Members often use the site to connect and network with related businesses, which makes it an ideal site for B2B reviews.

 

  • Angie’s List
    Angie’s List remains one of the oldest review sites that features user-based rankings of local services. Although it’s a paid review site, it’s organized well in specialty categories like house, health, pets, auto and other services.

  • Foursquare
    Foursquare is an ideal review site that attracts lots of local searches. The company posts reviews for any business, but restaurant reviews are the most common. As a social media forum, members can use search apps and tools to discover new businesses and get the lowdown on neighborhood companies.

 

  • Yellowpages
    The online version of Yellowpages, which is owned by YP, provides local marketing for businesses. The company has a large readership, and the reviews attract a lot of attention. Your clients can claim a free listing from Yellowpages and manage their reviews online.

Monitoring Reviews

Monitoring internet chatter and reviews that mention your clients’ businesses can be extraordinarily difficult with advanced software or other monitoring tools. That’s why it’s important for business owners to buy or lease monitoring software or subscribe to a review management plan.

The task of monitoring online reviews can be overwhelming without the right tools but simple and automatic with them. Monitoring can help your clients identify negative reviews, complaints about the company on social media and conversations where your company is mentioned. Your clients can improve their customer service, respond quickly to complaints and strengthen customer service practices to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Monitoring tools help business owners keep track of marketing trends and social topics of interest. Getting professional help can also manage multiple store locations and any number of review sites. The right tools can help your clients streamline information, receive invaluable customer feedback and respond to every review from one location.

Responding to Reviews

How your client responds to negative and positive reviews makes a big difference in how people view the company. Strong but polite responses are the best way to handle negative comments and complaints. On first contact, your client should make sure to get the facts from the customer’s point of view. Politely request time to investigate the complaint, and do so even if the complaint seems unlikely or impossible. How your client responds depends on what the investigation reveals, but these are common and acceptable responses:

  • Address the reviewer or complainant personally.
  • If the complaint seems unjustified, say so and ask for any further evidence or information.
  • If the matter concerns a trivial problem, you might offer a gift certificate or incentive for their time and trouble without admitting responsibility.
  • If the complaint is valid, apologize.
  • Regardless, thank the customer for their review or complaint.
  • Make things as right as possible for legitimate problems.
  • Ask the customer for a second chance.
  • If the complaint seems unwarranted, apologize for having a different opinion, but confirm that you can’t take another action without further verifying information.

Positive reviews also deserve acknowledgement, thanks and reinforcement. Some of the actions clients should take after receiving positive reviews or positive comments include:

  • Addressing the customer by name and thanking him or her for expressing an opinion.
  • Consider offering an incentive or gift for the customer’s time.
  • Explain that the compliment was passed along to the relevant staff members.
  • Ask if the client minds if some or all of the review is used in testimonials.
  • Remind the customer that everyone would like to see them or handle future online business.

Leveraging Reviews

There are many ways that your clients can use reviews for the company’s benefit. Even negative reviews can reinforce company transparency and showcase how hard the company works to resolve complaints. Some of the ways that your clients can leverage reviews include:

  • Cross-reference positive reviews with the company website, social media pages and other internet pages.
  • Use reviews in marketing communications.
  • Post copies of the review on the company website.
  • Use review information to improve services or products.
  • Post snippets in catalog descriptions.
  • Strengthen brand exposure.
  • Find out what competitors are doing better or worse than the company.
  • Increase visibility online and in searches.
  • Find out which keywords are used by customers.
  • Use positive reviews to reach key influencers.
  • Quote 5-star reviews in social media marketing.
  • Use some bad reviews to build trust in the company’s integrity.
  • Analyze reviews and complaints to find and fix technical bugs.
  • Build greater rapport with customers.
  • Use reviews and complaints to generate FAQs.

According to Bazaarvoice.com, one positive review can increase revenue by 10 percent, and eight reviews can affect search engine results dramatically. [4] The stats show that 100 reviews can raise revenue by 37 percent. If your clients can generate 200 reviews, sales will increase as average of 44 percent.

Learn how to use Reviews to grow your agency.

The Risks of Online Transparency

Business processes have changed. The way people do business has become more transparent, and consumers research the companies with which they do business to find out about materials, ingredients, ethical sourcing, commitment to the environment and other issues. Online transparency also encourages reviews and review sites and customer criticism and feedback.

You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, but you can embrace new forums and forms of communication with your customers. Some of the transparency issues that business owners must consider include:

  • Communicating with customers in multiple channels
  • Asking for feedback, reviews and survey input
  • Addressing complaints and criticism quickly
  • Monitoring in the internet for negative chatter and unflattering references about your company
  • Encouraging employees to talk about your products and services honestly

6-Risk-of-Online-Transparency

The Results of Online Transparency-related Failures

Transparency, though necessary in today’s business operations, can result in problems, misinterpretations and reputation management problems. Clear example is employee anger over firing or other issues. Employees can talk and post misleading or false information because of sour grapes after being fired or disciplined. Examples of transparency failures that you can explain to your agency clients include:

  • A Simple Tweet
    In 2010, The Dark Horse Café received a Tweet complaining about the lack of electrical outlets. [5] It’s a common criticism of customers who spend a lot of time online using restaurant and coffee shop Wifi connections. Unfortunately, the management responded to the criticism by stating that the company was in the coffee business and had plenty of outlets for that purpose. The response ignited a barrage of negative publicity because it was defensive and inaccurate by today’s standards.

     

  • Sony Learns a Lesson
    Back in 2005, Sony implemented copy protection on CDs, but the effort backfired by opening computer vulnerabilities. Instead of addressing the problem, Sony stonewalled the criticism. Eventually, Sony was forced to pay out millions of dollars to settle lawsuits. [5]

     

  • Fighting Back Aggressively Generates Resentment
    We’ve been found that fighting back too aggressively can backfire against business owners by triggering a “David Vs. Goliath” response. Amy’s Baking Company fought back hard against a one-star review on the internet. The local news picked up on the story, and the negative publicity aggravated the reputation damage. [6] The Scottsdale, Arizona, restaurant and bakery created fake accounts and countered every word of criticism on the company’s Facebook page.

     

  • Ignoring the Environment Is Bad for Business
    Nestle is the world’s largest food manufacturing company, but the company has a checkered history with charges of child labor, price fixing and mislabeling foods. Nestle was criticized a few years ago for poor environmental practices, which the company ignored for a time. Incensed consumers began an aggressive campaign of posting criticism and even posts of alterations of the company’s logo. Nestle was forced to close its main landing page and make sweeping changes to embrace sustainability. [5]

     

  • You Deserve a Healthy Egg Today
    McDonald’s has been criticized for years for its shortsighted policy of buying eggs from the cheapest suppliers. Eventually, McDonald’s responded to the criticism by forcing their suppliers to improve the living conditions of egg-laying hens. [5]

     

  • Failure to Update
    Keeping your web content fresh is a cardinal rule, but many companies don’t bother updating pages and policies that were created decades ago. Transparency shines a light on every error, inconsistency, crack and crevice, so your clients should update regularly, correct errors and deliver fresh content. [7]

The Value of a Supportive Customer Service Department

Most businesses understand that their customer service departments often uncover sales opportunities, but there are additional benefits to responsive, can-do customer service attitudes. Statistics show that customers are more impressed with a company that works hard to correct mistakes than companies that never post or acknowledge negative information. [8]

About 70 percent of customers admit to spending more money at companies that provide great customer service and willingly correct problems immediately. Keeping customers happy is critical because repeat customers increase company profits by 25 percent to 95 percent.

How to Improve the Customer Experience and Generate Positive Reviews

Agencies need to educate their customers about the risks of negative press and the benefits of empathetic customer service and proactive review management. The first step is to ensure that customers have multiple ways to reach you by phone, email and text message. Respond to all inquiries quickly, and train your staff to listen actively to what customers are saying. Other steps for effective review management include the following:

  • Record Complaints and Resolution Efforts
    Businesses need a centralized place to collect complaint information and how the complaint is treated. Doing this will build a central data bank where staff can collate feedback, determine trends and fine-tune customer service protocols.
  • Monitor the Internet and Blogosphere
    Proprietary software can monitor the internet and blogosphere and detect when a company name is mentioned, either positively or negatively. Negative information can be treated according to the steps below, but don’t forget to respond to positive comments to increase customer engagement and attract new customers.
  • Investigate Complaints
    Agency customers can fight back in a measured, professional way by doing everything in their power to resolve legitimate complaints. Domino’s breathed new life into its franchise by acknowledging that their pizzas weren’t very good and revamping their recipes. The first step to take after discovering a negative review is investigating the complaint.

    That includes determining whether the complaint was legitimate or made
    by a competitor or someone with an ax to grind. Techniques for investigating complaints include email tracing, cross-indexing data and other information-collecting techniques. Cyber investigations by professionals might be necessary in difficult reputation management scenarios.
  • Review Removal
    Sometimes, the simplest way to deal with negative information is simply requesting that it be removed. Business owners with a legitimate reason for the request – such as false information, greatly exaggerated claims or suspicion that the reviewer was biased – often succeed with a simple email requesting removal. If the charges are patently false, the owner can pursue legal action for libel.
  • Know Your Detractors
    The temptation to title this section “Know Your Enemy” was strong, but detractors are not a business owner’s enemy in most cases. Many have legitimate complaints because they didn’t understand what they were buying. Business owners should monitor complaints for trends that indicate a failure of communication.

  • Respond Quickly and Politely
    Companies who receive negative reviews and/or complaints should respond quickly and politely – even if the post is on a review site or other website forum like Facebook or another social media site. A simple acknowledgement goes a long way. For example, a message that reads “Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We are aware of your complaint and are working to solve it. We’ll contact you soon with further information.

  • Attack Any Fraudulent Attackers
    Let your clients know that they’re free to attack fraudulent claims as long as they maintain a professional demeanor. It might be necessary to sue anyone making fraudulent claims to maintain integrity.

     

  • Address Legitimate Criticism
    Solving customer complaints can increase a company’s profile and its reputation for integrity and customer service. Every company makes mistakes, and a willingness to resolve the problem goes a long way to remediate any complaint. If the complaint results from a difference of opinion, acknowledge the fact that there are different opinions even within the company. Apologize for any misinterpretations and, if possible and practical, offer to repair or replace the item at the heart of the controversy.

     

  • Learn from Mistakes
    Every company makes mistakes, and companies should be willing to acknowledge errors, fine-tune their policies and prevent further complaints on the relevant issue.

  • Get Professional Assistance
    Agency clients seldom have the training, skills and temperament to manage tricky issues like company reputation. That’s why you should encourage your clients to seek professional help when managing reviews.

  • Build Trust
    Building trust with consumers is the ultimate goal of most businesses, and implementing a strong review management policy can improve business reputation, repair mistakes, detect online inaccuracies and promote honest and favorable reviews that companies can proudly post in the most beneficial forums.

Increasing Reviews and Posting Them Effectively

It’s important to generate more favorable reviews, and our services at ReviewNhit can help your clients get more and better reviews and post them on the right third-party sites – such as Google, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Foursquare and specialized review sites.

We understand local SEO needs as well as any outside consultant, and we can improve your customers’ on-page and off-page SEO, organic search rankings, online reputation and visibility to their targeted customers. Our understanding of Google algorithms and ranking criteria is second to none, and we can turn your clients’ websites into successful and respected juggernauts when compared to local competitors who don’t recognize the value of review management.

ReviewNhit Provides Exceptional Review Management Services

It’s easy for your busy clients to overlook the opportunities and risks of online reviews. That’s why it’s important to educate them about review management. We hope that the information we’ve compiled will prove useful for that purpose.

Review management

Agencies and customers can contact us at ReviewNhit for further information about our review management services. Online reviews and digital technology have changed the way people do business. Statistics show that 97 percent of online shoppers check reviews of brick-and-mortar businesses and websites before buying, and 70 percent respond after reading positive reviews. [8] Pointing out the opportunities of managing customer reviews to your clients can increase their respect for your business savvy and digital expertise.

Learn how to use Reviews to grow your agency.

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