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Over 90% of consumers read reviews when shopping for products or services online. Negative reviews can harm your online reputation, making it more difficult to attract new customers.
Managing reviews is essential for any business, including local brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. Implement the following strategies to get the best reviews in 2021.
Find out which sites and platforms your customers use to research products and services. Each demographic has different internet habits. The younger crowd often relies on social media while older individuals may visit forums or review websites.
Start by growing your social media presence on the platforms used by your customers. About 84% of those between the ages of 25 and 30 use Facebook. However, Instagram remains more popular for people between the ages of 18 and 24.
Getting on the same websites as your customers helps to increase brand awareness and recognition. However, it also provides a way to read what people are saying about your products or services.
Engage with customers to build trust and learn more about their interests. You can ask questions to gain more insight into their decision-making process and what they like or dislike about your offerings.
Social media sites tend to provide the best platform for engaging with customers. You can ask open questions that require people to elaborate on their opinions instead of giving one-word answers.
For example, you may ask people what types of features they would like on the next version of your product or service. You could also ask questions to learn about your target audience’s preferences for colors or designs.
Along with gaining more insight, asking questions is a great way to build a stronger connection with customers. Interacting with them shows that you value their input, which goes a long way toward establishing trust.
Every business receives both positive and negative reviews. It is important to respond to all reviews, not just the negative ones.
Thanking a customer for their response can help boost customer retention. When you thank a customer for leaving a positive review, you let them know that you appreciate their support and opinion.
Responding to negative reviews is also part of a successful reputation management strategy. Most platforms allow users to edit or remove reviews. If you resolve a customer’s complaint, they may update their review.
When responding to negative reviews, avoid using defensive language. Ask how you can resolve the issue, which may involve refunding the customer or sending a replacement product.
Rewarding people who leave reviews can help you gain more reviews. For example, you may send customers an email with details on how to claim a free reward if they post a review. You could also offer a discount on their next purchase.
It is important to let customers know that they can leave a positive or negative review. Soliciting positive reviews with free merchandise may violate policies on some platforms. Encourage customers to leave honest reviews.
Running a contest is another common tactic for soliciting customer reviews. To enter the contest, customers need to post a review to the appropriate platform.
As with offering a reward, a contest gives customers more incentive to leave a review. Common prizes include gift cards or free products.
Encouraging satisfied customers to leave a review is one of the most effective ways to improve your online reputation. About 80% of reviews are submitted by buyers after the business follows up with an email or message.
For example, one to two weeks after making an online purchase, a customer may receive a follow-up email. The email typically thanks the customer for the purchase and asks if they have any questions or concerns. The email then concludes with a reminder to leave a review if they are happy with the purchase.
Following up with a buyer can help resolve any complaints before they have a chance to leave a negative review. Addressing the problem may even result in a positive review and repeat business.
One of the most important reputation management strategies is responding to comments quickly. If possible, you should try to respond within 24 hours.
When you see a negative review, follow-up instantly, as waiting too long reduces the chances of resolving the problem. A quick response often minimizes the frustration of the customer.
Implementing the strategies discussed is easier when you have quick access to your reviews. At SO Connect, we centralize user reviews across all platforms on a single tool (Reviews). You can get real-time alerts whenever you receive a new review.
Start using our Reviews tool to streamline the way you manage online reviews and maintain a positive reputation.