Online reviews management is an important part of how your business is portrayed and perceived online. An improper review management process can not only “break” your business, but it can completely decimate it and leave you standing in the rubble. That’s why it’s sometimes necessary to bring in a knowledgable online reviews management team to take care of the job for you.
Online Reviews Management: How to Manage Online Reviews of Your Business
Depending on the size of your business, your current reputation, and a variety of other influencing factors, it’s not uncommon to need the assistance of a professional online reviews management team to build or rebuild your online reputation. There are, however, some things that you can do on your own to assist in the effort.
Know When to Ask For Help
The first thing to recognize when it comes to online reviews management is when a situation is out of your control or something that you simply aren’t familiar enough with to properly manage. For example, if you are not computer savvy at all, it’s best to call in an online reputation management company to take care of managing your online reviews for you. Or, if you’re facing an avalanche of negative online reviews and just don’t know where to start in resurrecting your online reputation, take a step back from the control panel and let a reputable company step in and do the job for you. Hiring a company with experience in online reputation management will not only allow you to distance yourself from comments and not reply on a personal and emotional level, but it will also make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed with a job that is beyond your management capabilities.
Remember, you’re not a reputation manager or online presence company. You haven’t been trained to manage this type of job and you are going to be “flying blind”. Why not focus your efforts on your business operations and let a fully trained professional manage online reviews for you instead?
Don’t Take it Personally
You will notice that in the section above, we mentioned not replying to comments on a personal level. While it’s always important to include a personal touch to anything related to your business, when responding to critical or negative comments online, it can be easy to take things too personally. It’s only natural that with all that you have invested in your business, you will take it personally when you feel that your “baby” is being attacked. It’s important to be able to distance yourself from this personal connection when managing online reviews, however, because there are many potential “traps” when you don’t keep your emotions in check. For example:
- Taking comments personally can lead you to reply to reviews on a personal level as someone who has invested so much into a business rather than someone who is running a business. This can lead to emotional displays and unprofessional comments that will make your business look even worse!
- Reviews left by customers are a reflection of the experience of that customer, as the provider of a product or service, it’s important that you focus on that experience and how you can make it better, rather than how much it hurt your feelings.
- Proper response and management of a critical online review can result in a customer giving you a second chance as a business, but rash comments and knee-jerk reactions can lead to losing a customer (and readers of your response) forever.
Personality is Important
When you do respond to critical comments and reviews online, it’s important that you portray a professional business rather than an individual. This is often much easier for a third party to do than it is for an owner of a business to do. If you decide to respond to reviews yourself, however, make sure that you remember that personality is important. Your job is to portray your company as one that cares about the customer experience and that means creating a personal “relationship” with customers and doing what it takes to curate and manage that relationship. As such, you want to ensure that how you portray your brand’s voice online is congruent with your message as a company.
Don’t Hide and Hope It Will Go Away
A common tactic among small business owners in particular when they receive a critical online review is to hide from that comment and hope that it will go away. We’ve got some news for you – that comment isn’t going anywhere and by ignoring it, you are only reinforcing the idea that you don’t care about your business or your customer experience. What you should be doing, however, is showing clients that you are a business that cares, a business that is present, and a business that will do what it takes to earn back business if a customer has a negative experience. How do you do this?
- Respond to reviews in a timely manner
- Respond to reviews in an appropriate tone
- Apologize for negative experiences and customers who were unhappy with your product
- Reach out personally to the author of the review and offer a resolution that will result in them giving your company or brand a second chance
- Respond to positive reviews as well! This lets clients know that you are an engaged company that is listening to the opinion of those who rely on your business or service.
Need Help With Online Reviews Management?
If you need help from an experienced online reviews management company, Online Presence Manager can help. We offer a variety of online review management and reputation management services that can be catered to your individual needs, just give us a call to get started on building a plan for your business’s future!