Review Sites Aren't Going Anywhere. Act Accordingly

When review sites like Trust Radius, Home Advisor and the Better Business Bureau became popular to consumers, reputation management firms tried to suppress negative reviews from potential customers as much as possible. They are not winning that fight.

Review sites aren’t going anywhere. They are heavily favored by search engines and have become an important part of the branding process. They allow the online community to “police” companies by providing information on the quality of service, product or anything that may have positively or negatively impacted their interactions with that brand.

Where Do You Begin?

There are many review sites out there. Picking the right one truly depends on your industry. If your business is focused on B2B commerce, you might want to look at Trust Radius. Angie’s list is focused on home improvement services like plumbing, landscaping and housecleaning. Yelp and Foursquare focus on entertainment options like restaurants, movie theatres and shopping.

Choose the review sites that fit your business type. Create an account and a page. Any happy or unhappy customer can create a page on their own so take a look at all the review sites for unofficial pages. Once your page or pages are up and running, customers will be free to write reviews about your business at will.

Any time a new review comes in, you will typically receive an email. These sites allow you to quantify your brand reputation and identify problem areas that may need solutions.

Complete and Enhance Your Profile

Think about your review site profile like a social page that you own. The more complete and engaging it is, the better response you will get from visitors. Be sure to provide vital information to your customers: hours of operation, location and other forms of contact information. Finally, update your profile with high-quality images, videos or other content to entice positive engagement with your brand.

Participate and Respond

Responding to your reviews can greatly increase your influence toward the “next” customer reviewing your company. Thank customers who leave positive reviews and use it as an opportunity to build a deeper relationship with them by offering discounts or commenting directly if you remember them.

Negative reviews can impact brand perception quite a bit. You can’t win every review, but remember to respond in a calm, honest manner to the negative ones. If you messed up, own it. Let other customers know that you own up to your mistakes and are actively addressing them.

If the customer leaves a review that you don’t believe to be true, don’t berate them. Other reviewers won’t know who is telling the truth and will likely side with the reviewer. Instead, calmly comment about how you are addressing the concern and provide an incentive to give you a second chance.

There’s An App for That

If you are finding it overwhelming to be on so many websites and need a way to streamline the process, then you’re in luck. There are many apps for that. Signpost, Talkwalker and many other tools manage accounts, enable bulk response to reviews and manage your online brand reputation. Find the one that works best for you.

Online Review Management is real and necessary for success in ever-evolving online communities. Personal relationships are still the key to building a thriving business. Now we just have more tools to do so. How will you take charge of your online reputation?

Reach out to Next Horizon to improve your reputation management today.

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