Fifty-seven percent of people require at least four stars before they will give a company their business. You start with a single golden review, more people try your product or service, you get more positive online reviews, and you get even more new customers. Or so you hope.

Unfortunately, you can also have the opposite scenario. You get one bad business review, and well, that’s that. You hit the ultimate business dead end.

The key to keeping your online reputation pristine is to have an online review management strategy. Here’s how you can keep your online reputation intact.

Track Your Reviews

Consider this: 97% of shoppers say reviews influence their buying decisions. That is a scarily high number. Use these tactics to track your business reviews online:

  • Use an online reputation management tool.
  • Check industry sites that are the most likely to have reviews for your business and see if they have the choice to receive notifications whenever your company is reviewed.
  • Use Google Alerts to send reports for online company mentions in web pages, blogs, videos, and discussions.
  • Work with a reputation monitoring service if your budget allows.

Assign a Review Ninja

You need someone to be in charge of your online review management. They will manage the monitoring but also either directly respond to or manage those who respond to online reviews.

Think carefully about who you choose, as those answers better be good, quick, and appease clients. Good qualities for a review manager might include:

  • Positive attitude about the business
  • Strong customer service
  • Chatty, conversational writing style
  • Authority to resolve issues or wise enough to know when to refer to a senior staff member

Most sites have rules that your responses must remain PG and PC. Your “ninja” should know the rules inside and out to make sure you aren’t breaking them. They can also manage your business pages.

Use Business Pages Properly

Sites such as Yelp, Zomato, and Google Places create basic business pages automatically. Some sites create the page only when someone chooses to review your business. Other sites create the page as part of a robust listing.

To control these pages, you need to either claim your page or choose to create your own page.

Most review and listing sites should have a “Claim your page,” “For business,” or sometimes even “Unlock your page” button or link somewhere. Click the link to claim your page.

Once your business page is set up or claimed, look for the tools that allow you to respond to reviewers, provide tracking options, and offer review analysis.

Respond to All Reviews

Studies have shown that responses to reviews helped increase the number of reviews received by 12% and improve ratings by 0.12 stars. Positive reviews should be acknowledged with an appreciative note so that everyone sees how humble and grateful you are for each of your customers.

Online Reviews

If this is unmanageable due to quantity, always keep an eye out for extra special reviews that include a personal experience and respond to those.

Sadly, people are 23% more likely to post negative reviews than a positive review. Mean, but true. In those instances, do all you can to turn those frowns upside down, such as:

  • Respond immediately, as 53% of customers expect a response to negative reviews within a week.
  • Make your first response public, but then take the conversation offline. This shows others you care while taking the power away from the reviewer.

Don’t “Target” Reviewers

The fact that they took the time to provide a positive review deserves some courtesies. Keep reviewers happy by avoiding using their information for targeted ads. This is a big one when you think about all the negativity about targeted ads and privacy issues.

Along the same vein, avoid making offers and rewards for good reviews. This can come off a little like a bribe and also make your reviews appear less authentic.

Online Reviews Management

Remove Fake Reviews

If you come across reviews that seem to be fake, “trolling,” or purposefully misleading, do what you can to have them removed. It’s against the Competition and Consumer Act for businesses and review platforms to refuse to remove suspected fake reviews; so, the law is on your side.

Never, ever post your own positive fake reviews. That’s a breach of site rules in just about every case. It might even be against the law in some states.

These online review management tips will help your business reviews become an asset. Call Outreach Digital Marketing to get started with our online review management software.

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