8 Best Practices for Online Review Management

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Did you know that 87% of consumers read online reviews to decide what to buy, where to stay, and which restaurant to visit? 

But, it is not only important to get more online reviews on Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, Yelp, Tripadvisor, etc. You also need to manage and reply to the reviews in a timely fashion. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to achieve that. Let’s dive into 8 best practices you can use to help your clients manage their online reviews effectively.

Claim all of your business listing pages 

This might seem obvious, but it is easy to overlook. Make sure your business is registered on all of the free applicable listing directories, like Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, Tripadvisor, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yellow Pages, and Angie’s List.

Listing your business online can be helpful because it makes people aware of your business, what you offer, and demonstrates social proof (in the form of ratings and reviews).

When you are creating your business profile, make sure to add information like your website, an SEO-optimized business description, photos, relevant CTAs, and links to your social profiles.

Pro Tip: You can use a free SEO tool, like UberSuggest to help you optimize for local SEO.

Once you’re listed, and reviews start coming in, gear up and promptly respond to reviews.

Use reputation management software for online review management

You cannot and should not track each review manually. This is why it can be helpful to use HighLevel for review monitoring, since it automatically pulls in all of your reviews from sites like GMB and Facebook.   

Then, you can get a notification when you get a new review, so you can respond in a timely fashion. In addition, since all of your reviews are aggregated, you can search for specific phrases or keywords to better spot potential trends, patterns, or issues.

Plus, you can also send automated email and SMS messages to customers asking for reviews. 

Create a review response guidelines document for your team

Review response guides are documents that help businesses train their team to manage and reply to online reviews. It has rules and ideas for interacting with customers’ feedback with examples of on-brand responses to specific scenarios.

Review response guides are crucial for outsourcing review management. Even when one team member leaves, another one can take its place and keep on-brand responses going live with the help of the guide.

They work best when you go beyond “scripts” and templates” and help them understand the importance of reviews, teaching them good communication skills, practicing different scenarios, and supporting them along the way.

  • Think about the brand’s voice and tone. Communicate it in your review response guide with examples of specific scenarios. 
  • Teach how reviews influence customers’ opinions and affect the company’s reputation.
  • Share examples of different reviews, both positive and negative, and how to respond to each. 
  • Role-play different review situations for the most common types of reviews. Help them practice responses to online and in-person reviews. 
  • Teach them to put themselves in the customers’ shoes and manage their emotions. So, a response doesn’t come off as defensive. 
  • Provide feedback on their review responses, offering suggestions for improvement. 
  • Train them to remain flexible. Even with the guide, employees should adjust their responses to each review. 

Respond to online reviews across all platforms within 24 hours.

Since reviews affect SEO rankings, add valuable social proof, and influence consumers’ decision-making – it is best to always respond to reviews within 24 hours.

However, this doesn’t mean you should give the same canned response each time. 

  • Instead, take the time to understand the customer’s feedback.
  • Show appreciation and empathy by thanking the customer.
  • Respond to any specific issues raised in the review. Be honest and transparent in your reply. 
  • Offer immediate solutions or steps to address the customer’s concerns. This could involve offering a refund, replacement, or further assistance.

Responding to reviews promptly improves brand image and shows customers that you care.

Don’t ignore negative reviews 

Businesses make mistakes. It happens to the best of us. The worse you can do after receiving negative feedback is either ignore it or delete the review. 

While responding to positive feedback is straightforward, tackling negative responses requires a different approach. 

One way to respond to negative feedback is to use Disney’s H.E.A.R.D. technique:

The way you respond to your client in duress says a lot about your brand. Learn how to do this in the action items.

  • Respond as promptly as possible. Ideally in 24 hours.
  • Be professional and empathetic. Avoid treating the review as a personal attack. Instead, acknowledge and apologize for the customer’s poor experience.
  • Offer to fix the problem. 
  • Continue the conversation offline through email or call.
  • Follow up and ensure the issue is resolved or the customer is compensated.

Share positive reviews on social media

You can use social media to capitalize on good reviews. By sharing a good review, you are not only sharing social proof but you are also encouraging more customers to leave positive reviews.

Not to mention, if you’ve built up some rapport with the customer who left the positive review, you can even encourage them to share the post on their social media accounts.  

Apply feedback from these reviews to improve the business 

When we read reviews, we can learn what customers like and don’t like. We can see what makes them happy and what could be improved.

Here are some things to look for and how you can use this to improve your business. 

  • Take the time to read reviews and pay attention to their suggestions.
  • Look for common themes or recurring issues mentioned in the reviews. 
  • Highlight positive feedback from customers to understand maintainable business aspects.
  • Take negative feedback seriously and consider it as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Pay attention to constructive criticism in the reviews. 
  • Share the findings from the reviews with the client. 
  • Determine which aspects of the business need immediate attention and prioritize them accordingly.
  • Create a plan outlining specific steps to implement based on the feedback.
  • Work to implement changes within the business.
  • Monitor customer satisfaction levels and any changes in the reviews after implementing improvements.

Monitor and analyze competitor reviews

Mining your competitor’s reviews can tell their strengths, weaknesses, and customer expectations and preferences.

  • Pay attention to positive and negative reviews and their responses to each one.
  • Look for common themes or trends in the reviews. Note what customers like and dislike about your competitor’s products, services, or customer experience.
  • Then, use these findings to refine your approach toward review management.

*** 

In conclusion, effective online review management is crucial for businesses to thrive in today’s digital landscape. 

Review management works best when it is integrated fully in your marketing strategy, systems, and workflows. So, you can stay on top of everything.

That’s where a solution, like HighLevel, excels. And we have reputation management features built into the platform, so you can streamline account management without needing to pay for and integrate yet another tool.

Ready to level up your agency? Get started with a 14-day free trial. 

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