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We’ve written before about online brand reputation management, and the role that digital review sites play in it. The takeaway is that there’s no question reviews matter to today’s consumer, whether they’re shopping for a personal care product, a dentist, or a software provider for their business. In order to help your business increase positive online reviews and use this tool for maximum value, here are some business strategy tips that will help you elevate your online review game.

Public Perception

The first key purpose behind digital reviews is public perception. How the average consumer views your company and the products or services you sell is a major reason why they’ll buy from you or not. With 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally reading online reviews, and 84 percent trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations, review sites are often where they’ll start forming this opinion.

In order to give them a glowing first impression, you have to increase your positive online reviews. First, you need to understand which review sites hold the most weight in the eyes of your personas. For example, a software company will want to focus their attention on a site like G2, while a restaurant would zero in on Yelp! Some organizations even use their own website as a review site, this works well especially for niche industries in which there isn’t a third-party review site that’s trusted industry-wide.

Once you figure out where, here are a few more ways to improve your online review process:

  • Set up an automated email asking for a review from any customer who responds positively to a survey you send. Emphasize that the more specific they can be in their review commentary, the better.
  • When you ask for a review, include some sample verbiage that the customer can borrow from. This will prompt them, save them time and remove enough friction from the process that they’ll be more likely to follow through with the review.
  • Don’t try to clean up or delete negative reviews. Even if you have the option to remove them, unless a review is inflammatory or abusive in nature, leave it. Consumers tend to become skeptical when a business only has positive reviews, and are more likely to believe positive reviews when there are also negative ones mixed in.
  • Incentivize reviews when needed. If you’re having trouble getting customers to leave you reviews at all, offer them a discount on their next order or something that sweetens the deal (just be careful this doesn’t appear to be bribery, or it can come back to haunt you later).

Internal Instruction

The second purpose behind digital reviews is to give your company feedback into how it’s doing. As the owner, it can be incredibly powerful to share positive reviews at the end of each meeting  as a way to recognize great work from your team. It can also be helpful to use negative reviews during job performance reviews, especially if an employee was mentioned by a reviewer by name.

Furthermore, reviews can teach you a lot. When negative reviews are given constructively, and with detail, the feedback can be a goldmine for you. Use these customer suggestions to fuel product improvements, dictate which employee trainings you prioritize or encourage you to change company processes. On the other side, positive reviews are a great way to know which product features and company practices to double down on.

When online reviews are part of your online brand reputation management, they cannot be overlooked or underemphasized. If you’d like help learning more about how to increase positive online reviews or to gain other business strategy tips, please contact us anytime.

Key takeaways:

  • Level up your business’s online review situation
  • Reviews are like friends, what they say, matters
  • Don’t get reviewed on every site, narrow it down
  • Ask for them
  • Use the feedback to better your business