You know the drill. You visit the dentist or get the oil changed in your car and before you’ve made it back home you’ve received a text thanking you for your business and asking you to consider leaving a review. That’s followed with a direct link to a review site of particular importance to that business.
Online reviews have never been more consequential. Customers increasingly lean on them to determine which products to purchase and where to turn for services. In fact, Birdeye’s 2021 report on reviews found that 95% of customers now say they read reviews before buying anything. If you want to attract new customers, your existing customers better be saying great things about you online.
With so much riding on online reviews, you don’t want to leave your fate to a hands-off approach. Fortunately, at Fryed Egg, we can help you manage this crucial component of your business, removing the mystery from the process and putting you in control so that your reviews will glitter and bring in new, bigger audiences.
Here are some keys to managing your online reviews.
Be proactive and ask early
Seek reviews, ask for reviews. If you’re not proactive about it, you’re not going to attract as many as you need. You want to connect with customers as soon after their experience with you as possible, while things are fresh. That could mean an automated text after a customer leaves the store or office, or it could mean training staff to ask customers to review them on their service at the end of their interactions. The longer it takes for you to ask customers to review your business, the less likely that they’re going to make the effort to do it.
Make it easy -- for you and for them
Provide a simple, straightforward way to provide the review -- preferably a direct link -- so the process is easy for customers and you can direct them to the site you want them to use. Don’t ask customers to do any work that you can do for them. In addition, Fryed Egg can work with you to integrate managing online reviews into your existing software and workflow, ensuring requests to customers won’t get put off or forgotten entirely.
Know where your customers congregate
You’ll want to monitor and manage every review site that is important to your customers. That could mean focusing on the most popular ones, such as Google and Facebook, but it could mean targeting more niche sites that carry particular weight in your industry. Fryed Egg can help you identify the sites most important to your business.
Capture unhappy customers
When you reach out to your customers for reviews, you want to seize the opportunity to keep negative reviews from making their way online -- while also providing good customer service by addressing any bad experiences. The best approach is when you ask customers for a review to include a message that prompts them to connect with your business directly if things didn’t go well. For instance: “If your experience did not meet your expectations, please give us a chance to fix it.” That way you can rectify a bad experience -- and keep it from blemishing your online profile.
Respond to your reviews
Engaging with your reviewers is a must. It is your way of being a part of the online conversation about your business. Whether someone leaves a positive or negative review, you can demonstrate your responsiveness as a business and emphasize your focus on customer service by responding to their review. We recommend responding to every review that you receive, and we will work with you to make that process as painless, streamlined and effective as possible.
Embrace positive reviews ...
Responses to positive reviews are easy, of course. You answer graciously and thank them for their business and for taking the time to leave a review.
… and embrace negative ones, too
Negative reviews are trickier, but you should still see them as an opportunity. You want to apologize for any troubles the customer has had and to offer a solution to their problem. A good response from you to a poor review can boost your reputation, both with the offended customer and with others on the review site. Resist the urge to get defensive to negative reviews. You may feel that the customer is in the wrong or is providing a false depiction of their experience. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to correct the facts, apologize if appropriate, and offer to make things right. But check your tone and make sure you are not allowing a negative reviewer to make you lose your cool.
Fryed Egg can help turn online reviews from a worry to an opportunity that will strengthen your business. If you want to learn more about how Fryed Egg can help, contact us at (813) 478-0494 or YFry@FryedEgg.com or visit www.FryedEgg.com.