online reviews

Why your business needs online reviews

1) Potential customers can tell if your business is filtering your online reviews

According to Ecoconsultancy, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores. Online customers are more savvy than ever and can spot when things look too good to be true. Indeed, 95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores (Reevoo, 2015).

2) You’ll lower trust levels if you only have good online reviews

Webrepublic have stated that 30% of consumers assume online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews. If you’ve only received five star reviews for your business, customers will know your manipulating them and can assume that it’s because your hiding something.

3) Give your customers a voice and show that you care

If you don’t allow or encourage reviews, your customers that have something to say, whether that may be positive or negative, will find it strange. It’s much better to be able to respond to a negative review to show that you care about your customer experiences than have them leave reviews on unverified listings and profiles.

If your business doesn’t allow for feedback, it appears to customers that you don’t really care about them or value customer service. If customers can’t expect good service, don’t expect them to want to visit your business. Customers like to see businesses that are open to feedback and especially the businesses that are listening enough to try to win customers back.

5) Give your business a chance to win back business

If a review isn’t published, customers can feel frustrated. If you let your customer down and they leave a review, this is an opportunity for you to win them back. By responding sympathetically and providing solutions, the customer’s experience will feel less negative and in turn, could help them give you another chance.

6) You’re missing out on opportunities to improve

While customers can sometimes be difficult with unrealistic expectations, others can help you improve on potential oversights. There is also room for improvement, and by listening to those who matter the most - the customer - you can only improve their experience. 

Want to know more about review management? Click here, or book a call with one of our digital experts.


Review Management - Best Practices

We make online review management easy.

Why your business needs to stop removing reviews:

1) People can tell your business is filtering the reviews.
68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores (Econsultancy, 2012). Customers are a lot more clued up now and are able to spot the difference between real and fake reviews - in fact, 95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores (Reevoo, 2015).

2) It can look like your business has something to hide.
30% of consumers assume online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews (Webrepublic). Only 8% of consumers expect a business to have a 5-star rating before they will consider using them (Brightlocal, 2016). If there are only five star reviews on a review site, customers will know that your business controls its reviews and will assume it’s because you’re hiding something

3) It looks like your business doesn’t value customers enough to win them back
If your business doesn’t allow or encourage feedback, it appears to customers that you don’t really care about them or value customer service. If customers can’t expect good service, don’t expect them to want to visit your business. Customers like to see businesses that are open to feedback and especially the businesses that are listening enough to try to win any customers back that may have had a bad experience.

4) It doesn’t give your business an opportunity to win back customer trust
If a review isn’t published, it can be very infuriating to customers. If your business did fail the customer, it gives you a chance to win them back. Since your business is responding to the reviewer publicly, your business can possibly win them back as well as show other customers that you care about how you treat your customers. Customers and potential customers will respond well to that.

5) You could be missing out on valuable feedback to improve.
While customers at times can be unrealistic with their expectations from a business, some can provide feedback on possible oversights. Oversights happen to the best of us and there is always room for improvement. Listening to your customers may help improve certain aspects of your business moving forward!

Here are the situations when it is acceptable for your business to filter out which reviews are published:

1) When the review contains graphic material or inappropriate language
If the review is inappropriate, contains explicit language or graphic material. Fortunately, many review sites are all over this, but if they happen to miss it, you can flag it as inappropriate.

2) When reviews are irrelevant to your business.
If a review doesn’t provide any mention or context to your business, products or services. Sometimes customers leave reviews but they really want to ask a question. If it really doesn’t add context as a review from a customer, it is okay to suppress that review.

3) When reviews are spam or someone is plugging another business
If a review isn’t related to your business but is obviously spam, or if a person starts talking about their business instead of you business.

4) When the review is a fake or planted by a competitor you know it
In the case of review fraud, it is completely acceptable to suppress the review and remove it.

Unfortunately, reviews have been used as blackmail and this sort of unsavoury behavior does occur. The fact that this behavior is on the rise further highlights the importance of practising review management and using reputation management software.

Please don’t review your own business - Again, customers and potential customers will be able to tell that you’re self-reviewing from a mile off! No one will write such lengthy and in-depth reviews about a business, so please let any reviews be from your customers!

Here’s how your business can practice white-hat review management:

  1. Provide exceptional customer experiences
  2. Ask your customer to leave a review (in store signs, surveys, etc)
  3. Read and analyse the review. Does it meet the criterion to suppress or remove?
    1. If yes, remove and you are done managing the review
    2. If no, the review stays published
  4. Respond to the review
    1. If the review is positive, thank them for their feedback
    2. If the review is negative, try to move the conversation offline. Try to remedy the situation to win the customer back. If you have remedied the situation, try asking them to adjust their review. If not, then at least the customer may come back.

Why it’s best to take the review management high-road?

At the end of the day, people can tell that if your business is grooming your reviews if all of your reviews are too positive. From a consumer’s perspective, it is better to see a business with a mix of reviews, mostly positive but with some negatives as well, we are all human after all! So long as a business is trying to remedy the situation by responding to the customer and following the proper review management protocols, it actually says more about the business than a business with all perfect five star reviews.

Find out more about our review management service and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.

customer service dos and don'ts

Fundamental Customer Service Dos and Don’ts You Can’t Ignore

In the pursuit of excellent customer service, we have outlined some powerful customer service dos and don’ts you should follow.

Customer service can make or break a business. If a customer likes you and continues to like you, they will continue to do business with you. If they don't, they won't.

We all remember a time when we’ve received excellent customer service. And unfortunately, bad customer service is almost always recalled more easily.

Do: Anticipate The Client’s Needs

Instead of simply listening to your customer’s needs, you need to understand their unexpressed wishes and anticipate their next move. Always give people more than what they expect to get by staying one step ahead of them — literally giving them what they didn’t know they needed. That is how you will stand out from other businesses.

This builds an exceptional rapport with your customer and makes them feel like you truly value their business, making them want to come back for more and most probably leaving a positive review!

Do: Create a Personalised Experience Show Genuine Interest

Creating a personalized experience, by simply caring about what they’re telling you, makes customers feel appreciated and valued. Listen to them grumble, show sympathy, laugh when they laugh and don’t be afraid to get personal. Something as small as memorizing the name of their cat or asking about their last trip to Hawaii will help solidify your relationship.

In fact, 75% of customers will want to shop with businesses that offer personalised experiences by 2020!

If your customer service staff can build, nourish and manage relationships with your customers, then you’re on the right track because your online customer service is as important, if not more so than the face-to-face interactions.

In the end, the customer wants to feel that they’re spending their hard-earned dollars on a business that cares about them!

Do: Have Service Knowledge

“The customer is always right” is a slogan that’s up for debate. The fact of the matter is, you are the expert and not your customer. You should always have the answers and be able to deliver; that is one of the most vital skills a customer service representative can have. If you don’t have the answer, try your best to find it out or direct the customer to someone who can answer their queries. Avoid saying the phrase, “I don’t know” at all costs.

Having the answers and delivering them promptly and respectively will build trust and confidence in your customer.

Don’t: Say No

Customers hate to hear that word, it’s a fact of life. Though it’s not always possible to say “yes,” best practice dictates that you should be as flexible and accommodating as possible for your customers. And don’t forget to be patient and understanding.

One thing a customer hates to hear more than “no,” it’s that something is “company policy.” Why? First of all, the customer doesn’t care what your store policy is. Second, they don’t see you as a customer service provider following policy, but rather as the company as an entity restricting them from getting what they want.

With both you and the customer at a loss for what to say, the interaction (and possibly the relationship) is subsequently done.

Don’t: Overcomplicate Things

A good rule of thumb to follow is that getting assistance and service should not be more painful than the problem itself.

Behold! The wonders of a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page!

If this isn’t really your style, the next step is to make your customer service staff incredibly accessible.

Customers don’t want to look for an answer for too long, let alone explain it on the phone multiple times; 72% of customers blame poor customer service for having to explain their issue multiple times. You know what they say: a quickly diffused customer service issue keeps the bad reviews away.

Don’t: Ignore Complaints

Feedback, no matter its form, is always a plus. Who better to hear from than the customers who are literally the lifeblood of your business?

Embracing the good, the bad and the ego-deflating will ultimately help you to strive for better, in the long run, we promise. You’ll be able to understand your customer better, identify and solve your pitfalls and grow bigger and better! So, the next time a customer wants to give you their feedback, don’t brush it off, but rather see it as an opportunity to improve.

Good customer service always will be an essential part of a business. It’s your customer’s first point of contact with your business and allows them to connect and build trust with your business or brand. In today’s world, delivering excellent customer service is sometimes more effective than any advertisement could be! After all, $1.6 trillion is lost by companies in the United States due to customers switching as a result of poor customer service!

Follow these customer service dos and don’ts so people talk about you for all the right reasons. To find out more about how we could help you grow your business, book a consultation now.

Why Your Business Should Want More Reviews on Review Sites

Responding to customers online has become extremely important as reviews are continuing to increase notoriously day by day. Reviews are now more prevalent on search pages, which means that many people can see what other customers say about your company online. Reviews have a massive influence on shoppers: around 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews on their purchase decisions (Webrepublic, 2015). Today almost every business is told to get as many reviews as possible on review sites in order to continue attracting new customers. But with so many review sites it is hard to begin. Your business may be afraid to manage customer reviews on review sites as you may not want to end up in one of these situations:

  • receive zero reviews
  • receive zero recent online reviews
  • receive negative online reviews
  • or, your business simply has unmanaged online reviews across multiple review websites

Sadly, your business is missing out. By not using the free online word of mouth that is available to you, is in fact hurting your business through inactivity, since reputation leads to conversion.

1) Social posts and business reviews help when shaping your company’s online reputation

The worst thing that your business can do is avoid comments made on your social posts and online reviews. As easy as it is to make a mistake when handling your business’s online reputation, it can also be easy to recover if done properly (and with an apology) There is always going to be a degree of damage but your business can try to minimize it as much as possible. The worst mistake your company can make is not to participate in shaping the online conversation about your company.

2) Valuable feedback for your business is well provided by business reviews

It is essential to always look at the negative reviews as constructive feedback, as all reviews can be valuable. Reviews are a helpful tool that can be used to measure your business's performance, enabling you to find new ways to improve. It can also show you what your most popular products or services are and which ones need more work.

3) All of your business reviews can now appear in search results

Search engines and reviews are growing at the same pace. If someone were to search for your business, reviews from review websites will now display on the search engine results pages. Business reviews and ratings of a product or a company can now be included in search results in Google’s mark-up (the annotated content that appears in search).

How can your business get more reviews?

There are a lot of different ways your business can ask for more reviews, for instance, using surveys, emailing customers, asking them to leave reviews for a discount, or using a review software to automate your business review process.

Three important review website management tips:

  • Always remember to claim or add listings on the top review websites

Correct your business’s listing information and start getting more business reviews!

  • Keep on asking your customers for reviews:

Your business should always remember to ask for a review as customers are busy and will not remember unless they are asked or reminded to leave feedback.

  • Customers are more keen on leaving reviews on review sites

It feels more authentic for customers to leave a review in a review website, rather than in the business’s site as it is open for customers to leave an honest, unbiased review.

Business reviews are here to stay

In conclusion, there’s no getting away from business reviews. The good news is that there are methods to get more business reviews as well as effectively managing reviews from customers. Also, businesses needn’t fear negative online reviews, as there are ways to negate the effect of negative reviews.

Find out more about review management and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.

negative reviews

How to respond to negative reviews

Believe it or not, the same premise applies to negative review response as it does to positive reviews. The way you respond to negative reviews can highly impact not only the reviewer but all of your other potential clients that come afterward.

Don’t let a negative review worry you too much, as 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores. We are all human and can relate to human errors that may occur in day to day life, causing a negative experience with certain customers. Your potential clients will empathise with this - it’s all about how you handle that negative review.

Seeing a business handle a particularly challenging review online well, shows that they are proud of their business and that they maintain customer service to a high standard even past the point of sale. They are willing to go the extra mile to preserve their reputation!

Consumers will tell an average of 42 people about a good customer experience and 53 people about a bad customer experience - if you handle this correctly, you can definitely control any possible damage. You can make potential clients see the best of you with these four easy steps: apologise, promote, get offline, keep it simple.

How to respond to negative reviews:

  • Apologise and sympathise
    The first and most important step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that one occurred. Regardless of what happened, a simple apology and sympathy for your customer’s experience goes a long way - 7 out of 10 consumers changed their opinion about a brand after the company replied to a review (Bazaarvoice via Marketing Charts, 2013)
  • Promote
    So your famous pancakes weren’t up to par the day this particular customer visited. If they’re what you are known for, why not reiterate that? “Our pancakes are usually a hit, we’re sorry to hear that they weren’t up to par when you visited!” Continue the conversation offline
    Offer the reviewer a chance to discuss their issue further via email or phone. You want to avoid a back and forth conversation on your reviews!
  • Continue the conversation offline
    Offer the reviewer a chance to discuss their issue further via email or phone. You want to avoid a back and forth conversation on your reviews!
  • Keep it simple
    Refrain from specifics and don’t ask questions. Those conversations are much better served in a space away from the prying public, therefore, again try to move the conversation offline.
    One last pro tip: leave your business name, location and category out of this. You don’t want your negative reviews showing up in search!

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? We can provide you with software to pull in your reviews from all over the web in order to help you respond quickly. If you don’t have time, seek out Digithrive's services to do it for you. Not only do we guarantee expertise, but we also guarantee it in a hurry: we respond to reviews as soon as our software pulls them in!

This is why your business should want more reviews on review sites.

Find out more about our review management services and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.

positive reviews

How to respond to positive reviews

A good or bad reputation can mean the difference between your business flourishing, expanding, or shutting down - a study found that 73% of consumers trust a local business more after reading positive reviews (BrightLocal, 2017). In the digital age, a business’s reputation is mainly controlled by customers using online review platforms like Google and Facebook to publicly announce the quality of the service they receive. The good news is that this lets you easily monitor and manage your online reputation, a power you can put to good when you respond to positive reviews in a timely manner.

How to respond to positive reviews

Keep it simple - thank the customer for their time, name drop, promote and tell your customer what to do!

  • Thank your customer
    No one would ignore a compliment in real life, so approach the digital world in the same way. Make sure to reiterate their compliment so your customer knows that a real person took time out of their day to acknowledge them. Nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase (Spiegel Research Center, 2017) so it's important you thank your customer, they are helping you after all!
  • Use your business name and keywords
    Capitalise on the opportunity to drive your business up in search results as positive reviews work wonders in search. Referring to your business name, location and type to help index the review online.
  • Promote your business
    Are you holding a promotion, or offering a discount? A positive review is a great way to get the good news out!
  • Direct your customer
    Ask them to bring a friend next time, or recommend a different product as an enticement to return.

There are multiple ways to boost and respond to positive reviews online. Making sure that your customers are leaving a review in general, is imperative too, you can simply do this by sending them an email requesting them to leave one - 68% of consumers have left a review for a local business after being asked to do so (BrightLocal, 2017). You could also help boost positive reviews by incentivising your customers - 'Leave a review to get 10% off your next purchase'! 

More: How to respond to negative reviews

Find out more about review management and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.