online review management for schools

A guide to online review management for schools

Online Review Management is a marketing strategy that maintains a school’s digital reputation. It works towards social media management, SEO, business listings, review management and paid search. This helps it to stay relevant and competitive in on overcrowded online market. Within this article, we will discuss the three ways to implement such a scheme for your school.

A 3 step guide to online review management for schools

  • Be responsive
  • Create consistency
  • Utilise online services

Read on to find out how to do this.

Be Responsive

With reviews everywhere on the internet, it is more important than ever to keep a tab on what people are saying about your school. These opinions can have a large impact on prospects. A recent survey by BrightLocal found that 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This demonstrates the amount power parents on social media platforms and online forums such as Mumsnet can have on the reputation of your school.

To successfully manage online reviews, you have to be receptive and create thoughtful responses. If the comments are positive, take the time to thank the parents for their feedback. If they edge onto the negative side, remember that these comments are there to help you understand what you can do to improve. Reply swiftly and clearly address the problems aired. 44.6% of consumers are more likely to visit a business if the owner responds to reviews so it is vital you do so. (ReviewTrackers Online Review Survey).

Create Consistency

Business listings are one of the main reasons people google a company or school. Four out of five consumers in a recent survey said that they use search engines to find out information such as addresses, business hours, reception phone numbers and directions. To maintain a professional online appearance, these details should remain consistent.

Remember to keep track of your business listings across all online platforms. This includes your school website, social media profiles, and online third parties. Look out for any outdated details and remember to alter them whenever there is a change in your operation.  

Consistent business listings can also boost your search engine ranking. Accurate data is an important factor for getting to the top of Google search results. When the information about your school is correct, it is therefore more likely to appear on parents’ screens.

Utilise Online Services

The problem with the internet is that it is just so big. It can feel overwhelming to try and manage the reputation of your school across all platforms. Even if you are constantly checking your social media, new review sites are always popping up online and creating more work for you to do.

If the challenge proves to much for your in-house team to manage by themselves, consider utilising an online service. There are plenty of products on the web that can help your digital reputation thrive such as Reputology or Igniyte.

With our Review Management service, you can make sure you aren’t missing out on any prospects or conversions. To find out more about how it can help with your school, book a consultation now.

Digithrive for schools

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.


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.