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.

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.