Maybe you're aware of reviews from customers, pilling up and not necessarily receiving attention. These customers have one thing or another that they would like to share, whether positive or negative. With the vast differences you can assume between these customers, what do they all have in common? They want to be heard. So how do you go about showing them that you're listening?
Many businesses are afraid of user-generated content like quality reviews and comments. They think the worst – negative comments, brand bashing, or customer service horror stories. Unless your company has truly unhappy customers, (in which case UGC is the least of your troubles), the fear is often exaggerated. You can employ user engagement in a positive way, making it an opportunity instead of something to run from.
The truth is, you will have unhappy customers. You can't prevent it. So what are you going to do about those reviews with 3 or fewer stars? The "pretend it isn't there" tactic simply won't work.
So where are the reviews being posted? Some common review sites are:
With all of these platforms in mind, not to mention many others, how on earth can you manage them? Tribute Media partners with ReviewTracker, a tool that allows us to manage all reviews for a given client.
As we've established, reviews are a positive thing. Why is this? They establish your brand, promote your web presence, and establish your reputation. Left alone though, reviews can cause damage. Again, people who leave reviews want to be heard. Generating reviews is a simple manner of asking. If you're a restaurant, have a link on your website asking happy customers to post photos or write reviews of their favorite meals.
Negative reviews should be responded to within a short period. Your customer is upset and wants you (and others) to know it. A negative review can be completely defused with a polite response from a manager explaining that the service they received did not meet your standards or something like that.
Positive reviews are just a bonus! Responding to those reviews will encourage your happy customers to return, bring friends and show them that you care.
As you respond to reviews, keep in mind the main audience. People who see your reviews and responses are looking for a place to eat in the area, or looking for the products you offer. Respond well to the customer and also make yourself look good to the public.