Managing online reviews

April 8, 2016

Online reviews need to be managed appropriately since they can influence the purchasing behaviour of customers and a business’s overall reputation.

Online reviews provide information about your business’s products and services based on the opinions of customers. One of the first steps in managing online reviews is monitoring where they appear. Reviews can be found on a business’s website, social media, blogs or third party review sites.

Managing your online presence helps monitor customer satisfaction and provides leverage from criticisms to improve your business.

Responding to feedback

To successfully manage online reviews, both positive and negative feedback should be constructively responded to. It is a good idea to allocate a staff member to handle online reviews.

Responding to positive feedback shows your appreciation which helps foster a relationship with your customer. Negative feedback should never be ignored as it can be turned into an opportunity to show your concern and rectify the problem.

Identifying fake reviews

Fake or misleading reviews pose a concern for business owners but there are ways to identify and combat reviews that are not genuine. Here are some characteristics to look out for:
• a significant spike in reviews about a business over a limited period of time
• written in overly enthusiastic writing style or extreme use of marketing jargon
• written in a similar language as other reviews of the same business
• written about the same business, product or service where the reviewers’ accounts are very similar

Avoid misleading reviews

To ensure your business’s reviews are not misleading they must not be written by the reviewed business, someone who has been paid to write the review but has not used the product or by someone who has used the product but written an inflated review to receive a monetary or non-monetary benefit.

A review may be deemed as misleading if you encourage family and friends to write reviews without asserting their personal connection to the business or request others to write reviews about your business or a competitor if they haven’t experienced the product or service.

Businesses should also be wary when considering offering incentives to those that write positive reviews for their business as it may be considered misleading.

For more business tips, contact us at Leenane Templeton on 02 4926 2300

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