In this progressively competitive world, the number of people reading and trusting online reviews is increasing. Customers are continually sharing their experiences and opinions via online review sites like Facebook, Yelp and Google to help influence other potential customers. Managing online reputation is becoming more and more important and is proving to hold a powerful effect on the behaviour of audiences and their buying decisions. Without taking action and encouraging and managing online reviews to create positive outcomes, companies are missing out on consumers.

How important are Online Reviews?

With so many choices available, consumers are turning to online reviews as a strong source of information to help them make their decision. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation by a friend, colleague or family member. Whilst positive reviews are incredibly important to a company, not having any online reviews is potentially alienating a huge percentage of the buying population through depriving them of information they want to help them make a buying decision.

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How Can You Monitor & Manage Online Reviews?

Be Proactive: Going through online review sites regularly to check for reviews ensures that you are always up to date with what customers are saying. By continually communicating with consumers, you are building trust and humanising the company. This is of great importance as consumers want to buy from companies they know and trust. 

Respond Quickly to Negative Reviews: Responding to negative reviews quickly helps customers to know that you appreciate what they have to say. When people see a company engaging with everyone, it shows that they care and they want to fix any issues that come up.

Address Any Issues & Make Them Right: If a customer reviewing your company has left a legitimate complaint, there is always a way to turn them into a happy customer. Offering refunds or special discounts on future services means that you are addressing their issue properly and in a timely manner – a great way to turn a negative review into a positive one.

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How Can You Encourage Positive Online Reviews?

Make it Easy for Customers to Complete & Submit Reviews: Keep the review process easy for the customer to complete and short enough that they have time to complete it. Ensure that there is a section for comments and provide star rating systems.

Make Your Presence Known: Ensure that your business is listed on any third-party sites that your customers may be visiting and can easily leave a review. This includes sites like Facebook, Google and Yelp. Different generations voice their opinions on different platforms so no matter where the customer is, there should always be a way to leave a review. 

Ask for Reviews from Customers at the Right Times: Continually ask for reviews to grow your online exposure. This can be done through different forms of communication like emails and social networks however your best chance of getting feedback from customers is right after the transaction. The longer you wait, the completion rates for reviews decline.

Provide Great Customer Service: Make a good impression on customers by doing your best to satisfy their needs and wants. You can do this by making a great first impression and following through on promises. The more you satisfy your customer, the more they will appreciate it and will want to share their experiences with other people through providing an online review.

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Consumers are continually influenced by online reviews and it plays a huge part in their purchasing decisions. While there is little way to control what people do say about your company via online reviews, you do have the power to manage them and encourage more positive reviews. Leveraging all review websites and asking customers for feedback can greatly improve the word-of-mouth power and positively impact your bottom line.

Jago is a quick, easy and affordable way to get instant feedback and encourage online reviews from your customers. It connects businesses to customers, manages online reputations, builds brand loyalty and creates amazing customer experiences. Book a demo with Jago today.

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