Online reviews have become an invaluable tool for consumers.
Not only do they help potential customers understand who they can trust to provide quality products and services, but they can also help prospects avoid doing business with brands that might serve them, say, a dry piece of chicken.
Joking, of course.
But on a serious note, as a business owner, it’s important to know how online reviews can impact your business and the steps you can take to ensure a positive review is left for your business.
High ratings and positive reviews can help convince potential customers that your brand is legitimate and trustworthy. This can determine whether they choose to purchase something or hire you for your services.
But what if you don’t have time to manage reviews manually?
Let’s take a closer look at the impact online reviews have on your business and how review management services can help.
FAQs about the impact of online reviews
Before we break down the importance of reviews and online reputation management companies, let’s get on the same page about how online reviews can impact your business.
What is the purpose of online reviews?
Online reviews allow shoppers to leave feedback on a company’s business profile based on their customer experience. They may discuss a recent purchase, outline some of their favorite products, or share a shopping experience detail that made their day.
Why are reviews important for a business?
Online reviews can make or break a business in today’s digital age. Whether you sell products or services, potential customers are likely to research your business online before making a purchase. Business reviews can help you build trust and loyalty with new and established customers.
What is the impact of online reviews on businesses?
Bad reviews can drop your business rating and wreak havoc on your reputation. On the flip side, positive reviews can encourage new customers to try your business and inspire repeat customers to continue doing business with your brand.
Take a look at the following positive review examples from Norfolk Florist to demonstrate what we mean for a local business:
In the examples above, we not only get to see each happy customer reflecting positively on their experience, but we also get to witness a warm, friendly response from a dedicated account manager or the owner. These are two crucial ways businesses can build trust with new and aspiring customers.
Reviews like these can leave a lasting impact on impressionable first-time customers and prospects, boosting your reputation online.
5 ways online review management services can benefit your business
And with that, let’s dive into how the best reputation management companies can help your business save time and resources.
1. Gain valuable insights via data storytelling
An effective review management system involves more than simply responding to customer feedback. It requires a deep understanding of the underlying data, including the stories it tells about your business. By tapping into the power of data storytelling, you can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions about how to improve your company’s online reputation.
For instance, a review management service can help provide insight into the most common feedback your nutrition business is receiving after launching your 3-day keto diet plan. Or, it can break down how many reviewers had a positive experience using your new online prescription service.
Online review and reputation management companies can also reveal finite data, such as what details your customers mention in most reviews, how your brand ranks compared to other businesses in your industry and a consensus on how people feel about your business.
For instance, take a look at the data overview below for LeatherCult, a well-known brand that specializes in selling high-quality leather jackets:
The data shown above was collected by either a review management service or an online reputation management service to help shoppers get a full picture of LeatherCult before deciding to buy.
The service reflects the following details about LeatherCult:
- It has a 4.7-star rating
- It has a total of 3,376 reviews
- It ranks second among other leather sites
- Customers are generally satisfied with their purchases
- Customers most frequently mention “good quality,” “customer service,” and “great experience” in their reviews
These insights can help LeatherCult better understand their shoppers’ needs, and they can help potential customers get a better idea of LeatherCult’s buying experience. Win-win.
2. Save time replying to customer reviews
With 80+ review platforms to choose from, monitoring and responding to every customer review can feel like a full-time job on its own.
But with a reputation management strategy and solution, you can access reviews from all the platforms that matter most to you, including Facebook, Google Business Profile, BBB, Yelp, and more, all in one place.
3. Protect your online reputation
And speaking of getting access to reviews in real-time, online reputation management services provide access to customer feedback as soon as it comes in.
That means you can spot a negative review right after the customer posts it and promptly respond with a personalized solution.
Putting out fires as soon as they start is critical to preserving your reputation and showing potential customers your “everything is figureoutable” attitude. You might even be able to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal fan by showing up with an immediate resolution.
TL;DR: When you receive negative reviews, you need a solution to resolve them as quickly as possible so they don’t linger on the internet and impact future customers. With an online reputation management company, brands can finally stay ahead of weighty reviews and respond to them quickly.
4. Get insight into how and where to showcase your reviews for more sales
Reputation management software encourages its users to showcase positive online reviews
to boost brand awareness and sales.
Many tools also offer automated marketing features that can auto-post online reviews to your website and other channels (think local listings and social media).
For instance, BriteCo, a company that sells jewelry insurance, uses an online review management tool to auto-post reviews and testimonials to its website.
BriteCo encourages customers to give their feedback and opinions, which allows other visitors to make an informed decision about the type of insurance they are about to purchase and the cost to insure an engagement ring.
This strategy generates more credibility as data builds trust and allows the company to present itself as an authority in the industry.
Some review management solutions also offer widgets that allow you to add social proof to any website you manage. For instance, with Reviewgrower, you can use the review widget to encourage customers to leave reviews on your site — and then you can auto-post your best reviews on social media.
TL;DR: Discover how and where to auto-post positive reviews across your marketing channels using a review management tool.
5. Use marketing automation for review generation
Automate the review request process with a reputation management solution that offers automated review generation.
With this feature, you can automatically send review requests to your customers so you never forget to make the most of each sale. At the end of the day, the more reviews, the better (even on review sites).
Some tools also provide customizable scripts to invite your customers by SMS or email to leave a review for your company. These scripts are fantastic opportunities to include your own review template to encourage customers to follow through on leaving feedback.
Here’s an example of a review template you could provide them:
“I bought _______ at Galaxy Shoes NC because I _______. Now that I have them on, I’m so excited because they’re _______. Excited to purchase _______ the next time I go in!”
And here’s an example of a script you could use to generate reviews:
“Thanks so much for shopping at Galaxy Shoes NC today, Brittany! We’d love your feedback on your experience today. Got two minutes to leave us a quick review? We’ll even provide you with a customizable template!”
If they respond with a yes, you can automate a second script to read:
“Great! Here’s the review template we promised. Simply fill it in and hit send. We appreciate you!”
TL;DR: Make it as seamless as possible for customers to leave a review by choosing a tool that offers marketing automation for review generation. Bonus points for including a template for your customers!
Online business reputation services can save you time and money and, most importantly — build a positive brand image.
If you’re ready to stay ahead of the game with review monitoring solutions, then you’ll love Reviewgrower. See what our white-label platform can do for your business. Get started today or watch our launch webinar and demo to learn more.