Why Unmanaged Online Reviews are Bad for Business
- Maximizing the benefits that online reviews offer is critical for businesses.
- Having unmanaged online reviews can harm your reputation and sales over time.
- Establishing an online review management process can help you focus on and get the most out of your reviews.
Local businesses face growing competition every day. Because of this, they need to take advantage of every marketing opportunity to grow sales.
One such opportunity is online reviews.
Business owners are aware of the importance of reviews. However, many do not fully take advantage of them.
They take steps to get more reviews, and then stop once they reach a certain number. Some businesses may respond to a few reviews, but they otherwise ignore them.
These businesses have unmanaged online reviews. An important part of building and maintaining a great online reputation is maximizing the marketing opportunity online reviews offer. A business with unmanaged online reviews is not only missing out on a great marketing opportunity but is also hurting its bottom line.
In this post, we’ll look at examples of unmanaged online reviews and what businesses should do to make sure they are getting the most benefit from them.
What are Unmanaged Online Reviews?
An unmanaged online review is a review that a business doesn’t respond to, amplify, or analyze to improve its operations.
You could also say that businesses with unmanaged online reviews are either ignoring them altogether or only engaging with a few here and there. These same businesses might believe they are managing their reviews properly while being unaware they are not doing one or more key tasks.
Below are specific examples of unmanaged online reviews and what businesses can do to make sure they are maximizing the marketing opportunity reviews provide.
Not Responding to Reviews
One of the most obvious signs a business has unmanaged online reviews is one that has reviews with no replies. It’s understood that replying to online reviews is important for building a positive online reputation.
However, many businesses simply do not reply to their reviews. Or, they focus on just the negative reviews and maybe reply to a few positive ones too.
Businesses forget that most people that leave online reviews are genuinely trying to help them. And, these reviewers expect a response – even if it’s a positive review.
If the business does not reply, it’s likely to offend the customer and cause them not to return for a repurchase. Even worse, they also won’t recommend you to family and friends.
With it being so expensive to acquire new customers, why would you risk alienating existing ones?
The best strategy is to commit to responding to all online reviews. To make sure you follow through on this, businesses should designate a person or team to manage reviews and have a formal review response process in place.
Examine each review and promptly post a reply. Again, not replying to all reviews is a huge missed opportunity.
Not Amplifying Positive Reviews
Getting lots of positive online reviews is important for local businesses.
However, when this happens, many businesses feel they have accomplished their goal and take no further action. This is another example of unmanaged online reviews – and another missed opportunity.
When a customer leaves a positive online review – businesses should treat it like a testimonial. A common marketing tactic is soliciting testimonials from customers. The objective is to use them in content marketing to attract new customers. A positive online review should be used in the same way.
The ways to amplify your online reviews include:
- Streaming them to your website
- Sharing them on your social media channels
- Incorporating them in case studies or success stories as part of your content marketing
This is an easy, low-cost marketing tactic that can help convert more customers and grow sales.
Not Reporting Fake or Inappropriate Reviews
A frustrating aspect of online reviews is getting ones that are fake or inappropriate. Making matters worse is that removing these types of reviews is not a sure thing.
It’s essential for a business to protect its online reputation actively. Part of this is taking a close look at each online review you receive to ensure it is legitimate.
If you believe (and what we mean by “believe” is that you have evidence) that a review is fake, you should make an effort to get it deleted.
Doing this obviously removes inaccurate feedback. However, it also helps improve the overall quality of your review stream.
Prospective customers want to read reviews that are relevant to them. Not ones that don’t provide an accurate picture of your business or the customer experience they can expect with your products and services. Making an effort to weed out fake and inappropriate reviews will help improve your chances of them doing business with you.
Not Utilizing Insights from Review Comments
Another important aspect of online review management is analyzing the customer’s comments. Feedback from customers is free market research. Businesses should take advantage of this situation.
If you are not actively managing your online reviews, you can miss out on critical insights that can help improve your operations and the customer experience.
In addition to evaluating each review immediately after they are posted, businesses should review the comments on at least a semi-annual basis. This task should be done with a cross-section of team members within the business – executive, marketing, operations, finance, and HR.
Even if you get mostly positive reviews, this exercise can reveal insights that can turn into opportunities to improve your operations and the customer experience.
For local businesses, your online reviews are critical for your growth and should be a priority in your marketing plans.
If you are doing a good job in getting reviews – great. But are you doing everything you can to get the most benefit from them? Having unmanaged online reviews means you are missing out on growing sales and can actually harm your online reputation.
Maximize the marketing opportunity reviews offer to grow your online reputation and attract more customers.
At ReviewIgnite, we help property damage restoration and commercial cleaning businesses leverage their online reputation and grow sales.
At ReviewIgnite, our software will ensure your business never has unmanaged online reviews. From review generation, response, amplification, and insights; we’ll create a managed workflow for your business so you can leverage your online reviews to boost your online reputation and grow sales.
See our software in action. Click on the link below to see a self-guided demo.