Product reviews are an integral part of running an e-commerce store or any other online business since most online customers research online reviews before making a purchase. They are also often utilized in marketing and branding strategies, enabling business owners to boost sales while improving their credibility and online reputation.
However, you can benefit from online reviews only if they are positive. Negative reviews will have the opposite effect, making it hard to gain customers’ trust. Thus, it is essential to learn how to manage online reviews to take advantage of them.
In this article, you will find essential information on how your e-commerce business can benefit from online management. First, we will answer the question: ‘what is online review management?’. Next, we will discuss several effective ways for developing an online review management strategy, such as responding to online reviews, leveraging them as marketing assets, and using online review management software. Let’s get started.
What is online review management?
Online review management is a set of activities that enables e-commerce business owners to interact with customers on review platforms. It is what makes it possible for them to respond to reviews and remove or edit negative ones in order to achieve their goals. This strategy also helps businesses avoid potential risks and increases the chances of generating more sales.
Reviews are an effective marketing tool, and managing them is a critical factor in successful online businesses. It lets you collect feedback from your customers, which you can later use to generate sales and improve your products and services. These reviews also serve as marketing tools by increasing brand awareness and influencing purchase decisions.
Determining benefits and setting goals for an online review management strategy
There are many benefits of managing online reviews for e-commerce businesses, including:
- Building trust with customers,
- Increasing sales and conversions from positive reviews,
- Minimizing the adverse impact of negative reviews,
- Generating more leads from positive reviews on social media channels,
- Improving your company’s brand awareness and reputation through positive reviews on social media channels and review platforms.
It is also essential to set goals when developing an online review management strategy. These goals will help you decide which reviews you need to manage and how to go about it.
Ask yourself some questions before you start following a specific strategy. Why do you want to manage online reviews? Is it because you want more customers or sales? After answering these questions, your goals should revolve around these aspects.
Step-by-step approach to online review management
There is no one specific way of managing online reviews, as the best approach depends on the goals you have set for your business. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you will need to focus on the number of positive reviews and conversion rate. In this case, consider the following steps as part of your approach:
Develop a plan with clear goals
If you want to manage online reviews, you need to establish your goals first. Think about what you want to achieve by it and how it will benefit your e-commerce business. You can also consider developing a road map that outlines how you will achieve your goals.
Learn from past mistakes
What went wrong in the past? Which reviews did not help improve the sales of your products or services? Were there any negative reviews? What can you do to avoid these mistakes in the future? Consider these questions as part of your plan.
Look into customer feedback
Read online reviews and comments to learn more about your customers’ problems and why they feel this way. Doing this will help you identify issues that you can address through a review strategy.
List the actions you will take to solve these problems
This step includes deciding which reviews to respond to, which ones to delete or edit, and which ones to publish. Determine the specific actions that you will take for each problem identified in step 3.
Prepare for the inevitable issues
Review platforms are filled with negative comments, so it is impossible to avoid them altogether. Prepare yourself for these by having effective strategies in place. You may need to rely on your support team to minimize the impact of negative reviews on your business.
Work with dedicated teams who can help develop your strategy
Having a team of experts who understand the benefits of online reviews and why customers leave them will help you develop a better management strategy. Let them help you think of possible problems that you can resolve by reviewing online reviews and how to solve them.
Implement your strategy
Start by publishing favorable reviews on review platforms and responding to negative ones. Do this consistently until you achieve your goals. Make sure that your actions are aligned with the goals you have set for your business by monitoring progress closely and adjusting your strategy accordingly.
Good practices to follow
Whichever goals you want to pursue, there are a few good practices every business should follow. Here are three simple steps that can help you maximize the power of online reviews:
Monitor reviews regularly
It is essential to monitor online reviews regularly because you never know when a customer will publish a critical comment, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of clients interacting with your business daily.
To monitor reviews effectively, you will need to have solutions in place that let you respond quickly to negative reviews. It is also important to use automated solutions that provide real-time alerts whenever critical reviews are published, enabling you to take immediate action even if you are not around 24/7.
Respond quickly to negative reviews
When a customer submits a negative review, you must respond to it quickly before potential clients start making negative assumptions about your business. A quick response will show customers that you care about their issues and are willing to resolve them, which might turn negative reviews into positive ratings or comments. You can respond to negative reviews in different ways, such as:
- Thanking customers for taking the time to submit their complaints and promising to investigate their issues and resolve them quickly
- Apologizing for their bad experience and explaining how you will resolve their issues
- Explaining why their problems occurred and providing suggestions on how they can prevent them in the future
- Offering compensation if their issue cannot be resolved
- Providing helpful information, such as recommendations.
Encourage customers to leave reviews
Last but not least, it is vital to encourage your customers to leave reviews, especially good ones. Contact them via email, phone calls, social media messages, etc., and ask them to leave a review after they have had a great experience with your business. You may also choose to reward customers who leave a positive comment with a gift or discount during a promotional period or event.
Managing online reviews is an effective way to turn your customers’ opinions into marketing assets. It enables you to collect customer feedback, which you can use to increase sales and enhance product or service quality. However, if you wish to build trust with customers and boost brand value, you must do it properly.
Identifying the goals you want to achieve, developing a plan, and managing your strategy are all indispensable components of this process. By following these steps, you can ensure that your online presence will become better than ever before.
Now that you know how to manage online reviews, you can start improving your e-commerce business by boosting your sales and reputation online.