Managing Your Brand’s Online Reviews: How to Gather the Good and Respond to the Bad

We’ve all heard the famous saying “all publicity is good
publicity.” But most businesses would disagree with that,
especially since the internet has changed the way—not to mention,
the frequency—customers interact with companies.

These days, reviews of your brand are everywhere: With the good,
the bad, and even the mediocre, your online mentions aren’t all
the same. And that’s why managing your brand’s online reviews
is vital and a little bit tricky.

Sure, getting your brand’s name out there is the goal, but not
if it’s because a sea of negative reviews have flooded the
market.

While you can’t control how the public feels about your
product or service, you can manage your brand’s reputation and
your customer support.

Digital marketing cultivates a brand’s reputation

A brand’s reputation is everything, especially with so much
competition in the market. And there’s always competition in the
market, no matter what product or service you’re providing.


Brand mentions
are any references to your brand and its product
or services. Sure, mentions can happen via the traditional word of
mouth, but in the age of technology, it’s more likely that brands
will receive mentions via online reviews, news articles or blogs,
and social media mentions.

Let’s face it: Consumers trust their peers far more than they
trust a company’s own marketing department.

In fact, when it comes down to it, 78% of consumers stated that
they believe
online reviews
are “somewhat reliable,” and 59% of
consumers see online reviews to be as trustworthy as a word of
mouth recommendation from a trusted friend.

So where online are consumers looking for these reviews?


One report
shows that around 33% of consumers went to search
engines such as Google or Bing first. From there, 25% of consumers
stated that they went to review websites, 22% went to a brand’s
website, and around 18% went to accredited sources such as Consumer
Reports.

With this kind of power, businesses can’t afford to ignore
reviews.

3 vital steps to managing your brand’s online reviews and
mentions

The internet is always changing, meaning that brands and their
digital marketing teams need to stay on the ball and adapt along
with it. One of the top ways this has become evident recently is
through the ubiquity of online reviews.

Managing your brand’s reputation online may seem a tad
daunting, but there are simple, yet vital steps to get your
mentions under control.

1. Be transparent

When it comes to brands and their online reputation, being
transparent is essential.

So, what is “transparency” exactly? For most brands,
transparency means opening and honoring a line of direct
communication between them and the consumer, such as through social
media and email marketing.

Social media and email marketing have been excellent tools for
brands when it comes to establishing 1:1 communication. These
channels allow consumers to directly message, tag, or ping brands
when they have a question, comment, or concern.

This dialogue also allows brands to get to know their consumers
on a deeper level than other mass marketing channels, such as
television, radio, or direct mail.

Finally, being transparent allows brands to become more
relatable. This will enable consumers to feel less intimidated when
it comes to reaching out to brands and allow your brand to solve
potential problems before they become large problems.

Addressing consumer issues one-on-one will show your audience
you not only care about your reputation but the consumer as
well.

Treat your customers like humans. It’ll go a long way.

2. Be proactive and request feedback

When it comes to building your brand reputation, get out ahead
of the negativity by reaching out to your following and asking for
reviews.

Now, this doesn’t mean go out and ask people to leave your
product or service a positive review in exchange for a promo code
or other monetary reward. This method is prohibited on most sites
and for good reason: It’s dishonest. A site such as Amazon will
go out of their way to remove reviews should they find someone
breaking this code of conduct.

Instead, show your public that you genuinely care what they
think by offering them the option to share their feedback with you.
That way, when someone’s had a bad experience with your brand,
you’ll know about it first and you’ll be able
to—hopefully—find a solution and learn from your mistakes.

A great way to ask for feedback is through email campaigns. You
can reach out to them and ask them to reply to your email, leave a
review on your site, or fill out a survey. You could even implement
a
star rating
request right there in your email, making it as
simple as possible to know how your customer feels about your
brand. You can also direct them to the site where their reviews
will help you and your current prospects the most.

Take an example from Campaign Monitor. The simplistic design
directly addresses the customer and makes use of a bold call to
action that directs recipients to a survey.


Take an example from Campaign Monitor. The simplistic design directly addresses the customer and makes use of a bold colored call to action button that directs them to a survey.

Image Source:
Campaign Monitor

If you prefer that consumers leave feedback and honest reviews
on your social media sites, then make sure to include links or a
call to action that will guide them to where the information will
be seen and answered quickly by your team.

3. Respond to your reviews: The good and the bad

But it’s not enough to simply see reviews or feedback. You
need to respond to show your customers you hear them and you care
about them.

No one likes doing business with a company that only cares about
their money, and responding to reviews proves that you want
customers to have a great experience.

Additionally, engaging with customers gives brands a chance to
head off potential problems before they spiral out of control.
Engaging with your customers through reviews and even in social
media mentions shows customers you care by addressing their
concerns and making recommendations.

Consumers know social media is being monitored and that brands
care about their online reputation, so when you go above and
beyond—by responding to mentions, especially when offering
product recommendations or solutions to your followers’
problems—you’ll ensure customers go out of their way to buy
from you.

Take Nike for example. When “Old Man Flat Foot” reached out
for a recommendation, not only did Nike respond with a possible
solution, they also went out of their way to protect themselves and
the consumer by recommending that they consult with their doctor
first.

This shows that Nike not only has a possible solution to the
problem but that they care enough to have the consumer get a second
opinion before they purchase from them.

Take Nike for example. When “Old Man Flat Foot” reached out for a recommendation, not only did Nike respond with a possible solution, then went out of their way to protect themselves and the consumer by recommending that they consult with their doctor first.

Image Source: Nike/Twitter

What about negative comments and reviews? To effectively manage
online reviews, it’s essential that brands respond to both the
good and the bad.

Chobani does an excellent job of responding to a disgruntled
mother after they pulled a favorite product:


Chobani does an excellent job of responding to a disgruntled mother after they pulled a favorite product:

Image Source: Chobani/Facebook

Not only does the brand reach out to the upset consumer, but
they also apologize for upsetting them and provide another option
for their customer’s picky eater.

One problem that many brands run into is that they either ignore
upset consumers or worst yet, they respond unpleasantly.

Remember, the whole point of these open lines of communication
is to help manage negative reviews and bring in positive ones,
talking to your customers like real human beings and not just
dollar signs. If a brand responds to a consumer in a snarky,
disapproving manner, then they only add fuel to the negative
fire.

For example, if a disgruntled consumer mentions you in a Tweet,
consider making a recommendation that solves a problem, like
suggesting that a person who wants more electrical outlets at your
restaurant should bring a reliable form of backup power with them,
such as a portable battery backup.

Or you can respond with a general comment such as “We are
sorry to hear that! We’d love to further feedback from you if
you’d be willing to DM us.” This will allow you to have a
private conversation instead of publicly starting a feud with a
customer.

Even if you want to defend the choice your customer disagrees
with—and we all know you’ll sometimes disagree with your
customers—you can do so with compassion and understanding to make
sure others maintain a positive association with your brand.

Wrap up

When it comes time to manage your online reviews and brand
mentions, there are many ways to go about it. But the most
important takeaway is to keep the 1:1 communication between you and
your customers open and positive.

Remember that you’re dealing with people and not faceless
consumers and you’ll start off on the right foot.

Sure, social media is an excellent way to communicate with your
general audience. However, moving tough conversations to private
channels such as email, Facebook messages, and other direct
messages will allow your brand to better manage the good and bad
reviews before they get seen by the masses.

Take these three steps to manage your brand’s online
reviews:

  1. Cultivate transparency
  2. Request feedback
  3. Respond

There’s no need to be intimidated by connecting with your
consumers. Show them you care in every stage of your interactions,
and they will, in turn, appreciate the human touch.

Need help with creating a more personalized email
campaign for your brand? Campaign
Monitor
can help you deliver the right message at the right
time! Talk to an expert and find out how.

The post
Managing Your Brand’s Online Reviews: How to Gather the Good and
Respond to the Bad
appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Source: FS – Email Marketing Blogs!
Managing Your Brand’s Online Reviews: How to Gather the Good and Respond to the Bad