Getting positive reviews for your business can be a great boon for your confidence as a business owner—not to mention it just looks good for your business itself. However, there’s more to managing your online reviews than just collecting them, basking in the positive, and trying to mitigate the negative. Shrewd business owners know that every review they receive can be used to their advantage beyond just existing online for the world to see. Here are a few ways ecommerce business owners can leverage their online reviews.
Engage with all new reviews
Interacting with each review that comes in for your business should be a given—whether the review is lauding or critiquing your business, the reviewer took time out of their day to let others know about their experience. Responding to each review in turn shows your customers and any prospective customers who come upon the review that you care about making your business the best it can be and ensuring that your customers have a great experience.
If the review is positive, respond thanking the customer for their patronage to show your appreciation. If the review is negative, respond publicly that you would like a chance to fix the issue and try to come to a resolution with the customer offline. Either way, this added engagement to your reviews will portray you as a caring and involved business owner online.
Collect reviews across several platforms
Providing multiple channels for happy customers to post their positive experience is a best practice that yields maximum follow-through—after all, if a business is only directing reviewers to their Facebook page and you don’t have a Facebook account, you are unlikely to create an account to just leave a review. But engaging with reviews across multiple unrelated sites has more benefits than just this.
Collecting reviews in many places builds trust in prospective customers by showing that you are willing to listen to customers where they are most comfortable rather than just from one site that is most convenient for you to access. It can also slightly improve your SEO by mentioning and linking to your site from other reputable pages.
Reward positive reviewers
As mentioned previously, happy customers have done you a massive favor by posting about their experience online, whether their positive review was solicited or not. Thanking them for their public endorsement of your business with exclusive discounts, freebies, or other unexpected forms of “thank you gifts” can turn happy customers into loyal, long-term fans.
However, do not offer customers incentives to write a positive review about your business before they have done so. Some third-party review sites like Google, Yelp, and the BBB actually penalize businesses for this practice—and on top of that, it reduces trust in your business by customers who may believe that all of your positive reviews were bought, and therefore biased.
Feature glowing reviews
You worked hard to make your customers happy enough to leave you positive reviews—and it’s okay to show that off a bit! Emphasize your best reviews wherever you can—social media posts, your homepage, marketing assets, etc.—so that everyone is aware of what a great experience you are able to provide.
Featuring your best reviews across multiple assets and channels brings social proof into the mix in places where it may not be readily viewable—not everyone will be clicking through several sites to see what others have to say about their experience. Additionally, it can encourage copycat behavior in customers who would love to see their name displayed somewhere.
Learn from negative reviews
While leveraging positive reviews is simple and straightforward, it is harder to find ways to leverage negative reviews. The best way you can use negative reviews to your advantage is to just learn from them. Consider what the customer wanted but couldn’t get from your business and their reasoning behind leaving a public review to see if there is anything you can improve about your products, customer service, or overall customer experience. Making changes to address these issues can help you avoid similar reviews in the future.
You can also use negative reviews as an opportunity to show potential customers how amazing your customer service is. Responding professionally with sympathy and an eagerness to rectify the issue will show others how deeply you care about your customers’ experiences with your business—even if what the customer wants is unreasonable.
Online reviews are a huge plus for your business, but they can do even more for you than just exist online as social proof markers. By taking action around and with the reviews themselves, you can put them to work in a way that benefits your business even further.