Online customer reviews, brand presence and credibility are essential to all businesses. When creating your brand’s online presence, you have control over creating proper social media accounts and websites to promote products and reach potential customers, but you can’t always control the online customer reviews.

Yelp and Google are two of the most popular places to read online customer reviews, but businesses also have to keep track of reviews generated by bloggers, influencers, social media and trolls. Websites with star ratings can be difficult to maneuver. One poor rating, either by accident or on purpose, can drastically impact your rating.

According to Invesp, 90% of consumers read online reviews and 88% of them trust the online reviews as much as personal recommendations. However, 86% of consumers will decide against buying from a business if they read negative reviews.

Many websites with reviews of your business will have a higher rank than your website. By monitoring online customer reviews, you can influence prospective customers.

Responding to Reviews

Stay away from generic responses. Read reviews and point out a compliment or suggestion the customer made to show you read their review.

Don’t argue with a customer who shared their experience. Acknowledge their experience and determine how you can rectify the situation. Some negative reviews can be handled online, but some may require extra attention and should be handled via email or phone. This prevents possible back and forth conversation between you and the customer from being public. Show compassion and let the customer know business will be done differently if necessary.

Too Many Positive Reviews Can Be Good and Bad

It’s a great feeling to have multiple 5-star reviews, but if your reviews are too perfect, people may become suspicious. If you get a couple of negative reviews, don’t worry. It shows your business isn’t manipulating reviews and makes other reviews seem more genuine.

Online customer reviews aren’t going anywhere and will undoubtedly increase in volume. With proper response tactics, you can manage your online customer reviews, build your brand’s reputation, improve rankings and sales.