Review management can be done manually. It's painstaking and tedious. Smart and resourceful marketers know better though. The implement automations to save time. You know the axiom. Work smarter, not harder. So why not use various review management automation tactics? Is it a matter of not knowing what you can automate or how to automate?
Think about it this way. It's a catch 22.
You have received rave reviews from your customers, reviews you weren't aware of. They post on some obscure 3rd party review site, you didn't see their review, and you inadvertently ignored them.
It's left a bad taste in their mouth.
If you're dealing with a negative review from an unhappy customer, the situation is even worse. Now, instead of working with you to resolve their situation, they're sharing their negative feedback on multiple review platforms in an effort to get your attention.
It's an unhappy situation all around.
Why review management automation is a necessity
Review management requires a significant amount of ongoing attention. If you're a small business managing your own review portfolio, at some point you're going to need help.
There are more than 300+ review platforms!
They're an eclectic mix of mainstream, social, niche, and specialty review platforms. Which one of these is most significant to your customer? Where do they feel comfortable?
Have you claimed profiles on each of the relevant platforms for your industry? Are you monitoring reviews that come in on your profile page(s)?
It's too much to handle manually.
Here's the other problem. Positive reviews, if you'd like them to produce revenue, require a large amount of initial attention to be effective. Need to curate the reviews you'd like to feature on your website, blog, ad or retargeting campaign? You're going to have to do that manually.
Need to know which reviews to respond to and when?
Automating the review request and follow-up process over the course of several days or weeks?
Ma--- okay you get it.
See what I mean though? It's super difficult, very much an inconvenience. It's easy to let things lapse because you forgot to check a particular profile, or because someone on your team dropped the ball. That's a problem, because you have a business to run. If you're like most businesses, you don't have time to hover over your review profiles.
Only you should.
Remember that research from Northwestern I mentioned in my previous posts? Their Spiegel Research Center found online reviews could increase conversion rates by 270 percent!
That's not a typo.
You read that right. Now compare and contrast that with data from Moz. Their research stated that businesses risk losing as many as...
Yeah. The data clearly shows the importance of online reviews, and also hovering over reviews. That's a bitter pill to swallow, because most business owners (and agencies) don't have that kind of time.
What if you did?
What if you could get someone to stalk your review profiles for you? To hover over them on a regular basis?
Using review management automation to surpass larger competitors
Review management automation is a helpful value-add, a must if you're looking to minimize busywork while maximizing revenue and results.
What are some ways you can implement review management automation?
1. Review funnels: When customers are added to your review funnel they receive a consistent stream of messages via the platform of your/their choice. This is important because 70 percent of customers will leave a review when asked. If you've done a great job, asking for a review is a slam dunk. It's an easy way to boost your conversion rate, score more sales and increase your revenue.
2. Review profile management. Have you claimed all of your review profiles? Are you absolutely sure? You should be able to monitor citations, name address phone (NAP) details, and general profile data. No need to waste time trying to figure out which review profiles you need to manage/follow.
3. Review monitoring. When customer reviews come in do you find out right away? You should. Review monitoring gives you the opportunity to get ahead of any bad press, identify positive PR sources and cultivate positive goodwill with customers. A good review monitoring solution provides you with immediate updates, notifying you when a review (positive or negative) comes in.
4. Custom feedback workflows. You can create your own workflows, approaching customers the way you want to, when you want to. Combine these workflows with a special offer to thank customers for their business (just avoid bribes and kickbacks), invite them to join another autoresponder sequence, or create another irresistible offer. It's all up to you.
5. Email invites are another helpful part of a strong review portfolio. Creating an autoresponder sequence ahead of time gives you the chance to send consistent follow-up/requests to customers letting them know that, for better or worse, you're interested in their feedback. What if your customers aren't all that interested in using email?
6. Phone/SMS invites enable you to follow up with customers directly, reaching out to them in a way that's short to generate an immediate response. Phone/text, when paired with email invites, produces higher response rate, greater levels of customer goodwill, improved campaign performance and more. It's a straightforward and (direct ) way to attract the kind of attention you need from your customers.
7. Review marketing. Most of the time, customer reviews wither on the vine. Customers share a review on Google, Yelp or Facebook. Their review is incredible, it attracts a significant amount of attention - at first. It certainly helps you build a stronger review profile but it doesn't really do much more than that. With the right curation tools, you're able to place your very best reviews directly in front of new customers. You're able to embed reviews on your website and other sites, extending the life of your very best reviews.
8. Reporting. What's the overall feeling customers have about your business? Which objections, complaints, concerns, fears, frustrations and expectations, come up most often? You'd typically have to slog through the reviews on each of your profiles, taking note of any trends or important data. But you'd undoubtedly miss something. Sentiment analysis provides you with the (ongoing) measuring stick you need to assess your customer's feedback. You're able to figure out what works and why. If you decide to follow up with customers, yours or your competitors, you have detailed specifics outlining what you should ask about.
Wait a minute.
This automation thing sounds like a spammy way to approach review management.
It absolutely is.
If it's placed in the wrong hands, manual review management is a disaster. If you're a spammer, the channel isn't an important detail.
It's the access.
It's the fact that a spammer has unfettered access to customer data - that's the problem. But you're not a spammer, are you?
No, you're not.
If you've read this far, I assume you're either (a.) a small or medium sized business trying to move performance up and to the right or (b.) you're an agency managing this very involved process for a client who wants their performance to move up and to the right or (c.) both.
Review management automation allows you to scale your business
As we've seen, reviews play a dramatic role in your business. Your conversion rates, revenues and profit overall, they all depend on your reviews.
There are more than 300+ review platforms.
It's too much to handle manually. Want your online reviews to produce revenue? That requires a large amount of initial attention to be effective. Or you can take the easy and more efficient path of automation.
This is how you avoid the catch 22.
Whether you're dealing with a negative review from an unhappy customer or a positive review from a happy customer, your situation requires attention. Customers want to see that you're open, honest, transparent and engaged. They want you to participate in the review management process.
Eventually, it becomes a deluge of information.
Review management automation cures this malady. With the right tools and the right mix of automation, you'll find your business has everything it needs to generate traffic, leads and sales for your business, no bad taste necessary.