It's something everyone wants.
It's also something most organizations struggle to attract. Online reviews are kingmakers. We've seen, over previous posts, that online reviews are crucial to attracting, converting and retaining customers.
No surprise, right?
The points below show you how to win more of the online reviews your business needs. These reviews will provide you with actionable strategies, tactics and tips you can use to win more five-star reviews.
Let's get started.
How to use this Review Management Checklist
The details we'll share have a cumulative and compounding effect on your business. The more of these tips and strategies you include, the better your review portfolio will be.
Think 2 + 2 = 400.
These details give you the leverage you need to dramatically improve the results you're able to achieve from your online reviews.
Treat this checklist like a buffet.
Pick and choose the tools and resources that will work best for your business. I recommend giving all of these details a try as you'll find your results increase exponentially when used together in its entirety.
Let's get started.
The Business Fulfillment Checklist
It doesn't matter whether you're running a service or product business. Whether you're focused locally, regionally or nationally. Your fulfillment needs to be top shelf.
This is the basis of every review.
Prospective customers want to know:
(a.) Are you safe and trustworthy?
(b.) Did you deliver as promised (or over deliver)?
(c.) Have you helped businesses similar to theirs?
Here's how you do that.
Auditing Review Management Checklist:
Reviews are the foundation of almost any marketing campaign. At some point, customers will want you to prove or validate the claims you've made about your business.
Reviews do that.
Improving reviews then requires that you take stock of your review management campaigns and portfolios. Here's a list of the basic details you'll need to have in place to set your campaigns up properly.
1. Create an audit review listings spreadsheet
Make a list of the mainstream, niche and specialty review sites unique to your industry.
Mainstream websites include Google Reviews, Facebook Recommendations and Yelp.
Examples of specialty or industry specific review sites could be ZocDoc for doctors and Avvo for attorneys.
Search for your business and each location you'd like to verify. You'll want to verify that you've claimed/control each listing.
Next, you'll want to take stock of (a.) the total number of reviews and (b.) the number of reviews received in the last three months.
2. Claim, set up and optimize review site listings (if you're starting from scratch)
If you're starting from scratch you'll want to create/claim, set up and optimize your review site listings. Here are instructions for claiming each of the mainstream sites.
Go through and setup profiles for optimization on each of your niche/industry specific sites as well. An optimized review profile includes:
3. Set Quarterly Goals
If you've read my previous post on review management ROI, you know the value of aggregate reviews in the search results. You'll want to set specific goals for your review management campaign.
Why does this matter?
Because prospective customers set the tone here. They decide which review site matters most to them. These review sites are a fundamental part of their decision making process. Your business should be present on each of the review sites prospective customers use to find what they need.
Strategy and Implementing Review Management Checklist:
You'll need to determine the who, what, where, when and how of your campaign. Take the time to define your campaign strategy, roles and responsibilities, details, etc.
1. Set Strategy
2. Review Acquisition Implementation
How will you acquire reviews? You'll need to determine whether you plan on using a review management platform or plan on requesting reviews manually.
You'll need to:
1. Set up review funnel (landing page with review site links - make it easy to leave reviews)
2. Set up email drip campaigns to automate review requests
Next, you'll want to:
1. Determine your campaign's cadence.
2. Write copy for email campaigns
3. Include links to review sites or review funnel
4. Configure your review management tool with your email service provider
You may also want to:
6. Next, set up a repeatable routine to upload email address/phone number spreadsheets for review request campaigns (if not automated)
7. Train sales and support staff on when and how to ask for reviews
Review Marketing Checklist
The more you share your reviews, the harder they work for you. Here's a set of details you can use to improve the effectiveness of each and every review.
The Customer Service Checklist
Customer service is an often neglected part of review management. Many times the decision to write a review (positive or negative) is based entirely on a customer's recent interactions with customer service.
Customers, for the most part, aren't unreasonable. They're aware of that fact that you're human and that humans make mistakes. They just want you to own, fix and avoid repeating those mistakes.
Here's how you provide exceptional customer service.
1. Make sure support knows the product or service
Customers expect your support teams to have in-depth knowledge of the product or service you're offering. Many customer support teams at large and small organizations aren't knowledgeable. Why?
Because management would have to pay them more! Knowledgeable reps are exceptionally valuable, and for good reason.
2. Monitor competitor/industry sentiment
Do you have your finger on the pulse of the marketplace? Do you know what customers are saying about your competitors and your industry?
You can use tools like:
Additionally, there are a plethora of additional options for you to choose from.
If your customers or competitors are on a particular platform, you'll want to monitor those platforms accordingly.
In a spreadsheet, include monthly details on:
Use These Review Management Checklists to Outperform
Reviews, as you know, are incredibly important.
But they're underutilized.
Once they've received them, most businesses neglect their reviews. They fail to provide their customers with the underlying structure they need to help their business.
They don't see the connection.
You're now in the know. Online reviews are kingmakers - if you know how to use them properly. As we've seen, online reviews can be used throughout the sales and marketing funnel. But only if your review management campaign has structure - the systems and procedures needed to perform well.
Can you deliver?
You can if you follow the items listed in this checklist. With a clear plan to follow and some upfront preparation, you'll have the resources you need to run circles around the competition. A complete surprise to everyone, except you.