Managing Customer Feedback: Control Your Reviews Before Your Reviews Control You

May 10, 2015

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In the field of online review monitoring and reputation management, there is no question that time is of the essence.

Through responsiveness and proactive engagement, business organizations of all sizes are gaining a competitive advantage that not only mitigates the risks associated with negative customer feedback; it also empowers their marketing team to maximize the opportunities available through the quick dissemination and utilization of outstanding reviews.

Without the proper tools and technologies, real-time review and reputation monitoring is virtually impossible in terms accuracy or efficiency. But thankfully, having access to the right technologies requires nominal entry costs and can have tremendous impact in the areas of brand development, increased customer loyalty, and direct leads from third-party review sites.

Accessibility in real-time reputation and review monitoring is a game-changer that lends itself to great opportunities for growth. Conversely, failing to engage with the customer in real time can put your business organization at risk of PR disasters, negative virality, and operational flaws gone unattended.

Real-Time Review Management Is Conversion-Conducive

Businesses that engage in the timely management of online feedback develop third-party review site profiles that are more appealing, credible, and trustworthy.

When a potential customer identifies a business that not only engages in tackling customer concerns but also does it quickly, the potential customer will make basic assumptions as to what to expect when dealing with the business.

Parallel to growing in credibility, businesses that manage their reputation in real time also grow in review volume and lead generation, creating a healthy cycle of incremental growth and sustained customer loyalty.

Real-Time Review Management Helps You Tackle Operational Inefficiencies

Cost control is essential to the long-term success of any business. By having the ability to quickly identify and correct operational inefficiencies that may be causing customer friction, your business stands to gain ground in terms of reducing waste and focusing resources in areas with greater profit potential.

For example, a customer might escalate concerns regarding incorrect food orders in a take-out environment. Incorrect food orders not only lead to customer dissatisfaction, but they also have a tremendous impact in terms of production cost.

Identifying a problem in the way orders are captured as soon as it is reported through a review will not only help quickly tackle the issue from the perspective of cost control, but it will also ensure no other future customers experience a similar issue. 

Real-Time Review Management Aids in Optimizing Your Offering

One of the technological advances that society enjoys the most but seldom thinks about is the ability to assess traffic density directly from their phones.

If we all knew what the impediments in the road ahead looked like, then our decision-making patterns would be radically different. Real-time review management allows you to quickly identify opportunities by searching for common denominators across your top reviews.

There are aspects of your operation that customers love, and you should seek ways to maximize revenue and exposure by creating awareness of your fortès as perceived by your customers. Even simple things like the way you order and price services can be maximized through knowing what your customers appreciate the most.

In addition to customer-facing opportunities, knowing what is trending will help you plan ahead in matters of inventory, in order to ensure every customer has access to your most popular products or services.

(Check out: “What is Next for Online Reviews? Here are Some Predictions for 2015”)

Real-Time Review Management Conveys a Higher Level of Customer Commitment

There is no denying that savvy customers know that they have options, and that very knowledge is what leads them to utilize sites like Yelp, Google+, Insider Pages, and TripAdvisor when making a purchasing decision.

By having real-time engagements with your reviewers and implementing a rapid response strategy, not only is your business taking care of the reviewers and letting them know they are valued, but you are also speaking to a wider audience and reinforcing a message of commitment toward present and future customers.

Several informal surveys conducted among consumers point to a proclivity to select businesses that are not only highly rated, but they also show two-way engagements in the form of review responses or forum participation.

Real-Time Review Management Lets You Be Proactive on Issues of Liability

The business world can be a messy place, less than utopic, at best. Chances are that the time will come when someone within your business organization will put the business in a vulnerable position that might expose your corporation to liability.

Being the first one to know is essential in terms of putting a plan together, with the assistance of in-house counsel to ensure the corporation is protected and damages are minimized. A highly negative review with a threat for a lawsuit, or other forms of legal action, is best tackled ASAP.

While a response may require the guidance of your attorney or legal team, simply knowing that you are exposed is tremendously helpful when it comes to mitigating potential damage and preparing such things as a PR statement, should the press decide to get involved or if said review were to become viral.

Real-Time Review Management Puts You Behind the Wheel of Your Online Reputation

We have heard it countless times. Businesses of all sizes blame sites like Yelp about issues related to profitability, traffic, and brand image.

While third-party review sites are certainly the canvas through which the image of a business is shaped, they are not the ones that decide on the hues that make up your online reputation. Through proactive, hands-on reputation management, you can take ownership of the direction of your overall reputation and engage in such a way that future reviewers are motivated not only to patronage your business but also to provide superior customer feedback, unsolicited or through approved review request tools such as ReviewExpress by TripAdvisor.

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