Reviews matter, yet so many companies let them grow by default and inattention, rather than a focused effort – rarely monitoring what is being said unless a crisis flares up, grabbing everyone’s attention like firecrackers lit inside a public library.
Most restaurants and retail businesses make an effort – smart ones realizing just how much new business they fuel – but monitoring is slim-to-nonexistent for many other types of businesses and there’s no effort made to grow the volume of reviews.
I believe the roadblock is often lack of ownership and accountability.
Who’s responsible for growing and managing customer reviews – is it PR? Marketing? Customer service or sales? Are you giving them enough attention? Do you have a process in place to handle negative reviews? All great questions to be thinking about, since reviews have incredible impact on reputation and visibility, and a conversation that PR can/should kickstart, if it isn’t happening.
Did you know that most brand mention monitoring subscriptions don’t include customer review websites?
Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon, Trip Advisor, Open Table – all of the generic and trade specific review sites fall under the bailiwick of Reputation Management – an entirely different solution that includes measuring sentiment on top of mention and review monitoring.
It’s never a bad idea for PR pros to take a close look at customer reviews for their employer or clients on a regular basis, and make recommendations on how to grow or manage them… especially if it’s something that is neglected. Start those conversations and you’ll instantly be more valuable.
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Here are five resources that might inspire you.
Customer reviews have evolved over the last 10 years to become the backbone of the online retail and trade experience, with stats revealing that close to 80% of people will read reviews before handing over so much as a penny as part of an online transaction. (Read more)
How have you kickstarted the conversation about online reviews? It’s time.