The sheer volume of new web-based entrants over the course of the past ten years is remarkable. Apart from some ultra-niche sectors, almost every need is searchable, and most of the high-volume products and services have become nearly saturated.
As a result, online searchers are no longer looking simply for one who services their specific need, they have begun to get pickier. They want more than the business “assurance that they are a good choice” they want public assurance, and the rise of reviews-based websites is servicing this need.
The Importance of Review Management
Because online reviews are public and accessible, managing them constitutes a vital aspect of any digital marketing strategy, in Sydney and around Australia. Reviews, good or bad, are one of the first things that many consumers will look at after they find your brand.
They are accessible through a variety of mediums, including Google, and more brand-specific areas, such as Yelp. The power of these reviews is such that many small businesses have developed the habit of straight-up asking their clients to provide them with a five-star rating.
Review management is essentially an extension of public relations, but it encounters some unique issues. Clients are more likely to leave a negative review than a glowing positive review, especially when they are irate. Coping with these emotional moments demands your closest attention, as they can quickly sink your overall rating and perception, even if the client was in the wrong.
Should this occur, you must utilise your options. Google allows you the option of writing your own responses. It can be used to state the facts, to lay out what you did to attempt to alleviate the situation, or to offer them some sort of appeasement. Remember, you are writing for a wider audience, so let civility reign.
The most important element, however, is speed. “These reviews need to be responded to in a timely fashion, before they can do a great deal of damage to your business” reputation. You must be viewed as compassionate towards these wounded souls, no matter how wrong they might be.
Bringing it all Together
Providing a voice can make all the difference to those viewing your business through the lens of online reviews. Most of all, online reviews deserve to be monitored closely, to ensure that they aren’t hurting you in the background. Keeping a close eye, and treating complaints with the restraint and courtesy that they deserve, should be a vital aspect of anyone’s digital marketing strategy in Sydney, and across Australia.