• Oct
  • 09
  • 2018

Manage Online Customer Reviews to Grow Your Print and Mail Business

People’s opinions about your business matters. With so many online platforms to share their experience, reviews can have a far-reaching impact. In fact, 73% of consumers trust a local business more when they receive positive reviews. Positive reviews can also increase sales and improve your SEO. Just as important, reviews provide opportunities to develop customer relationships and manage your online reputation. In a highly competitive, price-driven industry such as print and mail, managing your company’s online reviews is important to your success.

Online Review Sites

There are many sites people use to praise or complain about a business and for local companies, most turn to:

  • Google My Business
  • Yahoo Local
  • Bing Places
  • Yelp

There are also review forums on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, which may be used depending on your customer base.

If you haven’t established a profile on these sites, you need to do so. When people conduct a local search for print and mail shops, they often follow-up with a review search. If you don’t have any posted reviews for them to read, they will move on to your competition.

Encourage Customers to Post a Review

Once you’ve created business profiles on these sites you need reviews. Be proactive and send a follow-up email to customers thanking them for their business and requesting that they write a brief review. Pick one site, such as Yelp or Google My Business, and include the link in your email. Be sure that this link is to your business page on the platform, not the home page, to make it as easy as possible for the customer to write and post a review. Do not offer a coupon or discount if they leave a review because then it appears as if you are trying to bribe them.

Respond to Every Positive Review

Responding to positive reviews builds customer satisfaction and loyalty. Let the person know that you are glad that they had a positive experience and you appreciate that they took the time to share this with others. Depending on where they posted their review, you can make your response public or private. How you manage this part of the process is your call, as long as you respond appropriately. Do not use this system to ask people to join your mailing list, advertise a sale, or other self-directed action. Making this mistake can turn a positive review into a negative one and you will lose the customer and anyone else who reads the review.

Manage the Negative Reviews

Reviews are a significant component of your online reputation. Almost half of consumers need to see at least a 4-star average rating before choosing a business. For this reason, you need to address, and hopefully mitigate or rectify, a problem to keep your ratings high. Respond to the unhappy customer by doing the following in this order:

  1. Make them feel heard. If you jump in too quickly with a solution, you appear to want to minimize their frustration or upset. Instead, contact them and listen to what they have to say. Ask questions to clarify and validate their feelings.
  2. Focus on solving the problem. Be sure to address not only the problem itself but what the customer really needs.
  3. When the customer is happy, politely ask them to edit their rating. Most will do so if you’ve made every effort to address the problem.

Managing reviews means that you need to monitor them. Google My Business allows you to set notifications so you know immediately when a customer has left a review. With other sites, you need to manually check them for new reviews. Select someone in your marketing and sales department to monitor and respond to reviews. This relatively small effort can have a huge impact on your online reputation and sales.