Managing online reviews can be overwhelming: What should you say? What shouldn’t you say? Should you delete bad reviews? Praise good reviews? The balance of acknowledging a concern over social media or contacting reviewers privately can impact your business’ reputation in a matter of minutes.
BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2017 suggests consumers are 68% are more likely to use a business with positive reviews, up from 50% the previous year. With the influence of reviews trending upward, it’s important for senior living and 55+ communities to manage online reviews effectively. Here are six best practices for managing the good, the bad and the ugly.
1. Create a Google My Business and Facebook Page.
Customers tend to research local businesses with Google and Facebook. By registering your business, you allow customers to easily find who you are and why your business might matter to them. Bonus points if you register with Bing Places, since 53% of Bing’s Network is 45 years old and better, according to The Bing Audience Network.
2. Notifications save time and headaches.
Set up your business’ Facebook page or Google My Business to alert your marketing department (or agency) for any reviews. This helps you manage what’s being said and tackle negative reviews in real time. Pick an employee with good costumer experience and the ability to respond in a timely manner.
Set up Google My Business’ notifications.
Facebook Notifications how-to.
3. Ask prospects for feedback.
During a community visit, let visitors know they can leave a review of their experience on your Google or Facebook page. Ask for reviews using a “thank you for visiting us” email with quick links to leave reviews can also be effective. Don’t offer any incentives, as this is often against online policies and can lead to inauthentic reviews.
For best practices on how to ask, read Marketing Land’s helpful article.
4. React timely and professionally to negative online reviews.
Often, our first reaction is to defend our business and reputation against a negative review. Instead, try to come from a curious standpoint. Be empathetic to their issues and provide a resolution when necessary. Don’t feel the need to respond to every negative review. If the concern is not legitimate, don’t give the review anymore life.
5. Take negative personal reviews offline.
If a customer is upset with an interaction they had with an individual, or a quick resolution from both parties isn’t available, ask them to private message, email or call you to help resolve the issue. Don’t forget to leave your business’s contact information.
6. A little appreciation goes a long way.
While we often focus on the negative, maintaining a lasting impression requires you to show gratitude to positive online reviews. This helps customers know their opinions matter and, for potential customers, that their experience is of the utmost importance.
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