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How to harness the power of recommendations? - 5 ways to effectively manage online opinions

Patrycja Lisowska
11/12/2023 | 9 min read
How to harness the power of recommendations? - 5 ways to effectively manage online opinions

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    You will probably agree that trust is the foundation of any relationship. Above all, it gives us a sense of security - it is thanks to it that our commitment and attachment to the other person grow. The same goes for the bond you create with your client. Consumers often treat companies like other people - they want to develop relationships with brands that they can trust. That is why the process of building customer experiences with a brand should start long before the purchase. To win over consumers, it is worth harnessing the power of recommendations, the value of which cannot be underestimated.


    Most often, we ask friends and family for product reviews. It is not news that we trust proven opinions more than advertisements on websites. This kind of word of mouth has, however, moved to the internet over time, where customers share their experiences with brands. Currently, over 90% of us check company reviews before deciding to use their services. So what are we looking for on internet forums, social media, or review platforms? Social proof, or confirmation of the validity of our choices by others, in this case, previous users of the brand. We are more inclined to listen to people similar to us, especially in times of banner blindness.


    Why are reviews so important?


    One of the most important elements of building credibility and reputation for a company on the Internet is proper acquisition of consumer reviews. While an unsatisfied customer will readily share a negative opinion online, a satisfied customer will not be as willing to publicly express their satisfaction. That is why managing a company's online reputation should be done in two ways - on one hand, you can encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews, and on the other hand, you can mediate with disappointed customers and turn them into returning users. Be sure that if you obtain reviews and recommendations in the right way, and then highlight them in your communication with new customers, you will increase consumer loyalty and, as a result, sales.


    1. Encourage customers to leave reviews and create a recommendation template


    How many times have you whispered a good word about a new restaurant to your friends, but lacked the motivation to leave a review online? Without proper encouragement, few of us are willing to praise services or products on the internet, even if we evaluate them positively. You are probably wondering how to convince customers not to hesitate with leaving reviews online and thus become ambassadors of your brand. The answer is extremely simple - ask for recommendations.


    Good advice: Simplify the review submission process as much as possible.


    To do this, take advantage of the moment when the customer has just received the product and is still in the shopping euphoria. Just send an email asking the buyer for their opinion on the online store or the order fulfillment process. However, sometimes just asking the buyer to share their impressions of the purchasing process is not enough. In such cases, you can develop a recommendation template or auxiliary questions that will greatly facilitate writing reviews.


    The more products you sell, the more time-consuming this task will be. That is why we suggest using one of the tools for managing customer reviews online. A consistent system for sending invitations, which are in line with your visual identity and reach customers after they have placed an order, can be provided by an application that generates ready-made invitations. Also, remember to personalize the messages requesting reviews - this will help reassure customers that you value their task. Also, make sure that the customer understands why their opinion is so important and how it affects the functioning of your company.


    2. Respond to all reviews, even the negative ones


    Do not ignore any reviews. Treat each review as a guide that will help you improve the entire sales process, increase the quality of services and products. Although it is not easy, try to be patient and approach the feedback with humility. After all, even the best make mistakes. The most important thing is not to bury your head in the sand but to engage in a dialogue with the user aimed at understanding the nature of the problem.


    Good advice: Try to understand the problem and propose an appropriate solution.


    To better understand the needs of customers and identify pain points in your company, automate customer service in terms of negative reviews. There are already tools available that allow mediation between an unsatisfied customer and a company representative, so that you can learn valuable lessons for your business, and the customer feels understood and well taken care of. As you can see, you can come out of any crisis unscathed, as long as you do not let your emotions guide you and your reaction to negative comments remains objective and balanced. In the future, try to be more proactive and prevent potential fires. You can test available applications on the market that detect problems in the customer experience area, such as excessively long delivery times or product discrepancies, and recommend appropriate actions that can improve your reputation.


    3. Plan where reviews about your business should appear online


    Do you want to keep your finger on the pulse and monitor mentions of your business online? It's simple! The aforementioned applications will also help you track all threads with reviews about your company and allow you to gather reviews in one place. Importantly, in the case of such solutions, help with managing online reviews does not end with their acquisition - the reviews are also subjected to semantic and predictive analysis. By using them, you will learn about the difficulties your customers face and the areas of your business that need improvement.


    Good advice: Keep in mind that customers will look for your company in many different places, from Google Maps to social networks to industry websites.


    Regardless of whether you opt for ready-made solutions, it is worth creating a "forum" for customers in the online space to exchange views on your products or services. Naturally, the profile and scope of your business will primarily determine the place where it is best to collect reviews. Nevertheless, you can identify the most important sources of gathering reviews - these include, among others, Google Maps listings, industry and review portals, and the official brand profile on social media. You should not be absent from these places! Of course, these are just some of the many communication channels where customers share their feedback and seek information about you. At the same time, these are the places where it will be easiest for you to respond to comments and moderate discussions.


    Good advice: Customers will definitely find a place to exchange opinions about your business, so it is worth enabling them to do so on your official profiles.


    The power of recommendation


    4. Share positive reviews with potential customers


    Widgets with reviews on your company's website are an absolute must-have because recommendations work like a magnet for new and undecided customers. Moreover, presenting the advantages of your company is one of the pillars of building a positive online image. You will probably agree that reviews from satisfied customers increase the credibility of your company and even increase your visibility in Google search. By the way, every valuable content on your website, including customer reviews, has an impact on improving your search engine ranking and is an integral part of internet marketing. So don't miss the opportunity to increase conversions and provide your customers with social proof! Also, showcase testimonials on social media from time to time to enrich and diversify your communication.


    Good advice: Use positive reviews online to build customer trust by using widgets on your website.


    5. Monitor reviews using online reputation management tools


    Last but not least, remember that ready-made tools can help you in many tasks related to managing reviews in your company. Automating processes will save you valuable time and contribute to increased customer satisfaction, which in turn will directly translate into sales. If you are looking for help in obtaining recommendations from real customers on all major review platforms, then the Rating Captain application is dedicated to you. With just one click, you will find out where reviews about you appear, why you receive negative reviews, which products they concern, and how satisfied or dissatisfied customers are. All thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that analyze each review and help companies identify the most important issues. The platform can be integrated with any e-commerce system, both Saas and open source, as well as dedicated solutions or CRM systems. It can be used for both individual and business customers.


    Case study


    See our case study and check the results of implementing a positive review acquisition application. Below, we present the implementation for an e-commerce client in the clothing industry who decided to fight for their online reputation with Rating Captain.


    Initial situation


    • 122 reviews obtained in 4 years
    • 2.4 - average rating


    The problem with the store was the small number of reviews and the predominance of negative comments, even though reviews play a very important role in improving the reputation of a brand online.


    The recovery process involved verifying the most common problems and improving the sales process.


    Customers most often complained about


    • poor quality of materials
    • inaccurate product descriptions
    • long waiting times for products
    • lack of contact with the store


    The following changes were implemented


    • improvement of product descriptions
    • elimination of low-quality products
    • shortening of delivery times
    • improvement of communication with the customer at every stage of the sales process


    Result after 3 months


    • 386 reviews
    • 4.2 - average rating


    Additional benefits for the client


    • 35% increase in organic sales
    • 280% increase in sales from Google Maps listings
    • 20% decrease in complaints/returns


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