On its face, managing review websites might seem like a simple task, but it’s more nuanced than you think. If you’re sending review invites at the wrong time or using the wrong delivery method, you could see considerably lower click through rates on your invitations, which in turn will lead to fewer reviews for your business. To help make sure you’re managing reviews correctly, we’ve compiled a list of 7 common mistakes people make when managing review websites, and how to avoid them.

1. Sending invites out in batches

It might seem easier to batch out review invitations and send them to all of your customers at the end of the day or end of the week, but this method results in a low click-through-rate. Our customers have found that if you ask for and send out invitations while the customer is still on site, the odds of them leaving a review increase significantly.

2. Using email

In the past email invitations were fine, but as the smartphone has become more prevalent, it now makes more sense to use text messages. In fact, text messages have a 99 percent open rate, compared to just 23 percent for email.

3. Not responding to negative reviews

You might think that responding to negative reviews could cause more harm than good. There is some truth to that statement, but only if you let emotion get in the way of your response, which is never a good thing. The best practices we preach to our customers are to quickly apologize and offer a corrective course of action. In some cases, you might even turn a detractor into a promoter.

4. Focusing on the wrong review websites

A common mistakes business make is prioritizing on the wrong review websites. When launching an online review program you should do your due diligence  to determine which sites your customers are already looking at. It’s a good bet to focus on the big three of Google, Yelp, and Facebook. But you shouldn’t leave out industry specific sites like Healthgrades or DealerRater.

5. Buying reviews

The consequences of buying online reviews far outweigh any short term benefits you might achieve. Buying reviews is against both Google’s and Yelp’s terms of service, and could have adverse effects on your business when you get caught. Instead, we encourage you to earn your positive reviews as opposed to paying for them. This will result in feedback that feels more authentic. You might be surprised to learn that most customers, especially if they had a good experience, would be happy to review your business. All you need to do is ask them.

6. Not leveraging reviews in other marketing materials

Your online reviews are a valuable asset. If you’re not utilizing them across your all of your marketing efforts you are missing out on an opportunity to build trust and loyalty with your customers. Your online reviews can be a good place for to find candidates for testimonials as well as content for your website and other advertising.

Matt Boyce
Matt Boyce Head of SMB Marketing

Matt Boyce is a marketing and business professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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