Reviews matter, yet so many companies let them grow by default and inattention, rather than a focused effort – rarely monitoring what is being said unless a crisis flares up, grabbing everyone’s attention like firecrackers lit inside a public library.
Most restaurants and retail businesses make an effort – smart ones realizing just how much new business they fuel – but monitoring is slim-to-nonexistent for many other types of businesses and there’s no effort made to grow the volume of reviews.
I believe the roadblock is often lack of ownership and accountability.
Who’s responsible for growing and managing customer reviews – is it PR? Marketing? Customer service or sales? Are you giving them enough attention? Do you have a process in place to handle negative reviews? All great questions to be thinking about, since reviews have incredible impact on reputation and visibility, and a conversation that PR can/should kickstart, if it isn’t happening.
Did you know that most brand mention monitoring subscriptions don’t include customer review websites?
Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon, Trip Advisor, Open Table – all of the generic and trade specific review sites fall under the bailiwick of Reputation Management – an entirely different solution that includes measuring sentiment on top of mention and review monitoring.
It’s never a bad idea for PR pros to take a close look at customer reviews for their employer or clients on a regular basis, and make recommendations on how to grow or manage them… especially if it’s something that is neglected. Start those conversations and you’ll instantly be more valuable.
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Here are five resources that might inspire you.