Last week I spoke with Sparksheet, a content/media/marketing blog, about my research on online reviews. Among other things, I discussed some factors businesses should keep in mind as they develop a strategy for how to respond to reviews. Coincidentally, the NY Times just ran a story about this very topic as well. The main take-aways?
- Businesses really can turn popular sentiment around by engaging with online reviews/ers in a variety of constructive ways.
- Completely ignoring online reviews can eventually hurt a business.
- Canned responses are usually not very effective. To the extent that it’s possible, responses should be personalized.
- Getting into a public argument online with a reviewer is usually not the best approach. (But see my earlier posts on “Facebook Reviews” and “People Hate them on Yelp” for some interesting counterexamples.)
- Reviews and ratings can be powerful marketing tools. Buzzword of the day: it’s all about “relational capital.”