More threads by Laustin1878

Sep 27, 2012
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How are you managing reviews for clients? Do you have a pre-defined agreement in place to respond to both positive & negative reviews? Do you structure something to find reviews, present the review to the management and then discuss the situation so you can respond intelligently?

A business I've been working with for years, finally, has someone who actually pays some attention to reviews after many a negative and positive review have been left. I've always told them to provide some type of response but lazy employees don't care nor do they see the negative impacts it has on their personal bottom line and achievements. You can walk a horse to water..... Despite many of the negative reviews being left by disgruntled people who have been dead beats for a while, they are still there and they usually say the same things. One would think the business would pay attention to some of the things they can control but...

Any type of review management I've done was always in the way of consulting and advising to be compassionate to negative reviews and to take it offline ASAP (the standard lines of course). I've never put myself into the position to respond on behalf of the client.

I'm looking for feedback on how you as a firm, respond on behalf of the client and if there is anything pre-arranged for you to take the ball and run with it.
I have a client who seems to keep getting them. I assembled them in an email last week and asked them to look into finding the trend, whether it's a technician or a customer expectation issue. Lately I have been more on top of finding them and bringing them to the customers attention because imo the pack is affected by the number of reviews. I am beginning to count this as part of my monthly SEO work for them. I suppo

Usually I encourage the client to figure out what happened and try to contact customer to see if they can sway them first and pull the review. Because the bad thing is that sometimes customers who are mad will start posting on several sites (ugh).

For my problem customers I have set up a Review report in Brightlocal so I am notified weekly to catch the new reviews. My Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts don't seem to catch them.

Sometimes I respond if we have control (i.e. social or a listing) after I have gotten their side of the story. For commerce sites I tend to respond right away with I am sorry let me look into this and get back to you. Then have the client contact the customer directly. Rarely but it does happen the customer will go back and change their review and update it with more stars.
Thank you for the detailed explanation Robin. It's much appreciated.

It always seems much more difficult to obtain the positive reviews lately. But when someone is unhappy, they feel the need to scream from the rooftops and post on several sites. There is a plan for an aggressive review campaign in the works. This company needs to find the happier customers and make them aware that sharing their experiences with others helps others as well as us (the business) grow and fix area that need attention.

I've encouraged these people to reach out to the negative reviewers personally and offline to address the issue. I alway seem to get a "defensive" response from the business as if they owe me an explanation. I simply advise them that you need to do a little more listening and be more responsive when people have a bad experience. Or, replace the employees who are providing a bad experience for your customers.

I wasn't sure how much time was invested by a firm to mitigate reviews and responses. I kinda just did some things on my own but lately, there seems to be two very different sides of the story. Looking at past reviews, some of the same things are mentioned repeatedly but hearing the story from the client and they basically say the customer is nuts or never said that to me when I spoke to them.

It's getting tiresome lately and wanted some opinions on how to incorporate review mitigation into a retainer. Hope to hear from more of you.
This is a good question, Laustin. I find that most clients don't want to deal with them or don't know how. I search regularly for mentions about my clients. When I discover a negative review, I notify them immediately and recommend a course of action, which usually means a response.

They don't know how to respond as well as I do so I chat with my client to find out if they remember the customer, what happened and see if they can work something out with the unhappy customer offline. If not, I craft the response for them. I'll send that to my client for approval and then add it for them on their behalf.

If I wait for my client, it won't get done. Responses need to be handled swiftly because the longer it remains on there with no response, the more other consumers are going to see it. I'm on the computer anyway and many of my clients are out in the field all day so it just makes sense for me to handle it. And believe me, this service has been factored into their monthly retainer.

Hope that helps.

Very helpful Dino, thank you. I firmly agree with your statements. Either the client doesn't know how, gets too emotionally involved or simply doesn't have the time to keep track and respond.

It seems that there is no easy way to manage reviews for clients other then a back and forth to discuss the individual situation and sculpt the proper response. These responses are helpful so the way I started to handle and wanted to handle future reviews was on par with what you guys currently do.

My fingers will be falling off by the end of the month trying to respond back to

Many thanks!
Yeah, but the good reviews should be easy to respond to. A quick thank you will do. It will be good if they can share their review with their friends in social media, too. The bad reviews will take a bit more time. Make sure you charge the client for the service.
Due to terms of services and other components related to authenticity, we never handle reviews for clients. Having said that, we do a few things to help them mitigate and handle reputation online:

-create a review inbox for all reviewers negatives mean the reviewer is sent directly to the business owner before the review goes live online. Positive reviewers are asked to pick from one or more sites we are targeting as part of a more comprehensive review marketing strategy.
-Every signature clients gets a review response guide to help them respond.
-We monitor 24/7 and alert businesses to both positive and negative reviews via email. The email contains a copy of the review, location and has a link for them to click over to respond to make this easier.
-In some cases, we coach the client by phone on how to handle any issues and ALWAYS tell them to take it offline.
-In some cases, we plead the TOS or Guideline violation on behalf of the client on the specific platform it appears.
-We provide a reputation video training center to each signature business so their employees get coached on the importance of 5 star customer service, test, and send results to both the owner and employee. Also suggest the employees review the training before each annual review as part of the process.
-We also attempt to spread the reviews to different platforms to mitigate any vulnerabilities to one platform (such as Yelp) and outline a strategic plan for each location.

Of course there is a lot more but those are a few ideas. If I can help anyone with reputation marketing, please reach out to discuss a strategic collaboration. Also, don't hesitate to connect with me via Skype if you want to have a short chat about a specific situation.

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