How Brokers Can Take Control of Their Online Reviews
Online reviews are now the tool that consumers inherently trust—just ask 18- to 34-year-olds, 91% of whom admit to trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
They have become the Internet’s version of word of mouth, infinitely more powerful because they bypass the traditional barriers of time difference, distance and speed. In today’s world, whenever we buy a product, service or experience, we have come to trust online reviews as meta online word-of-mouth crowd wisdom. It allows us control over where we spend our money, and information that is less biased than what the business itself is promoting.
Yet, many business owners can find online reviews irritating since they are not under their control. This is not the only problem, but it is the base of almost all the issues they face with reviews.
Simply put, online reviews are meant to make consumers’ lives easier and business owners’ lives more complicated.
Here’s an example for the broker industry: a homebuyer secures a mortgage through you and is pleased with the experience. That client is ripe to be asked for a great testimonial. But how do you go about asking for one?
Two options are either a verbal ask or through a link. A verbal ask puts the onus on the consumer to do most of the work—they are asked to write the review and send it to the business through the right channel, which results in a waste of their time, from their viewpoint. They might forget the ask, they might send it to the wrong channel, they might be inconvenienced by the ask and change their mind to include a slightly more negative review or they might just not do it at all.
A link accomplishes convenience for the client, but with it comes the problem of only being applicable for one specific platform. To replicate this for other platforms creates the issue of inconvenience for the business. They might have to send various links to the consumer, as well as ask the consumer’s permission to recreate that review on their website.
Another issue relates to tracking the reviews—the business is not able to track how efficient the review is on that channel (the review might be on Google, whereas most consumers are looking at the business’ Yelp reviews).
The last issue that is faced by businesses that contributes to a waste of time is having to manually change the reviews from the platform it is posted on to their social media sites. Businesses must incur a large time and/or monetary expense to copy, paste and change the display of the review to fit their social media page look.
These are some of the reasons why businesses may dislike online reviews. They feel like they lose (or never had) control of the process of asking for the reviews or their visibility and might feel overwhelmed with having to manage the review process.
The Best Tool to Help
My Review Dashboard is a service designed specifically to solve these exact problems for business owners. It was created to hand control over the visibility of online reviews back to the business without sacrificing the consumer experience.
My Review Dashboard makes online reviews a proactive process rather than a reactive one, based on the fact that 86% of consumers would consider leaving reviews for businesses and that 70% of consumers who have been asked to leave reviews actually do so. This can be done through three distinct ways: 1) a custom URL; 2) personalized emails; or 3) text messages.
When a customer is requested to submit an online review via an ask that is personalized specifically for them, they are much more likely to leave a review—whether positive or negative. My Review Dashboard also notifies the business owner as soon as a consumer has filled out an online review and allows them to approve it before it goes live. If it’s a negative review, they can “quarantine” it before others see it and the dashboard also allows businesses the chance to respond and improve the consumer’s experience so they can be requested to change their review. A customer who leaves a negative review will also feel that their opinion is valued if addressed quickly and, hence, will be more likely to change their review to a positive one.
Key Benefits for Business Owners
My Review Dashboard also improves the experience of the business owner by allowing them to track all of their reviews in one place. There’s no need to go through various review sites to see what your customers are saying about you. The dashboard is integrated with the most popular review sites, like Google & Yelp, and can give business owners an overview of their reviews through the platform.
There is also a widget that allows for dynamic control. If you want reviews that include a certain term to appear on your website in a design/format that you really like, then all you need to do is customize the rules in your widget on My Review Dashboard. It allows users to make “smart rules” that the dashboard understands and implements without the manual process of repeating the same rules over and over again.
Finally, let’s not forget social media. Posting your positive reviews on your social channels can amplify the message of your brand in a huge way. Businesses get the option to publish their positive reviews to any site that they manage—their website, an email campaign or social media channels like Facebook and Twitter—simply by changing their My Review Dashboard preferences.
This is where the “smart rules” really allow businesses to save time and resources by dynamically updating the reviews wherever and however they want.