Your company’s online reputation strategy during the holidays can make or break your business.
This busy time presents opportunities for increasing (or hurting) your sales, with each transaction potentially translating to a positive review that draws customers to your product or service – or, on the other end of the spectrum, a customer rant that taints your brand reputation for good.
With this in mind, this is not a time to take your customer reviews for granted. Here’s why business owners should elevate their reputation management plan during the holidays:
Holiday Sales Can Boost Review Generation and Returns
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas can bring in more sales than any other time for retailers and small businesses. On average, holiday sales can provide your business up to 20 percent of your annual sales goals.
In some industries, the rate can go up to 30 percent. Further, this increase in sales activity in the retail industry often forces 90 percent of retailers to hire seasonal help.
With each sale comes the opportunity to gain a review from a happy customer. When you get more reviews you have the potential to win more clients. According to Qualtrics research, 93 percent of consumers read product and company reviews before purchasing. In addition, 58 percent of customers are willing to pay more if your company has good reviews.
Because of the enormous opportunity for growth during the holidays, companies should take the time to formulate solid holiday marketing ideas. Further, your team should dedicate time to online reputation monitoring and improve review response rates.
Companies Missing the Opportunity
With the increased uptick in sales comes the potential for gathering more reviews from your clients. However, some companies may miss out on the opportunity to build their reputation.
“I see a decrease in the number of reviews generated by companies during the holiday season,” said Tim Clarke, senior reputation manager at Rize Reviews. He also cites two reasons why some businesses fail regarding online reputation marketing and review generation.
“Businesses are too busy to do any campaigns to implement holiday marketing strategies,” Clarke said.
With the influx of potential customers and sales, your team may be too preoccupied with fulfilling orders and neglecting opportunities to build your business reputation.
Clarke also pointed out that consumers are equally preoccupied with getting their holiday shopping done and the revelry that comes with the season.
However, there are creative ways to make things easier for your customers so they can be encouraged to submit reviews. If you need help with review generation, partnering with online reputation management companies will benefit you during the holidays.
Holiday Online Reputation Management Best Practices: What You Need To Do
When developing holiday marketing strategies, keep in mind that your team and your customers will likely be busy during this period. So, use review generation strategies to make it easy for your customers to submit reviews. This means choosing portals and channels that won’t take much time.
Consider equipping your team with efficient social listening and response tools. Using online reputation management software, for example, will enable you to provide an appropriate response to a negative review faster.
Apart from having tools for monitoring online reputation, you also benefit by abiding by a few best practices. Consider the ones outlined below.
Use SMS Notifications and QR Codes
Clarke agreed that using SMS notifications is a great approach to encourage customers to post reviews. It’s a direct way to get in touch with each customer, and they can easily respond with a short message, which takes less than a minute to submit.
“SMS is a great tool for review generation with a higher response rate ranging from 4 percent to 20 percent based on the client and the industry,” Clarke said.
Furthermore, he recommended using QR codes combined with verbal requests to increase your chances of getting a response. For instance, you can provide a Google Review QR Code that lets consumers scan, post and share reviews on your company’s Google Business Profile.
Clarke also recommended combining charity with review requests in the spirit of giving back during the holidays. You can create a campaign where you donate to charity as part of the review submission process.
Train Your Staff
Make sure to give online reputation marketing your due diligence. This means you should claim and optimize your company’s Google Business Profile (formerly known Google My Business) listing. In addition, you should take the time to train your staff so they can better respond to negative reviews.
Your employees’ training directly impacts your company’s reputation. Your staff puts your holiday marketing strategies into action. Aside from monitoring online reputation, they’re your frontliners when providing a solid review response.
They are the people who will engage your customers and interact with them. Your team should know how to spot customer needs, position your products as solutions and delight them.
If your company has implemented a new online reputation management software as part of your holiday marketing strategy, ensure your team knows how to maximize its use. Ensure efficient use of the tools for online reputation monitoring so they can provide a timely and efficient response to a negative review when needed. Google statistics show that people view businesses that provide timely responses as being 1.7 times more trustworthy than their competitors.
Use the Best Sites for Online Reputation Monitoring
One of the effective holiday marketing ideas you can use is to arrange your staff’s schedule, so you’ll have someone doing online reputation monitoring throughout the day. Ensure you have a staff member who will check review submission sites every four or six hours. Create a schedule that works best for your team.
You can boost review response rates if your team can monitor the reviews and respond as soon as possible. You can also use positive reviews for your holiday marketing ideas to attract new customers.
Using online reputation management software boosts your team’s response rates and is effective for social listening, allowing you to get more reviews from happy customers.
Here are the critical sites your staff needs to monitor for improved holiday online reputation management:
- Amazon: best suited for eCommerce businesses.
- Google Business Profile: works for any company.
- Facebook: an excellent option for any business.
- Yelp: best for restaurants, hotels, corporate events and other local businesses.
- Trip Advisor: a great option for travel, food and tourism companies.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): great for any business.
- Angie’s List: excellent for service businesses.
Create Your Team’s Playbook
Create a holiday online reputation management plan to allow your team to manage their time well while responding to reviews. Use a step-by-step plan to respond to online reviews. According to one study, responding to at least half of the total reviews can create a six percent increase for your business.
Find a Reliable Holiday Reputation Marketing Service
Not all online reputation management companies can equip you with effective and dynamic solutions during the holidays. If you want to maximize your company’s growth opportunities, collaborate with a team that can provide a reliable expert reputation marketing service.
Rize Reviews is a reputation management company with a proven track record of helping companies manage their reputation during the holidays.
Ready to get started with your reputation management plan? Contact us today for a consultation.