Read this if you're time-starved and looking to reduce the time you spend on managing Trustpilot and other online reviews.
This is the first article in a three-part series of articles. Check out part 2 and part 3 here.
Replying to reviews takes too much time.
Do you agree?
If you’re getting one review a day, you probably don’t mind. But what if you’re getting two, five or ten reviews a day? What if your business has more than one location?
There’s plenty of helpful advice on the internet. However, it focuses mostly on how to respond to reviews — and not on how to make the process more streamlined.
This is the purpose of this article. We’ll first discuss how time-consuming the process becomes the more your business grows. We’ll then walk you through exactly what you need to do to deal with online reviews in a fraction of the time.
Spoiler alert: Encourage positive reviews and prevent the negative ones.
Challenge 1: The (sad) math of managing reviews
Let’s assume your business has five locations, and you’re in charge of managing all incoming reviews. Let’s further assume that each site is getting at least one review a day.
That’s a minimum of five reviews per day.
Let’s then say each review takes you an average of five minutes to reply to.
Let’s do some math:
5 locations x 1 review each = 5 reviews a day
5 reviews a day x 5 minutes per review = 25 minutes a day replying to reviews.
25 minutes is not bad, But it can quickly get out of hand. What if each of your locations are getting three or more reviews?
Still assuming that it takes you about five minutes to reply to each review:
5 locations x 3 reviews each = 15 reviews a day
15 reviews a day x 5 minutes per review = 75 minutes a day replying to reviews.
The amount of reviews per location hasn’t skyrocketed. It’s barely budged. But now you’re dedicating more than an hour a day just replying to reviews — a critical hour you couldn’t afford to waste.
Sorry to say, but it gets worse. So far, we’ve supposed that it takes 5 minutes to reply to each review.
Let’s see why that number is wishful thinking.
Challenge 2: The hidden time cost of review management
There’s a difference between typing a response and replying to a review. It might take you five minutes to type out what you’re going to publish, but gathering the necessary information to reply to a review may take way longer.
Let’s say you manage reviews for a chain of car dealerships, and one of your locations received a scorching review on Trustpilot:
You’re not on-site to find out who this sales rep is. You’d first have to call the local manager and make them aware of this review. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch them at a good time when they’re not busy. They’d need to take time off their packed schedule to find the responsible sales rep.
How long do you think that would take?
If you’re lucky, the investigation may take a few minutes. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be stuck for days.
So much for 5 minutes per review.
To save valuable time, you might reply with a cookie-cutter response like “We’re sorry to hear that. Our team is on it.”
This might work in the short run, but customers today aren’t as patient as they used to be.
They expect you to work on their issue the moment it pops up, so this type of response might further aggravate the customer.
Taking back control of your Trustpilot Reviews
So far, we’ve seen how quickly managing reviews can take over your schedule. The more locations and reviews your business has, the more time you’ll waste.
If you Google How to efficiently respond to online reviews, these are the main points you’ll find:
- You should respond to reviews within 24 hours.
- In case of a negative review, fully acknowledge the problem.
- Reassure the customer you’re working on their issue.
- To avoid a public confrontation, encourage them to get in touch with you by leaving your phone number and an email address.
- Create response templates for all imaginable scenarios: A good review, a bad review, a neutral review, and so on.
All of this is great advice, but it is still time consuming. You still need to actively monitor incoming reviews, and be ready to respond ASAP. Worse still, how quickly you can get to a review depends on factors outside your control — like the local dealership manager trying to find the sales rep in the previous example.
Even if you’ve created response templates you can just copy-paste, you still might need to tweak them to fit very specific scenarios, which takes brainpower and — you guessed it — time.
So what is the solution?
Step 1: Catch the negative reviews before they become reviews
Make it as simple as possible for your customers to contact you when having problems, before they make it public on Trustpilot or another review platform. Once they’ve expressed a problem, your staff needs to know immediately so they can deal with the issue.
There are tools out there that can help you listen to your customers and respond to their needs in real time.
Take Ombea for example. Ombea can gather feedback from any touchpoint, whether physical or virtual. This helps you cover probable sources of negative feedback, like restrooms:
As visitors press the sad faces, you or your staff get a notification. You can then dispatch the cleaning staff to deal with the problem before visitors comment on social media or leave particularly stinky reviews.
Here’s another example. At your self-checkout points, you ask for customers to rate their overall shopping experience using five smiley faces. While they’re there, you can follow-up by asking them to elaborate on their choice, or ask for a staff member to meet them to speak about their experience.
This way, you’re stopping a devastating, time-consuming review on its tracks.
Step 2: Encourage positive reviews, so all you have to do is reply with a “Thank you!” comment.
This section is about encouraging the right kind of reviews — the glowing 5-star reviews that can easily be responded to in seconds using a template.
To get more of these reviews, you need to go against human nature. You need to get rid of as much friction as possible. People are more willing to leave reviews if they had a wonderful experience or a very bad one. If they had a good experience, they won’t see the value in spending time leaving a review.
They’ve gotten what they’ve wanted. Why should they care?
Ombea is the perfect tool for you to eliminate friction. Your customers can leave you a review in just a few clicks, and from pretty much anywhere:
That’s it. That’s the secret to responding to incoming reviews in a fraction of the time. It’s about catching the negatives and boosting the positives.
In the next article in this series, we’ll show you how you can boost the positive reviews by tapping into the silent 95% of customers. FInd it here.
And if you’re curious about seeing whether Ombea’s right for you, schedule an Ombea demo today.
And if you’re curious about seeing whether Ombea’s right for you, start a free trial now!