As a customer looking for someone to do business with, how many times do you read reviews online about the business before working together?
When you need to buy a new product, do you research competitors and read reviews from other purchasers to make sure the product is what you expect? We do!
A recent study found that nearly all customers, about 97%, read about products or services in their local area before purchasing. On average, customers are using almost eight different media sources to do their research.
That’s a lot of work to gauge the reputation of a business or product!
One thing’s for sure: your business needs to make it easy for customers to do research about you.
Collecting reviews in one place, no matter where your customers write them, is essential to quickly building trust.
Not only does this give you, the business owner, an overview of how your community perceives your company, but it gives your customers an easier, faster way to get to know you.
Aggregate Reviews with the Marketing 360® Reputation App
Powered by Top Rated Local®, the Reputation app within the Marketing 360® suite of products gives business owners a holistic view of your customers’ opinions of your company.
This free reputation management software aggregates ratings and reviews from verified review sites online and then ranks businesses based on their overall Rating Score®. It also gives businesses the power to take control of their online reputation with review actions.
The Reputation app is free for businesses to set up and manage their reputation online.
It’s relevant for local businesses with a storefront, those who work within a service area, and those who work entirely online.
With this app, you can:
- Manage multiple locations or businesses from one account
- Track an overall Rating Score® and other data across all verified review sites
- Take action on reviews left on Top Rated Local®
- Mark private
- Challenge verification
- Request a re-rate
- Leave management notes
- Request reviews via email or text message
- Embed a reviews widget on your website
- Customers can see your reviews and overall Rating Score®
Streamline Core Business Information
A key factor in creating a good first impression online is consistent, straightforward information. If a customer is searching as many as eight different sources to gauge your business, you want to make sure that business information is the same on all sources.
This core business info includes elements such as your business name, phone number, address (or service area), website, hours and logo. You can also hide your address if you don’t need that info to be public for your business.
The importance of maintaining this information is like keeping a storefront in a prominent place for years. People can rely on finding your business exactly when they need it. This instills trust in your community because you make it easy to find reliable information about your company.
To get started with the Reputation app in Marketing 360®, any business owner can create a free account and establish your core business information right away. Your business may already be listed on Top Rated Local®, so you can claim an existing listing or create a new one.
Top Rated Local® powers the Reputation app, which is your first step to building trust around your brand.
If you own a business with multiple locations, you can create one account and then manage all locations easily within the app. That means you can collect and manage reviews per location.
Once your Top Rated Local® listing is synced with Marketing 360®, you can dive into the Reputation app.
Keep a Pulse on the Big Picture
Within the app, you’ll have access to quickly see all the reviews your customers have left on different verified review sites across the web, including on Top Rated Local® directly.
From an overview perspective, you can see the different websites where you have reviews and then quickly link to your specific profiles to see those reviews directly.
With easy-to-read graphs, you can see the total data for number of reviews and average star rating for All Platforms connected to the app, or you can dial in and see the data for any specific platform. Then, you can look at different date ranges to see trends over the past few days, weeks, or months.
The Rating Score® is unique to Top Rated Local® and is an aggregated score based on reviews for your business on any verified source that’s connected to your location.
You’ll also see the five pillars that help tell a bigger picture about your business than the standard star ratings. When your customers leave reviews on Top Rated Local® directly, they can rate you on these pillars: quality, value, timeliness, experience and satisfaction. These are then averaged so you can see an overall average.
In short, the Rating Breakdown panel shows your Rating Score® that takes all review sources into consideration, and the star ratings for the five pillars are for the reviews left on Top Rated Local® directly.
The number of reviews your business has is a clear indication of how many people have worked with you (and have had a good or bad experience doing so). Yet, you can quickly become untrustworthy if you do not have recent reviews on your profiles.
Asking for reviews should be an ongoing effort. Ideally, you should ask everyone you do business with for feedback — and especially the interactions that went really well to leave you a review online.
The Reputation app makes it easy to request reviews right away.
The Request Reviews tool auto-generates a URL to your direct Top Rated Local® profile where your customers can leave a review without having to log in. It’s fast and easy for your customers to rate you. You can share this link however you want.
To make things easier, though, you can also request reviews with a branded email template or a text message.
The email uses your logo to auto-generate a branded email template to copy/paste into your email provider.
You can copy the auto-generated text message into your SMS provider, or you can unlock the SMS app in Marketing 360® and send the text directly from Reputation.
Unlocking Nurture (the email and text message tool) in Marketing 360® makes it super fast to request reviews because it connects Reputation with email and SMS within the app.
When you collect final payment, you can ask quickly if they would like to give you a review. If they say yes, you can ask if they prefer email or text and then send either one from the app right away.
Read and Engage with Customer Reviews
As customers leave reviews on your Top Rated Local® profile, you’ll see these reviews start to filter into your Reviews tool in the Reputation app.
Top Rated Local® strives to give businesses control over their reputation and — at the same time — to ensure that it holds high integrity with people researching businesses.
As customers leave reviews on your Top Rated Local® profile, the reviews will feed into the Reputation app on the Reviews page. Here you’ll be able to filter the reviews by a specific location (if you have more than one connected) and by different attributes.
You can sort reviews by star rating to see any range, such as all reviews with only one star, only five stars, reviews ranging from two to four stars, and so on.
The reviews feed is automatically populated with the reviews from the most recent year, so if you want to see reviews from a different time period, you can easily make that selection. This is helpful if you’re looking for reviews after a particular event last year that you want to leverage feedback or from the busy season to follow up with customers.
Take advantage of the filters to make reading reviews about your business more meaningful to make business decisions.
Engage with Reviews
Business owners can reply directly to Top Rated Local® reviews and take other actions:
- Verify Review: Flag the review as verified, which means you agree that the person who left you the review was your customer. This is a trust-building factor for customers doing research, and it also prevents fraudulent reviews on your profile.
- Make Review Private: When you make a review private, it will not display in the public-facing review feed on your Top Rated Local® profile. Private reviews still count toward the overall Rating Score®, but the public can’t read the content of the review.
- Challenge Verification: Not sure that you did business with someone who left you a review? Before you verify it, you can challenge the reviewer to prove they did business with you by providing an invoice, receipt, or other proof.
- Re-Rate Request: Got a bad review? Show your community that you care to make things better. You can request a re-rate when you’ve made an effort to address their initial concerns from a negative review. This will show as a re-rate and will update the review score based on how the customer wants to change their review for you.
- Management Notes: Take notes internally to stay organized about your reputation with your management team, or you can send a copy of the notes to the person who left you a review.
You can leverage these actions to engage with your customers who are taking their time to give you feedback about your business.
Did you know that every other person who researches your brand expects to see a response to negative reviews? That’s right. According to Reviewtrackers, 53% of people who left a negative review expect the business to respond within 7 days. Yet, most business owners don’t respond at all.
Don’t be like those businesses. Reply to the customers who leave reviews, especially if they’re negative.
To keep track of which reviews need your attention, you can filter by different actions on the Reviews page. Here you can see which reviews are still pending verification, challenged and are awaiting a response, and reviews that are flagged as verified.
Build Trust on your Website
When customers do research about your brand, you can bet that they’ll check out your website. Instead of giving future customers another step to go look for your reviews, invite them to research your reputation directly on your website.
The Widget feature in Marketing 360® creates a custom widget for your website that displays your Top Rated Local® reviews or overall Rating Score®.
These widgets connect directly to your Top Rated Local® profile, so users can quickly navigate to read TRL reviews or reviews on other sources like Google or Facebook.
Stay in Touch
Once you are actively working on your online reputation, keep a pulse on growth over time. Every month, Top Rated Local® will send you a monthly report to help you track how your reputation improved (hopefully) over the previous month.
You can also set up email notifications to alert you whenever you receive a new review so that you can take action right away.
Online reviews are like digital referrals from strangers. Start taking advantage of this community-building tool today.