Why Do You Want To Track and Manage Online Product Reviews?

If you don’t have a strategic program in place right now for tracking and managing all of your online product reviews, you could be unknowingly undermining your brand, harming your resale channel, and leaving money on the table.

If that claim sounds too strong, consider these research findings covered in a story by Entrepreneur Magazine.

  • 90 percent of customers read online reviews before visiting a business
  • 72 percent say they will buy a company’s products only after reading a positive review
  • Customers are likely to spend 31 percent more with a business if they first read “excellent” reviews of that business or its products
  • 100 percent of customers who earn more than $150,000 annually say they leave feedback if they have a bad consumer experience
  • Just one negative review can cost a business about 30 customers

Online marketplaces and product review sites make it easier than ever for consumers to publish feedback. In fact, many of these sites actively encourage buyers to share their views about products they’ve purchased — with a star count, by scoring according to some other rating system, or by writing a narrative explaining anything that pleased or disappointed them about the product or the buying experience.

What does all of this mean for your brand and your bottom line?

The challenges of developing your own comprehensive review tracking system

As the statistics above show, good product reviews can increase sales. Bad reviews, on the other hand, can both discourage sales and damage a brand. Moreover, a bad review posted online without a response from the manufacturer can create even more harm to the company’s reputation.

And given the fact that your products and your company probably have far more published customer reviews and comments across the Internet than you can keep track of — particularly if you sell through retailers, wholesalers and other partners — both your business and your resale channel might be losing out on sales without even knowing it.

Implementing a manual review tracking process would likely be too time-consuming and still not effective enough to be of much value to your company. After all, there are probably far too many sites publishing star ratings, comments and other types of reviews of your products for you to effectively monitor them all and respond quickly enough when needed. One of the key suggestions to come out of the product review study covered in Entrepreneur was that for effective reputation management, a business needs to respond promptly to any published negative feedback.

What you need for effective product review tracking

The solution you’ll want is an automated, comprehensive and strategic review tracking system. Ideally, this system will allow you to quickly view all of your brand’s online feedback in a single location, alert you right away when there’s new feedback that needs your attention, and make it easy and convenient for you to respond when necessary.

Here are a few suggestions of what your ideal review tracking solution might include.

1. A single dashboard view of all product reviews and feedback — updated continuously and automatically

If you offer your product line through a resale channel, then your products might be available online across hundreds of e-commerce sites. And this is to say nothing of the product review websites that might also contain reviews of your products and comments about your brand or doing business with your resellers.

The only effective way to track, review, analyze and react to all of this information is to work with a reputation management expert’s automated platform for review tracking.

2. Customizable reporting and organizing of all product reviews — to help you identify trouble with specific products, aspects of the buying experience, or resellers

A must-have component for any review tracking solution is the ability to search for specific details within the vast amount of product review information written about your company across the Internet.

You will want to be able to filter your searches by product, for example, or based on specific keywords in your customer reviews — such as “shipping,” “broken” or “package” — to quickly identify potential negative trends so you can rectify them as soon as possible.

Also, you’ll want to be able to quickly analyze all buyer reviews and feedback according to specific resellers, to help you weed out the potential problem retailers and even those unauthorized resellers offering your products.

Finally, you’ll want to be able to quickly and easily find the positive reviews — by searching for 5-star ratings, for example, or for comments containing words like “thrilled,” “pleased” or “amazing.” These reviews, after all, can be useful for both your company and your authorized resellers to highlight.

3. Automated alerts on urgent reviews — and direct links to the sites hosting them

According to the product review study cited earlier, effective brand reputation management should include a strategic process for responding in some way to most online customer reviews — whether bad or good.

Particularly when it comes to negative reviews, though, the research indicates that a brand should respond quickly, respond candidly (admitting any mistakes) and correct any inaccuracies.

These company responses to negative feedback can be vital not only to calm an otherwise angry customer (who is obviously not shy about sharing their bad experience publicly), but perhaps more important as a signal to future consumers reading those reviews that the company took action to remedy the situation.

When you try to operate a review tracking process manually, you will inevitably miss some of these reviews — and therefore you probably won’t be able to respond promptly, as the research suggests you should, if at all.

The review tracking system you want, then, should allow you to set alerts for specific reviews — one-star ratings, for example, or comments containing certain keywords. This will enable your team to be notified immediately whenever this type of feedback is posted online.

Finally, the system should also include in each alert a direct link to the review’s location online — so that you, your team or your reseller can quickly reply and address the situation.

To discover what a best-in-class review tracking system can do for your business, schedule your free demo.

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