What is Review Automation, and How Can it Boost Your Business?
August 30, 2023
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In a world where customers no longer make purchases without consulting online reviews on platforms like Google, service-based businesses need to do everything they can to increase their online reputation.
Unfortunately, gaining Google reviews can be time-consuming as most customers won’t leave a review unless prompted. Review Automation solves this problem by automating the process of requesting online reviews and helping you address negative feedback as quickly as possible.
This post breaks down the concept of review automation, how it works, and the multiple benefits it can provide for your brand.
What is reviews automation?
Reviews automation is the process of using software to automate your business’ online reviews on platforms like Google. This optimizes the feedback process – something that would cost you dozens of work hours to accomplish. Review automation software will reach out to your customer, ask for a review, and direct them to your preferred review platform.
Some review automation platforms also contain other features that make receiving positive online reviews for your local business a breeze. For example, they make it easier to start a conversation with customers who leave negative feedback and help you get on top of the problem.
How does reviews automation work?
Most review automation platforms follow a similar process.
Step 1: Feed in your customer details
To begin, you’d need to provide your customer’s contact information, usually email or mobile phone number. Next, you’d set up processes that trigger once the customer completes a transaction with your business. Ideally, the review automation software should integrate seamlessly with your other platforms, so you won’t have to worry about setting up these automations.
Ideally, the review automation software will integrate with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Point of Sale (POS) system. So when a customer books your service or buys your product, they have already given you their details.
Step 2: The review automation software contacts your customers
This step is the sweet spot in this entire process. The platform reaches out, follows up with your customers, and guides them to the review site of your choice, making it easier for your customers to leave feedback.
This may be done either by an automated email or SMS conversation.
Step 3: Address negative reviews
Review automation software also helps you monitor your online reputation and collect feedback. This is important because you can start a conversation with your customers about their experience.
45% of customers are more likely to visit your business when you respond to bad reviews (ReviewTrackers).
What are the benefits of using review automation?
Gain more Google reviews
Building your business’ online review profile can be a time-consuming process. Since nine out of ten customers won’t bother to leave a review, and seven out of ten will, when asked (Bright Local), your business could miss out on tons of positive reviews online. Review automation can help you optimize this process and manage online reviews for your business.
Raise your business’ credibility
Automating your review process improves your business’ appeal to local customers. More positive online reviews than your competitors will communicate your business's excellent offers, which will equal greater odds that customers will do business with you.
Improve your business processes
Reviews automation makes it easier to fix the complaints customers have about your business. This allows you to address them promptly and enhance your overall customer experience. In the long run, your service-based business will see increased sales and even more positive reviews.
Build customer loyalty
People who leave positive reviews are happy with your local business, and studies show that four out of ten would much rather stick with you than rediscover another brand (Zendesk customer service study).
Individuals who leave negative reviews are a bit tricker. Even though their experience was poor, reaching out and addressing the issue can improve their trust in your business.
Increase your brand’s SEO
According to Moz, customer reviews are among the most critical factors for increasing your appearance in local results. If you run a bricks-and-mortar business, Google will give you higher priority when presenting results to searches in your area.
How can you get more Google reviews?
Request more reviews
If you use review automation, this step is already taken care of. If not, consider creating a system for customer follow-up. That way, you can get more online reviews without losing track of your local customers when things get busy in your business (as they often do.)
Step up your requesting process
To increase the chances that customers will respond to your requests, consider creating customized review request messages.
If you’re sending the review request via email, add the customer's name and, if possible, mention the service they used.
For example: “Hi Mark. Please leave us a review and tell us how you enjoyed your (service provided).
Take this one step further by reaching out on multiple platforms, not just email. Using email alone means the customer may not get your message if you land in the Gmail promotions folder (which happens too often.) Or worse still, the dreaded spam folder.
Connect via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, or even Instagram, depending on what platforms the customer is comfortable with.
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
Most popular review sites allow you to request a review by sending a link, which is excellent for you. Shortening the review process frees up more time for the customer and increases the chances that they'll leave you a review.
The other thing is that popular sites like Google are also the first places people check when researching your business. Keeping most of your reviews there increases the payoff from these reviews.
How do you pick the right review automation software?
No review gating
Review gating is the practice of only displaying positive customer reviews. The way it works is that brands ask customers for feedback (usually through automation), and those who provide positive feedback are directed to a public review site like Google. Individuals with negative reviews are directed to customer service.
The goal of review gating is to minimize the number of negative reviews on a business' online profile. According to this Google Support article, review gating is prohibited, and businesses caught by Google could have their reviews deleted from the platform.
When choosing a review management platform, it’s essential to use a platform that understands the ethics of collecting reviews and abides by them.
Multiple app integrations
You should also look for a review automation platform that syncs seamlessly with your CRM or POS, no matter which one you use. That way, you can easily import customer details, send messages, and review analytics in real-time.
Grow your business with more Google reviews
EyeRate’s review automation can help grow your business’ reviews in the most organic way possible. Our automated system doesn't just help you reach out to customers and request a review; it also helps you track your employees' mentions online and alerts you about negative reviews.
Additionally, EyeRate makes it easier to reward employees who get mentioned in positive reviews, thereby increasing their morale and work motivation.