Whether they’re singing your praises or giving constructive feedback, paying attention to customer opinions is important because they’re your biggest brand advocates.
But with thousands of reviews online across several networks, it’s time-consuming to monitor and respond to feedback manually. Selecting the right software for your brand is just one puzzle piece to your online review management strategy.
Review management software helps brands collect and respond to customer feedback faster while also discovering actionable business insights.
Why do companies need review management software?
Reviews provide a valuable feedback loop that businesses can leverage to improve their products and services, but there are several other reasons brands should implement review management software.
According to The Sprout Social Index™ 2022, more than three-quarters of consumers expect brands to respond within 24 hours on social. And taking too long to respond has consequences—36% say they’ll share that negative experience and 31% won’t complete their purchase.
This consumer expectation of timely responses extends to reviews as well. A BrightLocal report shows 88% of consumers are likely to use a business that responds to positive and negative reviews.
Build trust and credibility
Consumers are looking for genuine, authentic feedback about businesses online. Although positive reviews definitely persuade consumers to purchase a product or service, negative reviews can help brands grow social proof.
Brands need to build and maintain a presence on review sites their customers are using, especially those that are prioritized by search engines. This requires not only responding to reviews, but also understanding how different sites present and manage those reviews. For instance, Google’s review system aims to reward high quality user reviews, but the system also evaluates articles, blog articles and ratings from review websites.
In the example below, a review from a travel website populates within the Google Overview section.
Multichannel and multi-location management
Facebook Reviews, Yelp, Glassdoor, Google Reviews—there are a lot of review channels available for consumers to provide feedback. When you have a sea of opinions flowing in across multiple channels and locations, it’s easy to get caught up in the tide with manual monitoring.
But a good review management software will do the work for you by collecting reviews across various channels and aggregating the data into one place, enabling brands to mine and analyze the data to help streamline their response protocol. When all your reviews are located within one platform, it’s easier to monitor, respond and improve your review management strategy.
Gain business insights
A review management software gathers positive and negative feedback to pinpoint opportunities for improvement. For example, if many customers are mentioning the same glitch in Google Play or App Store reviews, the product development team can use this information to create a fix.
Some review management software aggregates competitor data to evaluate how your brand measures up to other businesses within your market. Having access to competitor analytics will help you further identify opportunities for growth and gaps you may be able to fill with your review management strategy.
Review management software enables teams to address reviews across multiple channels and locations faster. A collaborative workspace for review management can boost efficiency whether it’s sharing insights or crafting response templates.
Businesses can feature positive reviews and testimonials to build their brand reputation. Incorporating reviews into marketing assets can help brand awareness and increase conversions, especially since it’s the type of content consumers like to see from brands. The 2022 Index found that 39% of consumers want to see customer testimonials or real customer demos.
Review management vs. reputation management
Monitoring and responding to reviews support your brand reputation management strategy. Review management is a core part of reputation management because it influences how your brand is perceived. Whether it’s posted on social media or dedicated review sites, consumers pay attention to negative and positive feedback, along with brand responses.
Choosing a software that will complement both your review management and reputation management strategies can increase efficiency and boost your brand awareness.
Top review management software in the market
Here’s an overview of some of the top review management software in the market:
Choosing the best review management software will depend on your business needs, but we believe Sprout Social could be the right choice for your brand.
Sprout Social integrates with some of the top review networks in terms of volume and reach including Google, Facebook Pages, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Glassdoor and the app stores (Google Play and Apple App Store).
Monitor and respond to reviews across several networks all in one platform, saving teams time so they can focus on actionable next steps.
The Reviews Overview report gives a summary of feedback and includes vital metrics including reply rate and review volume. Along with providing a lens of efficiency, this report serves as a source of business intelligence because it gives a clearer picture of reviews and responses. Use these insights to influence other marketing efforts and areas of your business.
Podium uses text messages to help brands manage customer relationships and create an online reputation across several websites.
The platform merges online reviews and other customer interactions in a single dashboard so monitoring and responding is made simple. Users can respond to reviews in real time and send text messages to current and new customers. Podium has a variety of helpful features including sentiment analysis and competitive benchmarking.
BirdEye collects reviews from review sites and 150+ different platforms so you can get a comprehensive view of your online reputation. You can organize reviews by filtering (rating number, region, product, etc.) them into custom fields. Similar to the other review management software, it centralizes review in a singular platform.
Yext is a reputation management software that has a review management tool. The platform has a centralized dashboard and brand control features to allow administrators to review and manage customer feedback and responses. Yext also offers real-time notifications.
Trustpilot is a customer experience and reputation management platform that allows brands to manage reviews and share and track feedback within a centralized view. The platform offers functionality to manage referrals and create widgets from your strongest reviews. It also offers an analytics dashboard to help track your performance.
How to find the best review management software
Here are some of the most important features to consider when selecting a review management software:
1. Collaborative workspace
A centralized workspace that’s designed for collaborations, like Sprout, enables teams to work cross-functionally from one source of truth. It increases efficiency and enables more effective planning across teams. Plus, synergetic features like automated workflows reduce risk because they add an innate layer of quality assurance.
As we mentioned earlier, gathering feedback across various channels is time-consuming. Let the review management software do the heavy lifting and seek platforms that offer multichannel features.
When you’re viewing and responding to hundreds of thousands of reviews, you’ll need a review management system that offers various notification settings. Also, look for systems that provide the option of delivering notifications in real-time so customers can get timely responses.
4. Integration with other CRM’s
A customer relationship management (CRM) software is core to tracking pipeline and revenue, so a review management software should integrate with your existing tech stack to create a unified hub for managing customer and prospect information. Combining your existing CRM with a review management software also supercharges your customer care strategy.
5. Artificial intelligence and automation
As we enter a new era in artificial intelligence, it’s important to consider AI and automation-backed features within review management software. Many review management solutions leverage AI for sentiment analysis and social listening, which can uncover business insights. For example, a social listening query may reveal a common pain point for customers, which can help product teams plan for launches.
Choosing an online review management software that is multilingual is an inclusive best practice, especially if you’re looking to cater to an international audience and provide support across cultures.
Sprout supports several languages for publishing and inbound messages including English, French, Spanish, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese. Our platform integrates with Google Translate so language is never a barrier when it comes to responding to customers.
7. Security and privacy
As with any new tool, organizations need to consider security and privacy features when selecting a new review management software. Since reviews involve large amounts of customer data, it’s important for businesses to take the appropriate steps to prevent breaches. For example, functionality to designate access by role and responsibility can fight against potential security risks.
8. Reporting and analysis
Although the reviews themselves consist of qualitative data, you want a review software that offers reporting and analysis tools to help bring even more context to the feedback. Analytics tools can pinpoint trends so teams can optimize their strategies.
9. Scalability and ease of deployment
The review management software should scale with your growth, from market expansion to adding more employees. As new employees join the organization, it helps to select software that is user-friendly and intuitive so they can hop into using the platform after onboarding.
Choose a review management software designed for top platforms
Your customer’s opinions are valuable resources you can use to provide them with a better experience while also improving your overall business strategy. Using review management software makes monitoring and managing customer reviews across channels simple.
To learn more about Sprout Social’s review management tools and features, sign up for a demo.