DIY or Vendor – Which option is best for managing online reviews?
Learn more about determining the best solution for your agency when it comes to managing customer reviews online.
In today’s digital world, having a strong online presence is a critical component to business success. Beginning to manage your business’ online reputation can seem like a daunting task with the numerous platforms available for customers to leave reviews or provide feedback. Do you monitor reviews yourself? Or do you hire a service to tackle feedback?
There are plenty of tools and resources for both options, but it comes down to determining what’s right for your business.
For the do-it-yourselfer
DIY review management is a cost-effective way to stay on top of your brand’s online reputation. All you need is a basic understanding of best practices and the assistance of some free online tools.
Where to begin?
One of the simplest ways to monitor online mentions of your brand is with Google Alerts
. With Google Alerts, you to choose to be notified by email whenever someone mentions your business online. allows you to create an alert that will email you whenever someone mentions your business online. It makes it quick and easy to stay on top of any news regarding your brand. And the best part? It’s free for anyone with a Google account.
Though Google Alerts isn’t as in-depth as some pay-to-play services, it’s a great place to start for anyone seeking to take on review management for themselves.
Best practices for DIY
Now that you’ve established a way of monitoring mentions of your business, let’s look into some practices that can help monitor your online reviews.
- Go ahead and ask your customers. Get comfortable with asking your customers to review your business, and make sure your staff get comfortable with doing it as well. The key is to make sure you’re consistently asking and at a time that seems appropriate in the customer journey. In some cases, it may be immediately following the interaction, while in others, it may make more sense to follow up in a few weeks.
- Make it simple to leave a review. Instead of sending your customers into the wild without a guide, provide them with a tangible resource for providing feedback. This could be by including links to your social media channels in your email signature, creating a scannable QR code, emailing or texting links to your Google My Business Reviews page, or even providing a hardcopy form.
- Always follow up. Whether the review is positive, negative, or nonexistent, be sure to follow up with every customer. Thanking someone for a positive review will further build on your reputation. Addressing any negatives will help you understand your opportunities for improvement while demonstrating your brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction. For those who don’t leave a review on the first ask, it can’t hurt to give them a gentle reminder. Research shows us that 68% of customers will leave a review if asked.
- Spread the good word. Now that you’ve collected these reviews, share them with your customers. One simple way to do this is to direct them to the reviews section of Google My Business and social media pages. Or you can add a testimonials page to your website, where customers can see all your reviews in one, convenient place.
For those looking to hire a vendor
If DIY review management isn’t for you or if you find yourself limited on time, you can always opt for a vendor to help. Vendors offer a variety of approaches to review management, from collaborating with your business to handling everything on your behalf.
Leave the heavy lifting to Lift Local
When you’d rather avoid the guesswork all together, Lift Local
is here to help. Their team of industry experts starts by gathering customer feedback and insights into how people are searching for your business. Once they’ve determined this, Lift Local gets to work generating more positive reviews in those search places. The more positives reviews, the higher the placement on search engines such as Google.
You can request a demo from Lift Local to see how they can drive growth for your business through review management or any of the other marketing solutions on offer.
So what'll it be?
Whether you decide to take on the task of managing online reviews yourself or if you’d prefer to work with the experts, there’s no right or wrong solution. It’s up to you and what works for your agency, budget, and capacity.
||Hire a Vendor
- Cost-effective option
- Can use free online tools
- Less time-consuming option
- Leverage expertise: services that do this for clients across multiple industries
- More time consuming: requires someone to handle regular monitoring
- Fewer capabilities: free tools are somewhat limited
- Greater monetary investment