June 2, 2021

Can Automation Solve Your Online Review Management Challenges?

Let’s look at some of the ways that automation can help solve your online review management challenges and which manual solutions can move you closer to review management nirvana.

Committing to review management is a major undertaking that requires valuable time and resources. Unless your business has the bandwidth to support a dedicated review management team, the responsibilities will likely fall on already busy employees.

To ensure your online reviews are working in your company’s favor, your team needs to be reaching out to customers for feedback, responding to reviews promptly, and effectively addressing any negative reviews left by unsatisfied customers.

Done the old-fashioned way (manually generating and responding to reviews via each platform), review management can eat up a lot of time that your employees likely don’t have or could use elsewhere. For this reason, it’s important to consider how automating aspects of your review-related responsibilities can help streamline the process and bring back time and money to your business.

This isn’t to say that a fully automated solution is the way to go. There is a downside. While customer outreach and review response are two aspects in which automation can be handy, there are some aspects best-handled manually. Think of the best approach as a hybrid, some automation, some manual process using a third-party vendor.

From professionally responding to negative reviews to added personalization in customer outreach efforts, a people-powered vendor approach to review management should be an integral part of any business.

Let’s look at some of the ways that automation can help solve your online review management challenges and which manual solutions can move you closer to review management nirvana.

Sending review requests

By all means, automate

Automation can perhaps be most helpful when it comes to customer outreach consistency. Review generation is a critical component of your business; by keeping a steady stream of reviews coming in regularly, you’ll demonstrate to prospective customers that you can be trusted to deliver for them.

Review generation software provides comprehensive coverage, ensuring all relevant contacts receive a review request via SMS. The process is consistent, fast, and convenient for the customer, and will lead to a higher response rate and more positive reviews. When it comes to review generation, if you’re not asking as many people as possible for reviews, you’re leaving opportunities on the table.

By automating the tedious process of reaching out to every individual customer for feedback, you’ll benefit from a streamlined outreach procedure that results in better, more frequent reviews.

Review response

Automation can work, mostly

Many businesses believe that they only need to respond to negative reviews to address customer concerns. But responding to all reviews, both positive and negative, is vital to ensuring Google looks kindly on your business and moves you up in search results. 

Search engines prioritize reviews with response activity, as a result, your responses to negative reviews may be displayed at the top of your GMB. You don’t need us to tell you that is not what you want. Responding to both your good and bad reviews will ensure you make a solid first impression with prospective customers.

Using automation software that pulls in your reviews and sends out automated responses based upon a set of predetermined rules, you can streamline the review response process and ensure all feedback is getting the attention it deserves. 

But, automation software doesn’t mean you’re off the hook

With that said, automation software for review response may require more upfront work on your end. It will be your responsibility to build the automated response infrastructure, develop the predetermined rules, and input templates. 

Partnering with a reputation management agency can help you strike the perfect balance of automation and personalization with your review response efforts. Working with an agency ensures you have a dedicated customer support team that provides a managed review response solution tailored to your company’s needs and aligned with your brand.

Widewail has a team of review response experts that can monitor and respond to reviews for you.

The bottom line

Automate solicitation, outsource response

Automation software can help lighten the load for your team and optimize your review management strategies for peak performance. But relying on automation services or software still requires a lot of work on your end, from creating and setting up your automated responses to manually responding to a flurry of negative reviews. Automation can certainly help you generate reviews, but when it comes to your review response responsibilities? Not so much.

While automation software can be helpful for companies that mainly receive positive reviews with limited unique commentary, it might not be enough for businesses that see more review variety. That’s where review response managed services can be your best friend.

The Widewail difference

I know, please, hear us out?

Take Widewail for example. Through Invite, Widewail directly integrates with your point-of-sale system, pulling customer data, and sends review requests automatically - creating a highly effective and almost entirely hands-off invitation process designed to get your business more reviews. 

Through Engage, Widewail provides you with a team of writers that responds to all reviews. Our software, which was built in-house, allows us to efficiently monitor and respond to the incoming review content in near real-time.

To achieve high-quality responses coupled with automated software and dedicated customer support, a managed service solution is likely your best bet.

Again, whether you opt for automation software that you manage in-house or call on third-party managed services will depend on your particular business needs. If you’re leaning towards the latter, Widewail is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our review management services.

Go deeper

Next, we recommend Pros and Cons of Google My Business Review Response Software.

Jake Hughes

I’m Marketing Manager here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. In Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0-100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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