When it comes to online reviews, it seems like no one’s behind the wheel. No one seems to be managing or responding to their nightmarish reviews.

Online reviews need to be managed by…

When it comes to managing online reviews, many organizations aren’t sure how to approach their reviews. It can be a challenge for a small business, let alone an enterprise with hundreds, even thousands, of locations. It’s hard to move forward when you don’t have a plan.

Here’s the reality of online reviews. They typically need attention from more than one person, department or specialty.

So far, there can be issues with…

  • Product quality
  • Quality assurance
  • Fulfillment
  • Customer service

Then all these departments need to take action. But who should take the lead with the customer? Customer service? Sales? Marketing?

You should take the lead if…

You’re responsible for your company’s reputation. Individual reviews are important; still, review management is more about image, sentiment and perception sculpting than it is about the individual reviews themselves.

A list of negative reviews creates a negative perception overall. Positive reviews work the same way.

So, the best person to manage your reviews is the person (or team) responsible for managing the perception and image of your organization.

Job titles and departments don’t matter

Title isn’t as important as the responsibility. If you’re responsible for reviews – dealing with perception issues, responding to customer feedback – you’re on the front line. Which means you should take the lead.

This means you’ll need a plan. You’ll also have to divide your tasks.

The team managing your online reviews needs autonomy and control. Creating a plan ahead of time gives you the resources, contacts and know-how you need to succeed.

So what should your plan include?

  • People. You’ll need a point of contact for each department.
  • Responsibilities. You’ll need to come to some sort of agreement on the responsibilities of each department.
  • Timeframe. What sort of general response time should you expect for emergencies and non-emergencies?
  • Escalation. Who do you go to for back up when you’re not getting the cooperation you need?

The team that’s responsible for managing your company’s image needs to have the freedom and power to hold other departments accountable.

Small businesses can’t divide review management tasks

People in small businesses are forced to wear many hats. It’s common for the people in a small business to spend their days running from one fire to the next.

Believe it or not that’s a good thing.

Small businesses & startups tend to provide individual workers with more autonomy and control. Your team is far more likely to trust you to get things done. But that autonomy fades as businesses grow.