One of the top ways in which a consumer decides if they want to purchase from a brand is through reviews. In fact, 84% of shoppers read online reviews to help form an opinion about a business. How you choose to respond reflects greatly on your business and can either create a repeat customer or turn a potential customer away. Here are five ways your business can optimize your review responding strategy to generate more traffic, build your online presence, and increase revenue.
Why is Responding to Reviews so Important?
If you don’t see the importance of responding to reviews, try picturing this: You’re the owner of a brand new hotel, and your newest guests tell you in person the amazing experience they had during their stay. Would you simply ignore them and walk away? Although this scenario may sound silly, many businesses take this route when it comes to addressing online reviews. 63% of customers say a business has never responded to their review. Choosing to ignore customer feedback isn’t just careless, it’s harmful to your business.
This update is meant to reassure consumers that the hours listed are accurate. In light of the pandemic, business hours have been fluctuating weekly causing consumers to lose trust in the accuracy of GMB profiles.
For businesses that haven’t updated their business hours recently, consumers will see the following alert on their listing:
In addition to the benefit of building stronger relationships with your customers, review responding also improves your local rankings. Here are a few reasons why Google, the largest search engine in the world, values reviews so much:
Trust – Reviews are factored into search rankings because customer reviews are a trustworthy source of information about a brand. It’s easy for any brand to claim they’re the best in their industry, so when a customer says something similar, Google views this as a much more reputable source.
Authority – Search engines like Google are always looking to give the most high quality source of information to consumers. Having a large number of high-quality reviews about your business builds brand authority and visibility.
Relevance – Reviews are a part of how Google deems your business’s online presence is relevant to a consumer. Certain aspects of reviews such as keywords and the length play a role in determining the relevance when a consumer is searching for products or services related to your business.
5 Tips for Responding to Reviews
#1 – Identify Your Top Review Networks
No matter what industry you’re in, you need to ensure reviews are being responded to on the top review sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Google, Bing, and Yellowpages. However, some review sites matter more depending on the industry your business is in. Here are some specific review sites your brand should consider focusing on by industry:
Dedicating time to individually respond to every review for all your locations can drain a lot of your team’s resources. This is where review response templates come in handy. Although every customer review is different, you can create templates for positive reviews, negative reviews, and reviews with little text to appropriately address their feedback. Remember that these templates need to be used wisely. Using the same templates repeatedly can seem robotic on your brand’s behalf, defeating the purpose of creating a conversation with your customers. Use the templates as a guideline to adapt the message to each review and provide a personalized touch. Leveraging review response templates can help you save time without cutting corners and keep customers happy. Our system offers guides on how to respond to regular review response templates, as well as COVID-19 review response templates.
#3 – Prioritize Reviews Based on Urgency
Just how your business needs to identify the top review sites to respond to, you also need to prioritize reviews based on urgency. Some brands like to start by prioritizing their negative reviews first, since they may need escalation. Using an analytics tool like Pulse comes in handy here as well. With Pulse, your business can gain direct insight into your customer experience with keywords like “service”, “staff”, “food”, and more. Leveraging Pulse can help your brand identify new or trending customer service issues and address them quickly before they cause damage to your reputation. This also helps you dive deeper to identify how you can improve your business’s operations and compare stores for location-based issues.
#4 – Invite the Conversation Offline
Let’s face it, mistakes happen. Although it’s tough to see negative feedback about your business, it’s important to always take the high road and invite the conversation offline. Whether or not it’s your business’s fault, you risk losing potential customers if you respond harshly to your customer’s feedback. How you approach a customer’s experience can have a drastic impact on retaining customers or reaching a new one. When addressing a negative review, always leave a phone number or email address where they can reach your team directly. This shows that you care about their experience and are willing to make it right for them. Remaining professional, responding quickly, and taking the conversation offline will give consumers the confidence to purchase from your business.
#5 – Automate Your Review Responding Process
Ensuring all reviews for every business location is met with a response can place a large strain on your team’s resources. Take a look at Walmart for example. We ran a sample analysis on 500 out of 11,500 Walmart locations, to see how often they’re receiving reviews and their response rate. Their monthly average shows they’re receiving 1,169 reviews a day. Unfortunately, in comparison to the large volume of reviews they receive every day, their response rate is at a 0%.
Even the most successful multi-location businesses like Walmart lose out on potential revenue and have missing gaps in their customer journey cycle if they don’t prioritize responding to reviews. When your business is the size of Walmart or even a mid-size business, replying to every review can get to be impossible – unless you automate your review responding process.
Business Evaluation Services software comes with robust features such as Bulk Responding, Rotating Templates, Workflow Task Management, and our LocationHQ mobile app — all designed to streamline and optimize your review responding process. Custom review response templates and bulk respond give your brand the ability to respond to a larger number of reviews in less time. You can also rest easy by relying on Workflow to easily delegate all review responding related tasks to your team.
The best part about staying on top of your review management strategy with Business Evaluation Services is being able to manage reviews with LocationHQ. No matter where you are, you can easily respond to reviews and communicate with customers within seconds through Business Evaluation Services mobile app. The benefits of automating your review responding process are endless, your team can tackle reviews in less time, gain more feedback, and strengthen relationships with your customers.
It’s essential to respond back to all customer feedback with the appropriate response. Optimizing your review management strategy with these tips will go a long way in positively impacting your brand’s reputation and online presence. To see how our Reputation Management software can help your business reach potential customers, get the complete picture of your brand’s online reputation with our Instant Audit.