Responding to online reviews shows that you care about your customers, and what they have to say about your business.
Let’s get one thing straight – online reviews are extremely powerful in the world of the internet. Potential customers often rely on others’ opinions of your business before making a purchasing decision. Not only do people consider previous customers thoughts, they also take into consideration how you, the business, respond to them. In this article, we’ll outline some key reasons why you should be responding to your online reviews (both the good and the bad).
Let Customers Know You Care
Above all else, responding to online reviews shows that you care about your customers, and what they have to say about your business. Take the time to craft well thought-out responses to both positive and negative reviews. That way, people reading your reviews will not only see what others think about your business, they’ll also see you taking the time and effort to interact with previous customers.
Online Reviews Stay Relevant
Unlike most comments that can be made online, reviews have an extended ‘shelf-life’, meaning they stay relevant for longer. For example, a comment on Facebook is said to have relevancy for approximately 5 hours, while an online review can remain relevant for weeks or even months afterward. This is mainly because they are easily accessible, and actively sought out by users. They also carry a lot more weight than the standard comment, so are easier to trust. Responding to both positive and negative reviews will help to build and protect your brand reputation.
Resolve Customer Conflict
Negative reviews are something that every business has to deal with. There is no way to avoid them, and you can’t just sweep them under the rug either! Instead, the best thing to do is simply respond in a gracious and professional manner. If you make a mistake, own up. People will appreciate your honesty. You should also try to rectify the situation by making it up to the customer in some way. Not only does this show that you care about your customers, it also builds trust with other people who read the review.
Give Your Side of the Story
Whether there is a simple misunderstanding or something more malicious, we all know that negative reviews do not always tell the full story. They may even contain accusations that are completely untrue. That’s why it is always important to explain the situation from your perspective, which provides a more balanced view. Otherwise, anyone else reading the review will take it to be 100% factual! By responding, you ensure that any other potential customers reading the review come away with a more accurate impression of your business than they otherwise might have.
Responding to Google Reviews Affects Local SEO
Google has confirmed that responding to Google reviews improves your local SEO (how high you rank with Google users in your area). This is manifested most clearly in Google’s Local Pack, which displays the top local businesses associated with a user’s search, along with their locations. The Local Pack is often the first thing a searcher will see, so it’s understandable that every business worth their salt wants to be a part of it. By responding to your reviews, you demonstrate to Google that you care about your customers, which will give you a better chance of a higher ranking. As well as the Local Pack, your reviews will also show in Google Maps and your Google My Business listing. This high level of accessibility therefore makes Google reviews a huge factor in your business’ reputation. All the more reason to be actively responding!
Encourage Repeat Business
When you respond to a customer’s online review, they feel valued and heard. This positive experience can go a long way towards encouraging them to become a returning customer. Responding to reviews in a timely manner will also prove to them that they are a priority for your business, which builds the relationship further.
We understand that managing your physical business and online presence can be an extremely challenging task. However difficult, responding to online reviews is an essential step in ensuring the online reputation of your products and overall brand.
If you’d like assistance managing your online reviews or general digital presence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.