Time is money and that’s why many business owners choose not to respond to online reviews. They feel like their time is better spent elsewhere.
We get it. As a business owner, it’s likely you’re already spreading yourself thin. When it comes to letting things slide, cultivating your online reputation might be the first thing to take a backseat but that’s a big mistake.
Here’s why responding to online reviews, both positive and negative, should be a priority, not just a nicety.
Acknowledging your customer shows you care
The customer experience doesn’t end once the purchase has been made. You need to continue to nurture that relationship so customers come back and spend again. It pays to care how your customers feel. Responding to online reviews affords you a valuable opportunity to thank your customers for taking the time to write a review.
Outwardly acknowledging your interest in how the customer feels is also a signal to prospective customers that you value their business. It also demonstrates you’re willing to take feedback onboard. When customers feel valued their more likely to spend more and visit more often. This is a winning that will improve customer retention and boost your bottom line, the perfect recipe for business growth.
Encouraging engagement increases social proof
Online reviews remove the fear of the unknown. First-hand customer testimonials persuade new customers to give your business a chance. Someone else has already done the groundwork, essentially verifying and validating your business’ product and services. This form of social proof is highly effective as it is unsolicited and independent. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from a friend or family member so it’s important to cultivate this feedback where you can.
Responding to reviews encourages customers to engage with your profile. If people see that your business goes to the effort of replying to reviews they’re more likely to contribute to your profile. And the more reviews the better. 46% of consumers pay attention to the quantity of reviews when making a buying decision.
Responding to online reviews creates marketing opportunities
When your customers search for you online, online review profiles will appear in your search results. This means you can optimise your replies so good reviews will rank higher. This means if you repeat positive keyword or phrase in the review, dropping in your business name and location. This will improve the chance of it ranking for certain search terms.
For example, if a customer says they had great customer service form your business and really appreciated the next day delivery repeat their positive comments in your response. You can also use the opportunity to introduce new products, services or events. “Hi (name), thanks for taking the time to leave such a lovely review. (Business name) endeavours to provide a great customer service every time. This is why we offer next day delivery on all our items. We also have a special 20% off in-store event next Saturday.”
The last word
For many businesses, online reviews are a double-edged sword. Responding to reviews is an easy way to encourage engagement, positive sentiments and build strong customer relationships. It is possible to limit or undo the damage done by negative customer reviews with a genuine apology or heartfelt reply. Of course, the ideal scenario is not to receive any negative reviews in the first place.
The One Question helps you measure and manage how your customers feel, meaning you hear from unhappy customers before they’ve aired their grievance online. You can also identify your brand advocates and invite them to share their feedback publically. Discover what The One Question is and how it could work for your business.