Almost 95% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. An even more incredible statistic is that almost 85% of consumers who read reviews online trust reviews as much or more than personal suggestions made by close friends and family. Considering that the average consumer reads seven reviews before making a purchasing decision, isn’t there something you as a business owner should be doing to strengthen the power of online reviews?
The answer is a resounding yes. You need to learn how to respond to and manage customer reviews online.
The importance of responding to customer reviews
Responding to customer reviews online, whether positive or negative, is essential.
One of Bryan Caplan Marketing’s most frequently asked questions is about responding to customer reviews and their impact on local search engine optimization (SEO). When 97% of consumers say online reviews influence the buying decision process, the answer is simple: Managing and responding to customer reviews should be an integral part of your online marketing program.
How Google sees customer reviews
If you want compelling proof of the importance of responding to and managing customer reviews, look no further than a Google My Business support page.
According to the search engine giant, business owners and operators “interact with customers by responding to reviews they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your establishment.
Building trust – one review at a time
Responding to reviews online, especially when they appear on Google, helps you build customer confidence. It shows them that you care enough about how customers feel to take some time out of your already busy day to address their concerns and thank them for their positive support. Whether a review is positive or negative, responding to it demonstrates a strong commitment to providing superior customer service.
You spend a lot of time and money attracting more customers. Why not close the deal by spending some time responding to reviews online?
Here’s why it’s worth it – Statistics show that when customers receive a response from a trading operator after posting a negative review, 33% of them posted a positive review and 34% of negative reviewers deleted the review. ‘mediocre opinion of origin.
How to respond to customer reviews online
A 2018 TripAdvisor study found that hotels responding to online reviews received 12% more guest reviews online. The Local Search Association presented data in 2018 showing that most consumers expect a business to respond to a review within 24 hours of appearing on an online customer review page.
That’s enough numbers. You now understand the need to respond to customer reviews posted online. Let’s see now How? ‘Or’ What your business needs to reach out and respond to someone.
The 3 Ps of managing online customer reviews
How do I respond to online reviews? In our guide to customer reviews, we talk about three Ps: fast, professional, and positive.
- Fast means to respond within one to two working days
- Professional means writing a well-thought-out answer that uses correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
- Positive means stay optimistic
If you think about it, the three Ps for responding to customer reviews online are a lot like the steps you take for responding to face-to-face reviews. You make sure you interact with the customer quickly in a professional manner. Most importantly, you turn negative feedback into a positive customer experience by keeping your cool and being upbeat in your tone and message.
Example of response to a positive review
Responding to positive reviews is easy. Who wouldn’t want to thank the people who take the time to warmly congratulate your business? After thanking a customer for a review, the next step is to encourage them to revisit your store. Use specific language to keep your answer short, but very effective. Remember to mention your business name, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Google is not cool with this.
Here’s an example of a response to a positive review:
“Salvation (First name), thanks so much for taking the time to write a review on your account manager, Jake – we think he’s pretty amazing too. The (Company Name) The team is happy to hear that you enjoyed building your new website with us. When you are ready to [try a new product OR add something to your existing product OR check out our latest service], call us and we can help you.
Example of response to a negative review
Dealing with negative reviews online requires a subtle touch that builds customer confidence. You first want to apologize for the problem encountered by the customer, as well as thank them for choosing your business. Ask how your business can turn a negative experience into a positive one. Focus on presenting the strengths of your business, before offering a second apology at the end of your response. Again, writing a short, clear response is the way to go.
Here is an example of a response to a negative review:
“Salvation (First name), we are sorry to hear from your experience and thank you for sharing your comments with us. We think of our customers as family, and we’re sorry we missed the mark the last time you joined us. My name is (First name), and I am the (Your position.) I would be happy to speak to you personally to try to work things out. Please contact me at (phone number or email address). ”
The bottom line – stay engaged with customers
You never want customers to leave your business dissatisfied with the substandard quality of a product or service. Before the Internet, most customers did not show their dissatisfaction with a business. They just walked through the door never to come back. Now you can keep dissatisfied customers coming back through the door by responding to negative reviews. Plus, by responding to positive reviews online, you can build a growing base of loyal customers who drive sales.