Online reviews are an authentic way for your customers to inform their network, online and offline, of their experience with your business and service/product, good or bad. This then helps other potential customers gather an understanding before their purchase. It’s crucial that as a business, you monitor and manage your online reviews – it’s the most efficient way to maximise their value and ensure that your business’s reputation is accurately represented. Today, your business reputation is key to securing a purchase with 93% of people claiming that reviews influenced their buying decision.
Over the past couple of years, online reviews have become a big part of our lives without even realising. A recent study shows that consumers are likely to spend 31% more on products from businesses with great reviews. Now, that’s a lot! Aside from this, let’s delve deeper as to why it is so important that you manage and monitor your reviews.
Top Reasons Why You Should Care About Your Business’s Online Reviews
Online reviews are a great way to generate more leads and make those important sales. Have you ever checked the reviews of a product or service before making that oh so important purchase? Well, we as a collective take on board other people’s opinions, counting on them to tell you if they loved the product/service or not.
Good reviews = trust.
Reviews will help to elevate your business – you’ll be able to take those reviews and use them to improve your product or service. The perfect way to highlight those areas of improvement, good or bad. Customer feedback is crucial to developing and perfecting valuable experiences for all of those that interact with your business, from prospect to customer.
Loyal customers, something all businesses strive towards. You may not even realise it but you already have some. Those customers who take time out of their busy lives to write those detailed reviews are most likely to be loyal. Reviews aren’t always one click of a button, they take time and consideration. You should consider rewarding those who complete feedback, perhaps with a discount code or a free gift, this will also carry the potential to influence others to leave reviews.
Online reviews are a great way to develop relationships with your customers. Modern-day consumers are more likely to hop on social media to share their thoughts about your brand to the world, a rule of thumb is to always respond to this feedback, good or bad. If your customer has had a bad experience, try to find a resolution, and show the customer and their audience that you care. Brand perception will improve if your customers feel like their being listened to.
Boost Internal Business Practices
Like any great business, you care and appreciate your customers. The end goal for most businesses is to provide your customer with a great experience and provide value to those who purchase your products or services. Reviews allow you to explore the processes and practices of your business, highlighting areas for improvement and areas that deserve praise too.
Improve Your SEO Rankings
Whilst you may not think it, reviews can help to boost your SEO rankings. It’s been suggested that Google uses online reviews as one of their key ranking signals, good reviews will mean search engines may prioritise your business in search results. Additionally, with Knowledge Cards your Google reviews will be on display for those that have searched online for your business.
Retention & Reputation
Did you know… unhappy customers are 3x more likely to inform family and friends of their experience when compared to happy customers. This is why it’s so important to use this opportunity to reply to those negative comments, particularly on public channels. Reach out directly, addressing the issue in a professional, friendly manner. Try your best to turn this unhappy customer into a loyal, happy customer.
Why Should I Respond to Negative Reviews?
Negative reviews… unfortunately, you can’t just ignore them, they won’t be going away anytime soon. If anything, not replying will only make the situation worse. Show your customers you care by providing a detailed reply. There are many things to remember when replying to those negative reviews, including:
When replying to negative reviews, you’re not just replying to them. You’re replying to everyone who reads the review and potential future customers.
This reply is your chance to make things right. Take this negative review and switch it into a positive situation.
Replying to comments not only helps to fix the situation but shows that you’re grateful for the feedback. As well as working to improve the business to ensure this doesn’t happen to another customer.
4 Step Process for Responding to Negative Comments & Reviews
Step 1 → Apologise & Sympathise
The first step is to gather an understanding of why this customer is upset, and acknowledge the consumer’s concerns. Here are a couple of ways you could start your reply:
“I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience…”
“I’m sorry to hear this, we will…”
“Hello Susan, I’m sorry to hear this…”
Even if you don’t agree with the review, show sympathy. Make the reply personal, using names and avoid using the business name or relevant keywords.
Step 2 → Explain What Customers Usually Experience…
Explain what your customer would usually experience, however, keep your replies short and simple.
Step 3 → Take the Conversion Offline
The next step would be to take the conversion away from the public eye. Provide contact details so that they can privately message you.
Step 4 → K.I.S.S
Keep it short and simple! Keeping your messages short and simple will help to avoid further upset. We would recommend 3-4 sentences is a good length.
How can we help?
Managing your online reviews should be a part of your wider marketing strategy, using an inbound marketing approach you can ensure you’re providing a valuable experience for everyone that interacts with your business. By attracting, engaging and delighting your customers, these delighted customers are much more likely to share their experiences with others, maximising your business reach and encouraging others to learn more about your business. Start your inbound journey by getting in touch with our friendly team or start a live chat today.