Online Reviews: Why Responding is Vital to Your Success

 In Core Local®

It takes a lot to run a business today. And if yours is a small business, the list of things you have to do to run the business seems never-ending. Many will tell you they simply don’t have time to worry about marketing, much less concerning themselves with online reviews. What can online reviews really do for your business?

A lot.

What Can Online Reviews Do For You?

Positive reviews for your business on Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, Google My Business, Yelp, and others boost your local SEO score and provide social proof to your customers and those who are interested in your products or services.

What’s social proof? Basically, it means looking to the actions of others to decide how to conduct oneself in a given situation. If experts, celebrities, or even friends try a service or buy something, we’ll take a chance on it. This phenomenon is so powerful that many businesses have found that just by displaying good reviews on their website can increase their conversion rates by as much as 270%.

With 6 out of 10 customers now checking out Google My Business for reviews on local businesses, the importance of online reviews can’t be ignored. When you consider that the top local SEO listings that show up in any given search have, on average, 47 or more positive Google reviews. It’s obvious that a successful online business needs to immediately start working towards generating positive reviews.

Why Do You Need to Respond to Reviews?

Whether the review is good or bad, the customer took the time out of their day to post about their experience with your company. When you respond to reviews of your business, you are demonstrating that the opinions of your customers matter to you. It offers you a great way to demonstrate your customer service skills.

Responding to your reviews also does much for your reputation. Businesses see an increase in their overall star rating when they regularly respond to online feedback and see a greater retention rate for their existing customers as well. Star ratings matter because when someone searching for a keyword that pertains to you, Google filters the results to show businesses meeting their criteria and that have a 4-star or better rating first.

Which Reviews Do You Respond To?

Studies have shown that you need to respond to at least two-thirds of your reviews to receive the best benefit when it comes to customer ratings and engagement. Many begin seeing the impact after responding to only 10% so even if you’re just starting out, you can begin to see solid results.

Which reviews do you respond to for the best benefit? Many believe it’s vital to respond to every review that’s 3 stars or less. Others will tell you that it’s also important to respond to reviews with 4 stars or more, particularly if the feedback was complex and detailed. All review venues are important so when it comes to which reviews to respond to, respond to as many as you can. If your time is limited, focus your efforts where there’s the most customer activity. Your response should be timely, considerate, and above all helpful. If the customer seems to be asking for information, make sure they receive it.

Negative Reviews Are Opportunities

When you receive negative feedback, it’s important to address it. If you don’t mean to do anything about negative feedback, why ask for it?

Negative reviews can provide you with amazing opportunities to build real connections with your target audience.

It’s important to first listen. Your customer wants to be heard and to know you understand what went wrong. Let the customer know you get that they were angry, frustrated, confused, disappointed, and more. If you feel that you’re missing something, ask questions.

Once you’ve established that you understand the problem, then work diligently to fix it but focus on what the customer really needs first. Once the situation is resolved, you can nicely ask if the customer wouldn’t mind changing their rating if they feel you’ve earned it. The customers want to be happy and many of them will be willing to do just that. The time spent will definitely be worth it.

Monitoring for Reviews

Here’s the tricky part. You’ll need to keep an eye out for reviews on your business across all venues to ensure you respond in a timely fashion and deal with any problem situations immediately. Sometimes keeping an eye out for that sort of thing takes time we don’t have. Yet our reputations are on the line. What do you do?

Fortunately, there are affordable, effective services available to help. Core Local offered by Premier Business Advantage is such a service. With this service, you’ll have complete control of your total presence.

With the dashboard provided by the Core Local service, you can have an easy way to monitor reviews and other feedback left by customers about your business. You’re able to respond quickly to reviews, protect your reputation, and gain insights on trends and more through your feedback.

With Core Local You Can:

Local Listening: With the Core Local dashboard, you can monitor and respond to customer-generated data from your Facebook, Foursquare, and Google locations.

Social Location Page Posting: With Core Local, you can post content to your Facebook and Foursquare accounts from the dashboard right away or schedule ahead for great convenience.

Track Reviews: Thanks to the many publisher relationships built over the years by Premier Business Advantage, you have connections and will have access to reviews across several websites and venues with email notifications.

Contact Premier Business Advantage today and ensure your business’s delivered content provides the best user experience possible.

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