Businesses lacking a positive and engaging web presence are at risk of losing potential consumers to responsive competitors who manage their online reputation.
The Importance of Managing your Online Reviews
Responding to reviews ⎼ both positive and negative ⎼ is more important than ever. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey:
- 97% of consumers read online reviews; of that, 85% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a family member or friend
- Positive reviews persuade 73% of consumers to trust a local business
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star overall rating before they choose to use a business
Leading Review Websites to Monitor
BrightLocal also reveals the most popular, and trusted, review websites include Facebook and Yelp, with Google and Better Business Bureau (BBB) following closely behind. In addition to monitoring these websites, it’s beneficial utilize niche review websites and programs, such as Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Trip Advisor and Google Local Services. Local Services is a relatively new system that connects consumers with service providers in their area. It is currently available in 30 major cities. If your business is located in one of these cities, this is a game-changer ⎼ especially if you have positive reviews. Consumer reviews improve your local ranking on Google, ultimately connecting with your ideal consumer more frequently.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Simply put, replying to a review is your opportunity to make things right. Not only is the original reviewer made aware of your attempt to resolve the situation, so are other potential consumers skimming reviews. When responding to a negative review, acknowledge the reviewer’s concern(s), empathize and apologize. Be sure to provide your name, title and contact information to discuss the problem offline.
If you successfully remedy a negative situation, politely ask the customer to update their negative review. This proactive and prompt resolution will speak volumes to potential consumers.
How to Respond to Positive Reviews
Yes, responding to positive reviews is just as important as resolving negative ones. It’s essential to acknowledge and thank your consumer for their review. When responding to a positive review, thank the reviewer for their kind words and acknowledge the time they took to share their positive experience with others.
By incorporating your business information (business name, service/category, location) in your reply, you can improve your business’ SEO ranking. Other great response strategies to positive reviews include mentioning a new feature or promotion, inviting them to share their experience with friends and family, or recommending they try a new product/service next time.
How to Increase your Review Volume
Increasing your number of reviews may seem daunting; however, it’s as simple as asking happy customers to share their experience. BrightLocal’s recent survey confirms 68% of consumers left a business review when asked – with 74% having been asked for their feedback. Asking in-person has proven to be most successful. You can also get creative, such as sending email reminders or encouraging reviews on service receipts.
Whatever your approach, go the extra mile for your customers. It will not only result in a positive experience, it will keep your business on their radar for future opportunities.
If you have any questions on how to respond to reviews, increase your number of reviews, or about Google Local Services, let us know. We are here to help!