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The Importance Of Online Reviews & How To Respond
From choosing a local dentist to buying a mobile phone, it’s rare for consumers to make a purchase decision without reading online reviews.
According to Podium, a whopping 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions, and Google is where they’re most likely to go to read them. Around 63% of consumers check online reviews on Google before visiting a business. That means your reputation is one of the most valuable assets you can have right now.
Online reputation is critical for success, and reviews are crucial when it comes to trust and buying decisions. Research by the Harvard Business School found that online reviews are proven to impact a business’s bottom line. Those businesses that are viewed positively experience better sales figures, but even improving your star rating can have a positive effect.
This is all great news if you’re rolling in positive reviews. But what if your star rating is lower than it should be? What do you do if a couple of bad reviews have caused your score to drop? Overall negative reviews can also have a significant impact on your sales and SEO rankings. So, the best thing to do is to respond. Those who come across a review and its response(s) can quickly shift from once-uncertain or even unhappy customers into brand advocates.
How to respond to Google Reviews?
BrightLocal reported that 89% of consumers read responses to reviews from businesses. So, whether the review is positive or negative, you should always respond and do so in a professional way. Your answers can be seen by anyone who searches your business Google and how you respond says a lot about your business and its values. Carefully crafted responses can improve your reputation, even if the review is negative, by making you appear honest and credible.
Responding to positive reviews
Respond as quickly as possible upon receiving a review, as Google and your potential customers will react positively. It shows that you care about your customers’ experiences and opinions and are happy to listen. It’s best to keep your response short and sweet. Thanking the reviewer is a good way to start your reply, acknowledging that they’ve taken the time to leave feedback. But don’t just send a basic ‘thank you’ statement; respond to their specific comments for a more personal reply. Draft your response, then review it carefully for spelling and grammar before sending.
Responding to negative reviews
Think of this as an opportunity to wow the reviewer (and anyone reading) with amazing customer service. Be transparent and apologetic about any mistakes where justified and clarify anything that isn’t clear. If a review has upset you, take some time before responding. You don’t want to come across as aggressive in your response, which could deter customers from using your services. If necessary, take the communication to a different medium, such as email or phone, to sort the situation out privately. If you feel that you’ve received an inappropriate or fake review, check it against Google’s guidelines. You may even be able to report it and have it removed from your listing.
Automating your online reviews
Don’t let reviews happen without your knowledge. The quicker that you learn about a negative review, the faster you can provide an actionable solution and limit the fallout. Today, reviews can be easily monitored and even improved with automation. You can monitor your mentions, both through frequent searches of your business and the use of widespread reputation monitoring tools.
Let’s get talking…
How you market your business is important, but having people talk about your business is a great way to enhance your message. By encouraging positive conversations online, you can quickly improve your marketing efforts. Need a little help with your online reputation or digital marketing? Here at Zib Digital, we help businesses within the digital landscape by focusing on clear and knowledgeable web content, comprehensive social media plans and top-ranked SEO websites. Get in touch to discuss a strategy to grow your business.