Online reviews enable the consumer to provide feedback on products and services. Reviews offer a number of advantages to your business including increasing sales and improving your site’s ranking on Google. While receiving legitimate feedback is vital for your business, studies reveal that responding to these reviews is almost as important.
According to ReviewTrackers, more than 50% of consumers expect to get responses from a business within seven days of writing a review. 25% expect a response within 3 days while 20% want to hear back from the business within 24 hours. Responding to reviews is, therefore, a responsibility your business cannot afford to forego.
Why you should respond to online reviews
• It improves your search engine rankings
While encouraging customers to leave online reviews can help increase your ranking on search engines, industry experts and search engines agree that appropriate responses can considerably improve your business’s position. According to Google, responding to your customer’s reviews will not only increase your site’s online visibility but also increase the possibility of a potential client visiting your location.
• It improves sales
Setting time aside to read and respond to online feedback from your customers will significantly impact your bottom line. While studying the impact of review responses on sales and revenue, Cornell University found that responding to reviews had a positive impact on the level of revenue created by online travel agents. Conversely, the researchers found that businesses which failed to respond to customer feedback had lower review scores.
• It helps you manage your brand reputation
Online reviews have a significant effect on your brand’s online reputation. Potential customers rely on reviews to determine whether they can buy from you or not. Positive feedback can build your reputation while negative reviews can tarnish the name of your business. Responding to positive reviews can encourage customers to leave reviews in the future. Similarly, responding to negative reviews can help repair the damage done.
• Reviews tend to have a longer shelf life
Compared to tweets and Facebook posts, online reviews usually have a longer shelf life. This means that what a consumer says about your product or service will have a longer impact than what another consumer may write on Facebook or Twitter. A study by GaggleAMP reveals that the majority of engagement with tweets happens within 48 hours of posting. According to Wiselytics, most people will only see your Facebook post within the first 5 hours after posting. Online reviews are, therefore, critical in brand reputation management.
NB: With a negative review, it is easy to get annoyed at first. Always strive to remain calm and corrected, and give yourself a day or two before you can give an appropriate response.
Admittedly, there is little you can do to control what any consumer can say about your business. However, you can get your opinion across by responding to online reviews accordingly. Responding to negative and positive reviews alike can help build your brand’s reputation, improve your search engine ranking and, consequently, increase your revenue generation.