Why You Need to Respond to Online Reviews
There are A TON of online review sites today, and more and more consumers are using these sites to share their insights and feelings about your company. But online review sites like Angie’s List, TripAdvisor and Citysearch are not just beneficial for the consumers—they’re also extremely beneficial to your business. Some companies choose to ignore online review sites, and this is not a smart business move. Not only should you be paying attention to what is being said about your company on these sites, but you also need to take the time to respond to the reviews that are left—both positive and negative. Responding to online reviews left about your business can be extremely beneficial for your business, and here’s why:
You can learn how to improve your business.
Responding to reviews can help you learn more about what needs to be improved with your business. When you have negative reviews, you can use their insight to learn what needs to be fixed with your business. You can then take this information and determine how to make the right adjustments, and you can then respond to the customer and let them know how you righted the wrong. Now, not only does the reviewer know that you fixed the issue, but so does everyone else who sees the review. If you have a positive review, you need to thank the customer for taking the time to review your business, and use this as an opportunity to ask them if they thought there was anything that you need to improve on. Your customer will be happy that you value their opinion this much, and again, you’ll be able to make the improvements that your customers want.
You can calm down irate customers.
Negative reviews are going to happen, but instead of allowing them to sit there unanswered, you need to respond. Responding to these reviews allows you to calm down an unhappy customer. Doing this can keep their complaint from spreading onto other review sites or social networks. Make sure that you apologize for their disappointment, and let them know how you plan on fixing it. You may find that the customer calms down significantly by simply responding, and you may also find that their experience wasn’t as bad as they said it was. Plus, when you respond and tell the customer how you fixed the problem, you may just entice them to come back. Calming down irate customers also works wonders for your company’s reputation. When other customers come across that negative review, they’ll be able to see that you responded AND how you fixed the situation. This will keep the negative review from having an impact on how other customers view your brand.
You earn repeat business.
Responding to customer reviews shows your customers that you value their opinions. They’ll be so happy to build such a great relationship with you that you now become their go-to establishment when they’re in need of your products or services. Plus, if you offer an incentive to your customers for taking the time to review your site, you will easily get them coming back for more.
You’ll earn more reviews.
When you respond to your customers’ reviews, you’ll find that more customers are willing to leave reviews for your business. This is a great way for your to learn more about what customers truly think about your business, and it also increases the activity on your page, which improves your overall ranking. Plus, if you start to earn more positive reviews, these positive reviews will slowly start to outweigh any negative reviews that may appear.
Take the time to claim your business on popular online review sites and respond to the reviews that your customers leave. You’ll be surprised at how this tiny amount of engagement can fuel the success of your business.
Have you incorporated online reviews into your marketing mix? Share your small biz diamonds in the comments section below.
J. Reynolds is a review management expert and avid writer. Joshua recently wrote an informational article about responding to online reviews.