The three most popular websites in the world are Google, YouTube and Facebook. Each of these websites are extremely important for your brand perception, as customer reviews left on these sites get more attention. In Google’s case, customer reviews also have an influence on a business’s search visibility. Meanwhile, sites like Yelp are becoming less influential.
One important thing to ask yourself as a business is how much consideration are you giving to your presence on Facebook, Google and YouTube? Are you respecting them as customer review sites and devoting time to asking for reviews and responding to them? Are you managing your customer Q&A’s on your Google My Business listing?
All of the customer feedback occurring on these sites, is creating more data in the wild or unstructured customer feedback. A business that can correctly monitor and respond to those reviews, will improve their online customer experience and capture valuable input to improve their operations and search rankings.
Responding to a Good Review
If a customer leaves you a glowing review, responding is an easy way engage with happy customers. This benefits both your brand identity and your one-to-one relationship with that customer. Because online reviews are public, the positive conversations that can happen surrounding your business can work wonders.
Here’s why you should always respond to a positive review:
• It’s polite! If a customer gave you a compliment in real life, you’d respond with “thank you”. Seeing as your online reviews are public, it’s worth responding in kind.
• 90% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses (BrightLocal). Potential future customers may read this review therefore replying to this review is a chance to speak to these people too.
• Actively engaging with positive online conversations about your business and the local community, can encourage others to participate in that conversation and generate more attention and visibility.
• It affects your search rankings. By replying correctly, you can improve the SEO ranking of that review.
Responding to a Negative Review
Negative reviews can have a seriously damaging effect on a local business – especially if it has few reviews to begin with. Dealing with negative reviews online doesn’t have to be difficult – it can even leveraged as a marketing and branding opportunity if you respond correctly.
• You’re not just replying to the one reviewer. You’re speaking to everyone reading said review, including potential customers!
• Replying is your opportunity to make things right. If a customer brought a complaint to you in person, you’d try to make things right for them – despite the impersonal nature of online reviews. Remember, you still have an opportunity to make things right!
• Replying also shows other readers that you’re not neglectful to feedback and that you’ve taken steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen to the next customer.
The best thing you can do when you receive a bad review is react quickly and strategically and make the best out of a less-than-pleasant situation.
Remember to apologise and sympathise in your response, acknowledge your customers concerns and show sympathy that they had a bad experience.
Google My Business is one of the most important platforms for users to leave reviews. We take a proactive approach to optimising your Google My Business, establishing trust and visibility to the people in your area searching for your services.