Often while establishing business pages online, it is easy to forget that some platforms give users the option to review businesses. Pages like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, are amongst some credible review sources online. Reviews can skyrocket your business, or they can knock it down. Potential consumers are more likely to spend 31% more on a local business if it has outstanding reviews. Majority of people, about 92% of search engine users, will decide to use a business if it has at least an average of a 4 star rating. Overall, 72% of consumers who used Google to search for a business or service based their decision off of the reviews of each business. So yes, online reviews are important when it comes to your business. What is even more important though? How you choose to respond to each review. Positive, negative, or neutral, no matter the kind of review, the way you respond can be very impactful on your business.
Positive reviews are what you expect and hope to receive in order to be successful, so you don’t have to respond to every positive review. Most businesses do not have the extra time to do so, but it is great to respond to at least a decent amount of them. Expressing thankfulness and gratitude should be the first step while responding to a positive review. Show appreciation for the fact that a reviewer decided to leave a review and express happiness for them having a great experience in your establishment. While responding, keep keywords in mind. This is an easy, quick way to increase your google rankings. Use relevant key terms, but keep them specific and limited. Specific key terms can improve your chances of being seen on a search page. If you want to create more credibility and trust for your target audience, use social media platforms to show off the highly rated reviews of your business. Using another form of marketing can also increase chances of showing up on a search engine, while also exposing your business on other platforms, which increases the chances of someone finding interest in your business.
Again, always start a response to a review by thanking the reviewer for taking the time to share their experience. If there are obvious positive remarks, repeat them in your response to reiterate the positive aspect of the review. For any negative remarks, see what you can do to turn their experience around and invite them back for a second try. If you can get that neutral review to be a positive review, it can instill more trust and credibility in your business, which will get more people walking through your door.
Negative reviews are frustrating for every business owner. Everyone wants to be above excellent and receiving critiques can be difficult when you feel you have put so much effort into your business. You have to be prepared for negative reviews, no matter what kind of business you own. Unfortunately, you cannot please everyone. Not everyone is going to like or enjoy your product or service and that is okay! You created it for a specific market. Before responding, you must remind yourself of these things and then proceed calmly. Respond to a negative review first by at least apologizing for how they felt about their experience. Repeat any positive aspects the reviewer may have mentioned, then see what you can do to turn around their experience. Ask the reviewer for a form of contacting them so you can ask them more about their experience, what you could do to improve, and how you can make things right. You could also apologize and send a gift card or give a discount towards their next purchase, so they will have incentive to give your business another try. Do not do this in a way that seems like you are bribing them for business again; Do it in a way that is genuine so the customer knows you truly care about their feelings and experience with your business. Statistics show that 70% of unhappy customers return to a business if you fix the issue, but you can’t fix the issue without the proper response to the review.
It is estimated that about 15% of online reviews are spam or fake reviews. If the review is blatantly untrue, flag the review on the platform the “reviewer” wrote on. Do not respond to fake reviews unless the platform that the reviewer wrote on does not allow you to remove any reviews or flag them. If you are unable to flag the review or remove the review, respond kindly with certainty that you have not done business with that person.
Overall, it is difficult to respond to reviews about your business. You may not have the time, you may get frustrated, or you may not even know someone is leaving reviews about your business. Always do your best to check your reviews on a weekly basis. Most reviewers expect a response within 7 days of posting the review. Reviews have the ability to make or break your business. On one side of the spectrum, they can be a wonderful tool to provide trust and credibility in your business for your target audience. Reviews can also increase your chances of being found on search engines. On the other side, negative reviews can always be turned around or they can push potential customers away, but you can’t expect to please everyone. Reviews are important, but knowing how to appropriately respond to reviews is vital.