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Importance of Responding to Reviews

The internet has rewritten the rules for nearly everything in today’s world- even the rules for a businesses demographics. It used to be that a business had about seven days to respond to a customer, but now businesses have a 24 hour window to respond to all customer feedback. It does not matter if the customer feedback is positive or negative.

While this may place a lot of pressure on a business, this active communication role will build customer trust and, eventually, increase search rankings.

Reviews Impact Online Sales

In a recent study, Holmes, founder and CEO of Chatmeter, a local brand management platform for chains and agencies, discovered that about 30% of customers who received a response to their negative feedback either removed their comment or replaced it with a positive one.

In fact, Holmes says that  reviews impact online sales so extensively, that a whopping 40% of shoppers will only make a purchase if the business is rated a 4-star or higher. He says that responding to online feedback is “[a] huge motivation for businesses to take a proactive role in harnessing and managing consumer complaints online.”

A key takeaway is that two-way communication is vital; it is no longer acceptable for businesses to have a one-sided conversation with their customers.

The following are tips on how to address both positive and negative reviews:

How To’s for Positive Reviews:

  • Thank the customer for their business and time they spent to write a review
  • Refrain from generic comments, make them personal
  • Entice them with a new product

How To’s for Negative Reviews:

  • Apologize
  • Remember to be polite
  • Thank them for their feedback
  • Refrain from arguing or blaming (everything online is public)
  • If necessary, invite them to a private message to ask for details and/or give them contact information for customer service
  • Refrain from asking too many questions, remember to be polite

Staying on Top of Reviews

Admittedly, staying on top of reviews is easier if you’re a smaller company. However, today there are tools that can help you stay on top, no matter how large the company. These tools are generally known as review management solutions.

Key Review Management Solutions Features:

  • Monitor multiple sites, including industry specific sites
  • Send daily alerts
  • Store/region comparisons
  • Interoffice communication tools

While there are many tools out there, it is always best to do an internal review and needs analysis, then research which solution tools are best suited for your business. Your online reputation is a crucial component of the overall success of your business.

Keep it positive.

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