As a business owner, it’s important to listen to your customers’ feedback and respond to it appropriately. Customer feedback helps you identify areas of improvement, make necessary changes, and ultimately, provide a better customer experience. But replying to customer feedback shows your customers that you care, and are committed to service. In fact, when researching a business, 89% of consumers read replies to reviews for this reason.
Your review management strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Your reply process is dependent on the structure of your business and the resources you have available. But if possible, focus on these types of reviews when delegating your time to reply to customer feedback:
1. Negative & Neutral Reviews
If a customer took the time to post a negative review online, you can be sure their experience was pretty bad. As cringe-worthy as a negative review can be, it’s of utmost importance to acknowledge the customer’s experience right away, convey empathy, and take responsibility. Similarly, responding to a neutral review is just as important. The customer who left it may typically love your brand but clearly experienced something that wasn’t quite right. A neutral review is an opportunity to make it right with the customer and retain their loyalty.
2. Direct Feedback
When you provide a way for your customers to contact you — form on your website, customer service number, or request for feedback in an email or text — you are actively inviting customers to do so. So if they have a complaint, it deserves immediate attention. Your response to their feedback can be a deciding factor for a customer that wants to continue doing business with you but isn’t convinced yet. A prompt, sincere reply with a resolution to the problem can help make the difference.
3. Google Reviews
Since Google is the most used search engine, Google reviews are among the most popular. Google Business Profile drives the top-ranking review site in the U.S. and Google reviews appear next to your listing in Maps and search. This kind of visibility is important to harness. When you respond to a Google review, you can help improve your local ranking on Google. And a better search ranking can bring in more customers.
4. Facebook Recommendations
As the third most popular review site in the U.S., Facebook offers a chance for you to engage with your customers on a social platform through its Recommendations feature. Users are required to write at least 25 characters of text in order to post a recommendation. Due to the popular and social nature of the platform, a recommendation can raise the profile of your business. And your response to each recommendation can help influence public perceptions of your brand.
5. Industry Review Sites
With a plethora of industry review sites out there, it may seem like an uphill battle to track reviews on each and every one of them. While not the topmost priority for your business, when you do reply to reviews on these sites, you’re making your brand a part of the conversation — and providing a trail back to your business. At the same time, some review sites for certain industries can be really important — for example, Angi for service-related businesses and TripAdvisor for hospitality. So finding out where your customers are sharing their experiences and opinions can help you manage them accordingly.
If you can focus some of your time replying to reviews across these five locations, chances are you’ll see an improvement in your business. The benefits of replying to customer feedback often include increased brand loyalty, brand trust, and more conversions – among other things.
Replying to reviews takes time. But it’s an essential part of managing an online reputation. With GatherUp, you can save time replying to reviews. Our SmartReply feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze reviews and automatically generate a customized, human-sounding response. You can save time replying to reviews, craft better responses, and improve response time. Request a demo today to learn more.