Customer reviews are nothing new, and it is no surprise that they play an important role when it comes to consumers’ shopping experience. A survey from 2020 revealed that a whopping 87% of customers surveyed looked to online reviews before making a local purchase.
In addition, 43% said they would not do business with a company with fewer than four stars. Other important factors include a business star rating, legitimacy of the review, how recent it was, the sentiment of it, and how many reviews a company had overall.
Review websites like the Better Business Bureau, PissedConsumer.com, Yelp, and TripAdvisor provide customers with information and reviews about a variety of products and services. Consumers also share experiences on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to attract the attention of business owners.
Positive reviews help you understand what you are doing right, and negative reviews alert you to areas that might need improvement. While it might be easy to turn a blind eye to complaints, it is important to respond to them. Taking time to do so helps your company in many ways.
- Builds your brand
- Boosts SEO
For starters, your brand (and reputation) depends on it. How you deal with a negative review plays a significant part in how your brand is viewed. Ignoring customers is bad for your reputation while responding to reviews (even negative ones) can win you even more customers if you do it correctly.
Online reviews, both positive and negative, can boost your search engine optimization. When a customer leaves a review (positive or negative), they are giving search engines fresh content. A study by Yotpo explains how consumer reviews can boost your online traffic.
How you deal with reviews matters
A quick response leaves a lasting impression. Address the customer by name and get right to the point. The sooner you can resolve the customer issues, the better.
Below is an example of how a company responded quickly to a complaint, solved the problem, and turned an unhappy customer into a happy one.
When you address positive reviews, you are sending out the message that you care about all customers, not just the dissatisfied ones.
That being said, it is important to keep balance in mind. Too many responses to positive reviews can often lead to information overload. A TripAdvisor research based on data from hotel sales from the University of Denver suggested that when companies responded to too many positive reviews, sales performance dropped. However, responses to a few positive reviews seemed to improve sales.
Similarly, if a company responded to too few negative reviews, sales also dropped suggesting an inability to fix problems. Yet, a significant response to complaints saw an increase in revenue.
Online customer service is vital to your business. While the internet makes it easier for consumers to complain, it also makes it easier for businesses to resolve customer issues. An online presence on review websites like Pissed Consumer and Yelp give you an opportunity to make your business more visible and available.
The takeaway is that there is something to be learned from all reviews – positive or negative. You may never know how many customers you are reaching when you take the time to address a single complaint, but at least you won’t be faulted for ignoring reviews.