Is your business joining the conversation on review sites or sitting back quietly watching other people talk about you and your brand? Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor are all encouraging businesses to respond to reviews – both positive and negative. Below are five reasons why your business should be actively responding to reviews.
#1. Your response rate is monitored by ALL major review sites
Have you logged in to your profile pages recently? If so, you will notice that most review sites, including Google and TripAdvisor, are actively monitoring your response rate. In fact, this metric is usually front-and-center when you log in to your public profiles.
As this new metric continues to be tracked, responding to reviews is becoming a must-do, not a nice-to-do.
#2. Management responses increase customer leads and revenue
TripAdvisor recently announced that businesses who respond to reviews see an increase in revenue. According to their report, businesses who responded to 50% or more of their reviews saw bookings “grow at more than twice the rate of [businesses] who ignored their reviews.”
Reply Pro recently ran a study on Yelp leads and also found a positive correlation between management responses and increased revenue. When Bardenay started responding to their reviews, they saw a significant increase in web traffic to their profiles – which led to an increase in leads and bookings.
#3. Let customers know you listen and care
If I am a customer that left your business a review, how do I know you actually read it? The only way I will know for sure is when you make a response. It doesn’t have to be long, eloquent, or flashy – but a response is an acknowledgement that you read what I wrote. Furthermore, a thoughtful, timely response will let me know that you actually care.
When Wild West Bakery thanked a customer for a review, they also mentioned they would notify their staff about the slow service. This tells the reviewer – and everyone else who reads the review – that Wild West Bakery cares what their customer says and are trying to improve.
#4. Respond to reviews to represent YOUR brand
When you respond to reviews, it allows potential customers to hear your voice and learn more about your business. For example, you could mention your happy hour or special menu items when responding to positive reviews. If you respond to negative reviews, it allows everyone to hear your side of the story – even if it’s a simple apology and promise to be better. On the contrary, if you remain silent, you let everyone else set the tone of your brand on your profile pages.
#5. Educate Your Customers
Responding to reviews not only helps you strengthen your relationship with a previous customer – it also increases the trust and education of potential customers who visit your profile page. In the review above, the reviewer mentioned that Bardenay’s has great outdoor seating in the summer. When the Bardenay Manager responded, they mentioned the patio is open and ready. Now everyone who reads that review knows the patio is open and ready for use.
There is no downside when you respond to reviews (unless you write something crazy or unprofessional). At the very minimum, it’s a sign of goodwill and gratitude. In best case scenarios, responding will help you strengthen relationships and trust among past and future clients – which will help you increase conversions and generate new business.