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How Should A Business Respond to Online Reviews?

June 21, 2019

Online reviews are critical to the success of local businesses around the country and across all industries. Nearly 90% of consumers will only consider purchasing from a business if it has positive reviews and a star rating of 4 stars or higher.

Managing online reviews for your business can seem like a daunting task. Where are people talking about it online? How should you respond to good reviews? And should you even respond to bad reviews?

These are all great questions to ask when diving into your company’s online reputation management strategy. We’ll take a look at those questions in detail below.

Where are people talking about your  business?
Businesses may be thinking “I don’t have any digital presence. I shouldn’t have to worry about my business's reputation online.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Unlike a phone book listing, digital platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook are all places a business is discussed, criticized, and praised.

Every day consumers take to platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Yelp to make educated decisions about where to make their purchases. They can read reviews about other customers' experiences, comparing multiple companies in just a few mintues.

If a business is not on these platforms actively monitoring what people are saying, then it is missing out on an opportunity to engage with customers, and ensure its reputation is attracting customers instead of turning them away. 

How do you respond to what people are saying about your business?
Now that we know just how important an online reputation is, how should companies respond? Let’s start with the positive. Why should you respond to a good review?

Engaging with a good customer review benefits both your business and its reputation. Review sites are public, so the positive conversations that happen about a brand here can do wonders for the business.

Here are a few other reasons to respond to good reviews.

  • It’s the polite thing to do. If a customer gives your business a compliment in real life, you would say thank you. And with an online review, the compliment is public. So be extra nice!
  • Everyone is watching. Anybody with an Internet connection can see what other people are saying – and how a business will respond.
  • Generate more buzz. Replying will help improve SEO ranking by adding more keywords and information about your  business, generating more visibility for them.

Why should you respond to a negative review?
Unfortunately, a business can’t just ignore a bad review until it goes away. In fact, ignoring an unpleasant review can make things worse. A business should never ignore a bad review, and here are a few reasons why.

  • Your business isn’t just speaking with one customer. When you reply to a bad review you're letting everyone know you care about your customers and want to provide a good experience.
  • Make things right. If your  business was given a complaint face to face, you would try to fix things, right? You can often turn a negative review positive simply by reaching out and responding to the customer who left a poor review.
  • Replying shows your business doesn’t neglect bad feedback. It actually shows that you will take the steps to make things right and ensure the next customer has a positive experience.

Every review platform is different, which can make knowing exactly what other people are saying about your business difficult. If your're having issues navigating the digital waters of reputation management, you're not alone. Reach out to the experts in reputation management at 44i and we’ll get a top-tier strategy in place!

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