Reputation is everything and nothing speaks to your reputation and what your customers think about you like reviews. 97% of people read reviews for local businesses. 93% say they impact their purchasing decisions. We respond to all reviews whether it’s to show appreciate for a happy customer or mitigate damage from an upset one. We want to influence even the people just reading the reviews to do business with your business.
Why should I respond to reviews?
It helps to think of how you would handle the situation if it happened in person. If someone approached you in your business and said, “I really enjoyed my visit. Your staff was very helpful,” would you simply turn around and walk away? Of course not. A review is a message from the customer to you. Just because it’s not in person doesn’t negate its value. We are all very busy and if a customer takes time to leave a positive review, it should be acknowledged and appreciated. There is a thousand things they could have been doing, but they decided to stop everything else and tell everyone they liked you. The very least we can do is respond to those kind reviews.
We all get them. There is nothing more frustrating than getting the review that says, “We’ve gone to this store for the last ten years and this time was the last time.” So they’ve had a good experience for ten years, never left a positive review, but have one bad experience and they’re blowing your page up. A lot of responses usually come into our head. . .most of them highly unprofessional. For some advice on how best to handling criticism, check out our blog post. Not all negative reviews are like that though. There are a few different types.
We’ve had customers leave negative reviews for our clients which were articulate and thoughtful. These kind of reviews are also valuable. It gives the business the opportunity to see gaps or flaws in the system, fix them, and become stronger. It’s easy to get defensive and ignore, but doing so will only harm the business.
We’ve handled our share of these type of reviews as well. They may contain profanity, racist or sexist remarks, or be largely irrelevant to the business. The may come from disgruntled employees or competitors. These kind of reviews fall afoul of most review sites terms of service and can be removed.