Respond to Google Reviews
The most pressing question being asked frequently is “Is it necessary to respond to Google Reviews”?
Highlighting your business and getting it to show up on Google is not only important for your business growth, but it will help you retain your valuable past customers and also win over new customers. Not only that, Google Reviews will enhance your search ranking, which means your business will pop up whenever a major search is made on the web.
The reviewers are also as eager as you waiting for responses for their reviews. The eager and wait are more when they have posted a negative review. Whether it is a positive review or a negative review, it makes sense to respond to it immediately.
But for this purpose, businesses should learn the appropriate ways to respond to such Google Reviews so that much can be made from the business presence on Google Maps and Google Search.
Responding to reviews not only enhances the online reputation of the business, but it will also improve business performance.
But know the Truth – responding to reviews of people online has a greater impact on the business reputation than anything else.
Recent research made by the Cornell University Study for online reviews has come up with these pitches –
- As review response increases from the business side, even the revenue of the business surges high
- Failure to respond to reviews will cost the business. (if the business doesn’t acknowledge or reply to the reviews, it is more likely to get lower review scores and this pushes the overall ratings)
- Replying to critical and negative reviews increases overall rating when compared to responding to a positive or favorable one.
Well, when this is the scenario for online reviews, imagine what can be the impact and effect if it is a response to the world’s top review site like Google.
To make your understanding process easy and better, we have come up with some more statistics to prove the SEO benefits of Google Reviews
- 94% of the Customers feel that a bad review has forced them to avoid the business.
- 53% of the Customers felt it necessary that the businesses should respond to negative reviews within a few days of it being posted.
- 63% of the Customers have stated that the businesses have never bothered to respond to any reviews.
- 45% of the Customers feel it is better to visit the business that actually responds to negative or critical reviews.
The Takeaway – Response to review and trafficking customers go hand-in-hand.
It is obvious that Customers tend to come back to business only after reading the reviews, it is actually as important as a personal recommendation. And almost 97% of consumers are of the opinion that reviews have a major effect on the purchasing decision, and Google Review Management should be the top priority for businesses that face consumers on a day-to-day basis.
Google’s Official stance on Responding to Reviews
As per Google’s My Business Support Page, it is important for businesses to interact with their customers. Customers leave a message about the business and responding to that review shows that the business values the customers, and the feedback given by the business team can, in fact, leave a good impression about your business. Additionally, it is also said that a positive and high-quality review from the customer will increase the business’s visibility and enhance the chances of potential customers to visit the business location.
Responding to reviews will not only foster trust with your customers but in fact, it will also shape a trust with the Google Search Engine itself. Google recommends to the customers only the best and most credible businesses online which responds publicly to the received complaints and appreciates for the praises. Hence, Google, clearly suggests businesses respond to reviews as Google reviews help in SEO rankings.
Why respond to Google Reviews
Here are a few reasons why businesses should respond to Google Reviews in a timely manner:
- Boost your Google Rankings – There is a direct link between the response and the SEO ranking. If the business responds to Google Reviews, the chances of ranking are also higher when a major search is made on Google. Google wants both businesses and the customer to interact. Google ‘s algorithm is such that it places those businesses in top place, which responds to reviews, and filters those that don’t respond.
- Responding to Reviews builds a trusting relationship with customers – It is vital for the businesses to respond to the review irrespective of the fact that it is a positive or a negative one; this response proves that the business values its customers and the search engine. Retaining customers is as important as attracting customers. Studies claim that there are chances of losing 15% of your customers, in case you don’t respond to their reviews. Online reviews should not be treated as mere Static or one-way information. And it is highly essential for brands to engage with customers and create an open active channel of communication.
- Responding to Reviews can change negative reviews into a positive one – Instead of panicking over a negative review, it is wise to respond to it as this act has the potential to make a customer rewrite their negative remark into a positive one. Statistics reflect that 33% of customers have turned around and changed their negative review into a positive one, while 34% of customers have deleted their negative review altogether.
- Time doesn’t heal – yes! This is true, time will not heal the issue, so don’t take a long time to reply back to the negative reviews mainly, as this phase will be used by the customers to pass on their bad experience among their friends, relatives, and social networking circle. Instead, responding to the negative review instantly will stop this gossip, and it is proven through webPunch Study that 33% of reviewers want resolution, while 12% of them want a response from the owner and 99% want just an acknowledgment to the least.
- Get them Back – responding to Google Online reviews has the potential to turn even a detractor as a promoter. Respond ASAP and fix the issue, and show the customers that you have valued their sense of urgency.
- Anyone Home – if you are responding to a review, it means that someone is listening or hearing to you and that your business is active among your customer base. And Google Review Management will know that your business is actually concerned about the quality and getting feedback.
- Learn from the Pros- any feedback – be it positive or negative, has a way of passing on some communication to your business. It is also necessary to respond to positive feedback and your business will be valued for this.
- Every Review is an Opportunity – Google Reviews are in fact a barometer for measuring the business’s performance. Overwhelming positive feedback and ratings point out that the current workflow is well utilized, and a negative response portrays major pain points. Replying to both types prove that the business cares for the customer’s opinion and experience. So, treat each of the reviews equally.
- It’s the nice thing to do – Acknowledging the reviews very easily gives a good image and reputation to the business. And it also makes sense to respond to such reviews.
- Google Likes it – Responding to a review not only shows your courtesy towards your customer, but it is a way to attract the Google Search Engine. Google Advisor is of the opinion that the owner’s response is a signal showing that the page is actively managed by the business. And, Google rewards this by providing better online exposure in its listing.
How to Respond to Google Reviews
Crafting a right review response is all the more important both for you and for your customers, hence it becomes vital to know how to respond to Google Reviews correctly, and here are some tips for it:
Address the reviewer – People like when they are addressed personally and individually, so don’t forget to add salutations and also add “Dear guest or Dear Customer”, as this gives them a personal feel.
- Say Thank You – when customers are happy, acknowledge with a Thank you and even when they are disappointed – say thank you. You can say things like “Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we’re sorry you had a bad experience. We’ll strive to do better”.
- Apologize and sympathize – saying sorry means you are concerned about the customer, so don’t think to say sorry, as people don’t like businesses that are too proud to apologize.
- Take responsibility – acknowledge the customer’s experience, even if it was an uncommon instance or unfortunate incident or isolated case. Providing reassurance holds you in a very high standard. So, don’t make excuses.
Make things right – It is better to avoid cookie-cutter responses, as these will not solve any issue. If there was something genuinely wrong, take ownership and promise to make things right.