Reviews have become an integral part of our customer journey. “90% of customers read reviews before visiting a business,”* directly impacting the success and growth of a business, especially small and mid-sized businesses. Monitoring your online reputation is an ideal means of measuring the consistency of your customer experience, providing a business clear insights into what consumers think about their consumer to business interactions.
Gain business insights
As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to gain more insight on your business. When was the last time you did a Google search for your business name? What are customers saying about you on these various review sources? What are some of the positive highlights? What are some of the pain points? “88% of customers trust online reviews like personal recommendations”* making online reviews a must have strategy for any business.
Where does your business show up on the search engine results page (SERP) for keywords that are being targeted? Are you looking for ways to increase your organic ranking and visibility within the top of the funnel of the customer journey? Star-rating is one of the many SEO ranking factors and Google tends to favor businesses with a higher star-rating. The higher a result tends to rank, their likelihood for conversion exponentially increases.
Positive and negative reviews
Negative reviews should not be considered a catastrophe, in fact, embrace the negative reviews! Addressing negative reviews helps address consumer pain points and allows your business to grow. Start off by creating a process to respond to reviews. Acknowledge the fault and, if possible, let the customer know what steps are being taken to resolve the issue. Unhappy customers will return if they’re satisfied with your effort to address past problems.
Don’t be afraid to ask customers to leave a review about their experience – it’s good strategy for your business to stay relevant. “68% of consumers left a local business review when asked.” * Additionally, use the positive reviews and the trending keywords from these reviews to create unique, fresh, and relevant user-generated content. Instead of spending unnecessary amounts of time and money coming up with ideas for your next big content piece, these ideas are already being crowdsourced for you.
Should all reviews (positive and negative) be responded to? This is a common question that comes down to time. “A new study from Cornell University suggests that hotel guests appreciate substantive responses to negative reviews, but operators should go easy on review responses. The study found that revenue levels increase as the number of management responses increases, but only to a point. After about a 40-percent response rate, hotels seem to reach a point of diminishing returns.” * Your response, regardless of the industry, should be crafted with the next potential guest in mind, the one who is reading the reviews prior to a purchasing decision. Respond only if the response can add to their understanding and appreciation of your property.
Don’t get bogged down and leave your reviews on the sideline. If your business receives a flood of reviews daily, there are many options to help manage these reviews. Milestone’s Digital Presence cloud offers comprehensive review management to provide insights on your business’s reputation, respond to reviews from within a single platform, and stay ahead of your competitors. Ask us for a free trial!