With the number of reviews being written rising exponentially year on year, its easy to get bogged down under the weight.
Reviews come in thick and fast, with 77% of consumers leaving reviews if asked, which can leave the whole experience overwhelming. It may feel even more daunting to then consider the possibility of responding to these reviews, but fear not, with a little bit of time and effort, you will soon reap the rewards from making your customers feel valued, and see increased traffic and conversion.
Here's the scenario: You've just been to a shop and purchased a watch / tent / burger / snowboard / cactus - you may have even been to all these shops and bought the combo (if so, enjoy your weekend!) - and you love your new purchase. The product was great, so was the customer service, maybe it was even great value for money, so you pop on your phone or computer and decide to leave a review.
"Just bought a watch / tent / burger / snowboard / cactus from here, it keeps time perfectly/was sturdy and waterproof/was an explosion of flavour in my mouth/was the right size and width recommended/hasn't died on me yet, would definitely recommend buying from here."
You press send, feeling satisfied you've contributed your valuable opinion, you've told that company how happy you are with what they offered you, and you handed over your hard earnt money, and now even a bit of your time. You get nothing in response.
Or, you press send, feeling satisfied, you've told that company how happy you are and you've handed over your money and your time. And they reply: "We're so glad you had a good experience and love your product. Thank you for shopping with us, we hope to see you again!"
How good did that feel? And more importantly how long did that take? You may think your customer only needs your fantastic product or service to generate a smile, but why not go that extra step and keep them smiling. When your customer feels valued, this value reflects onto your brand and image, which gives your customer an even stronger reason to come back.
Emphasis on the importance of responding to reviews has increased to 30%, with 26% saying it's salient for businesses to respond to reviews, especially local businesses. If you have 100 loyal customers returning regularly, that means you may lose 26 of those over time if you decide not to respond to reviews. That figure may even increase as the importance held on responding is clearly on the rise. Sadly, 63% even reported that a business never responded to their review, thus showing a gap that needs to be filled.
But why is it so important? Evidently, responding is important for a percentage of your customers, but 30% name review responses as key when judging a business. So not just having reviews is important, but your response provides valuable information to others, thus solidifying your business as reliable and putting the message out there that you care about your customers, which also implies you care about the product and services you offer too. Lastly, an astounding 95% said that if their issue is resolved, they would return and continue to use that business. And over two-thirds of these people would pay up to 15% more if they’re assured a better experience in the future.
Review responding may take time, but the benefits clearly outweigh any reason not to engage with your customers. They have taken the time to let others know how great you are or raise a valid concern, so show them you care and get back with a thanks, or a solution to their problem. Review responses make your company look good, they address a need which your customers are crying out for, and overall create more business for you in the long run.