So why do consumer reviews matter to your business? It’s simple – consumer reviews can increase conversions. Here’s why your brand needs good and bad consumer reviews.
A 2015 study by Bright Local found a shocking 92% of consumers read online reviews and 33% read consumer reviews on a regular basis. Personally, I am one of the 92%. I read reviews prior to any online purchase I make. Reviews play an extremely significant role in buying decisions. As the number of consumers who read online reviews increase, brands need to engage with the consumer. Engagement demonstrates appreciation in consumer loyalty and retention.
Trust and transparency are two essential traits to consumers. As Mat Franken states, “truly caring about the consumer is an important component in building and sustaining an authentic brand-consumer relationship.” Whether on a website, Facebook, Instagram or Yelp page, commenting on a consumer review is an opportunity for a brand to build trust and long-lasting relationships.
Consumer reviews are important to search engines because reviews matter to the buyer. According to Moz’s 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors, online reviews ranked fifth among the most important search SEO ranking factors. Local SEO ranking is also improved as reviews direct links from sites with high authority to your local website.
One of the most significant benefits of a bad consumer review is what you can learn from it. Turn a bad review into an opportunity. Brands who take the time to learn from their reviews gain deeper insight into the problem at hand. Monitoring consumer review trends allow brands to take action and fix a product or a process.
Bad reviews are extremely valuable. Reading a narrative (good or bad) on someone’s experience allows the consumer to gain transparency and provides a platform to right a wrong. The consumer feels as though they have done their research and obtained specific information into the product or brand. Good reviews are great but bad reviews can be better, if handled properly. Bad reviews can deepen the consumer relationship by simply and quickly responding to the review.
Responding to consumer reviews gives you the opportunity to build trust, loyalty and relationships. Key components to responding to reviews are to respond promptly, be brief and write like a human. By applying the principles of rapid response, negative reviews take priority and should be handled as quickly as possible. Standard response times are less than twenty-four hours. Comments are considered free research. Make sure your responses are brief and to the point. In most negative reviews the consumer wants to be heard. Redirect them to your customer service phone number or email. And finally, writing like a person and not a corporation humanizes the business to the consumer. It makes them feel as though they are not just a number and they truly matter.
Consider this sample response. Susie, I am sorry to hear you are having issues with your shoes. We’d like to fix this for you. Please contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (952) 215-0780 so we can have a replacement sent to you. Thank you, Bluewater Client Service Team
Leveraging good or bad consumer reviews is an important facet for any business. One that can boost sales. Remember that good reviews are great and bad reviews can be better. Strategically handling bad reviews can add credibility to your positive reviews and allow your brand to showcase your excellent customer service skills.
Are your responsible for responding to your brands customer reviews? What advice do you have for responding to good and bad reviews? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow Bluewater on Facebook and Twitter for more updates and news in franchise marketing.
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