A Quick Response to Google Reviews Pays Off

Customer reviews posted on a business’ Google profile have become critical marketing collateral. This is especially true for local search. The top three or four names on a local Google Maps listing are much more likely to be called than any others. The order of business names on those lists is not random. Google has several factors it uses to calculate who receives the top spots on those lists. The reviews and your response to those reviews on your Google business listing are critical in determining where your business ranks on those lists.

The Importance of Google Reviews to Your Online Reputation
The name Google has become synonymous with online search, just like Kleenex is for tissues, or for how Coke has become the common name for soda drinks in some parts of the country. Although Google has some big competitors, it is still the most widely used search engine by a significant majority. Sparktoto’s data shows 92.96% of all online traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps.

Google gives preference to Google business listings that have a higher volume of positive reviews. The higher your Google star rating, the higher you will rank on their listing of local businesses included in a search. The higher you rank, the more likely a viewer is to look at your listing. Studies have shown that having just five reviews could improve your chances of making
a sale by 270%.

Why It Is Critical to Respond to All Reviews
Many shoppers will simply compare star ratings, but others will take the time to look at the reviews. They want to see what customers like or didn’t like about your service or products. The younger generation, adults aged 34 and under, have a high trust level of online reviews. Over 90% say they trust online reviews just as much as they would trust a personal recommendation.

Both Google and shoppers are interested in whether a business takes the time to respond to posted reviews. Companies that respond to reviews may improve their ranking with Google. When you post a response to feedback, it sends your response to the person who posted the review. How businesses respond to negative feedback is of special interest to shoppers. A polite
and appropriate response to a bad review can turn it into a positive marketing tool.

How Fast You Respond Makes A Difference
Google pays attention to how long it takes you to respond to your business listing reviews. The faster you reply, even if it is just a quick “Thank you,” adds to your ranking position with the search engine giant. Yelp, another popular online review source, will penalize businesses that are not responsive to customer feedback by removing some functions from their accounts.

As customers read reviews, they pay attention to dates. In the past, consumers have said they expect a company to respond to their online reviews within seven days, but that seems overly generous given today’s expectation for instant gratification. In the hotel industry, most major
brands expect their managers to respond to online feedback within 24-48 hours. How quickly you respond affects your overall reputation, not just the relationship with the individual who left the review.

A Quick Response Can Turn a Negative Into a Positive
Many times, a customer who complains or leaves a negative comment just wants to know they are heard. A quick response satisfies that need, but going a little further can be more beneficial. In your response, ask the customer to contact you directly to learn more about what prompted their poor review. This will allow you to offer a resolution and to express your desire to make
them a happy customer. If you are able to turn the situation around, you can then ask them to either revise their review or put a comment on the review acknowledging that the issue was resolved.

As you can see, a quick and thoughtful response improves your online reputation with Google and with consumers who read the reviews on your business listing. Helping organizations respond faster to online feedback and with the most appropriate response is the mission of Guest-Note. We would love to tell you more about our innovative service.

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