Last month, we explored some of the key factors to consider when choosing a reputation management vendor to partner with your agency, such as whether they offer social posting, how easy their platform is to utilize, and whether they use risky “black hat” techniques like publishing fake reviews. We also suggested choosing a vendor that offers a review response service, such as our response scribe service, which enhances your ability to engage customers, build trust in your clients’ brands, and help to foster growth.
As we discussed in that article, a reputation management strategy can yield quantifiable benefits for your agency and the clients you work with, including better client retention, increased revenue generation, and ultimately, a stronger position against your local competitors. This week, we’ll dig deeper into these benefits by taking a look at seven revealing statistics that offer at-a-glance insights into the real value of reputation management.
Ready to streamline, accelerate, and elevate your agency above the competition? Read on to learn what your business can achieve by leveraging a reputation management service, from time saved to revenue gained — then ask how Shout About Us can help you get the ball rolling.
What is Online Reputation Management, and Why is it So Important to Monitor Customer Reviews?
Various studies have shown that the average American spends anywhere from five to ten hours a day, or more, looking at a screen. In an era where most of us are glued to our laptops or mobile devices, it’s no surprise that online reviews have also gained traction. In fact, a 2020 survey by BrightLocal found that 79% of consumers trusted online reviews as much as their own friends and family members. The same survey also showed that over 90% of consumers would be more likely to use or avoid a brand if they knew it had received positive or negative reviews.
In addition to becoming more important to consumers, online reviews are also growing in number and frequency of submission. Yelp, for instance, counted more than 220 million reviews as of 2020, despite reporting fewer than 10 million in 2009, reflecting a dramatic increase over a short span of time. And with calls for self-isolation and social distancing, the explosion in online reviews has been driven even further by COVID-19. According to McKinsey & Company, online reviews have recently experienced a “surge in volume,” which climbed “40 to 80 percent higher during the core pandemic months in 2020, compared with 2019.”
As consumers become more tech-savvy and spend more time using their phones or computers, businesses must adapt — not only by launching apps or building websites, but also by paying closer attention to their online reputations, which are heavily impacted by customer reviews. According to BrightLocal’s survey data, reviews are especially impactful in the medical, restaurant, hotel, automotive, and dental industries, where higher percentages of respondents said that “reviews were important” as compared to other industries. 87% of respondents expressed a belief that restaurant reviews were important, for example, compared to just 75% who felt that hair/beauty service, taxi/car rental service, or photography service reviews were important.
Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of actively cultivating a better, more positive public image and brand perception. One of the most important components of reputation management is review management, which involves generating, monitoring, and replying to reviews your business receives on mobile apps or websites like Yelp. To stay organized, your business should utilize an online reputation management platform — ideally, one that’s been designed with agencies’ needs in mind. For example, SEO Trench recommends Shout About Us’ review generation service, which you can learn more about here.
But why should your agency collaborate with a vendor who provides ORM services, such as responding to 1-star reviews? What are some specific, concrete examples of ways that you and your clients can benefit?
We’re glad you asked. Here are seven statistics that demonstrate the immense potential that ORM has to boost growth and drive revenue.
ORM by the Numbers: 7 Stats that Reveal How Reputation and Review Management Can Benefit Your Agency
- $143,000 — The amount of new revenue our clients generate on average within just six months of making the switch to Shout About Us. That’s an average total of more than $23,000 per month.
- 0.7 stars — The average rating increase our clients see, climbing from an average rating of 3.9 stars to 4.6 stars. Data from Harvard, Berkeley, and more recent studies have all shown that even minor increases in star ratings — in some cases, as little as a tenth of a star (such as 4.4 to 4.5) — can translate to massive increases in sales and conversion rates.
- 96 hours — The average amount of time our clients save on in-house work in their first month. Based on a nine-to-five schedule or eight-hour workday, that’s 12 extra business days!
- 24 hours — The maximum amount of time that 20% of reviewers expect to wait for an owner response, according to BrightLocal’s data. Our responders ensure that all of your clients’ reviews receive personalized replies within 24 hours, providing a higher level of customer satisfaction.
- 75 sites — The number of websites our ORM platform enables your team to effortlessly monitor, including Google, Yelp, Facebook, and industry-specific platforms such as Apartments.com. If there’s a platform you’d like added to our default list, let us know and we’ll make sure it’s included on your custom dashboard.
- 52% — The average increase in revenue that businesses earn once they obtain more than nine recent reviews. Whether you prefer to take a manual or automated approach, our review generation service simplifies the process of collecting customer feedback — and driving revenue.
- 43% — The average increase in customer retention enjoyed by companies that use our custom review response service. Learn more about how to improve your client retention — and how review management plays a key role.
Schedule a Demo of Our Review Response Service or Review Navigator Today
Responding to reviews is one of the most effective and efficient ways to manage your reputation or those of your clients. Depending on the reviewer’s original comment, your response is an opportunity to:
- Highlight positive corporate values, such as a commitment to inclusivity or sustainability
- Ensure that customers feel heard and valued by providing personalized replies to their feedback
- Advertise great promotions or deals you’re currently offering — without having to pay for ad space
- Showcase great service and attract people to your brand, from new customers to talented job applicants
- Prevent unhappy customers from switching brands or service providers
- Gain actionable insights about your business by starting conversations with your customers
Our custom review reply service allows you to capture these benefits without having to divert time or personnel away from your other projects. Be as hands-on or hands-off as you prefer, playing an active role in our process or letting our experienced responders handle the writing work for you. Whether you’re in need of a review generation service, a review reply provider for your clients, or a secure and powerful review management platform, Shout About Us provides award-winning technology backed by 24-hour, US-based support.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.