Reviews aren’t simply nice to have — they’re essential to the success of your business. That’s because consumers’ shopping habits are strongly influenced by factors like the quantity and recency of a brand’s reviews, along with the company’s overall star rating on platforms like Yelp and Google. Consumers are also influenced by business owners’ responses to reviews, with over half of the participants in one survey — 54% — saying they “feel positive about using a business” when business owners reply to customer feedback.
So, what does this mean for your business? If you don’t monitor and respond to reviews, you’ll lose out on precious opportunities to attract, convert, and retain customers. You’ll also miss out on a goldmine of valuable customer feedback, which your business can leverage to deliver a better, more profitable product or service.
Put simply, ignoring your reviews is costing you money — and in an increasingly crowded and competitive market, that’s an edge you can’t afford to lose.
The good news is that Shout About Us and our new service, Response Scribe, make it easy to start managing your reviews any time — no matter how many ratings your business receives or how many locations you need to monitor. That empowers you to take control of your reputation, engage with customers more effectively, and drive more business through your doors, whether they’re digital or physical.
Read on to learn why ignoring reviews is a costly mistake for businesses — and on the flipside, how your organization benefits by implementing a robust review response strategy.
How Much Does a Bad Review Cost Your Business (And What Can You Do About It)?
Data from the SEO company BrightLocal shows that:
- Almost all consumers (98%) “read online reviews for local businesses” on an at least occasional basis
- Most consumers have used Google to check reviews in the last 12 months (87%), followed by Yelp (48%) and Facebook (46%)
- Nearly half of consumers (46%) “feel that online business reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations from friends or family”
- 69% of consumers would “feel positive” about using a business with positive reviews
- 34% of consumers are “highly likely” to use businesses that reply to all reviews, compared to just 8% for businesses that never reply to reviews
Considering statistics like these, you likely won’t be surprised to learn that negative reviews can put a dent in your profits. But you might be surprised by just how costly a poor review truly is.
According to estimates from Steritech, an auditing and brand protection service, bad reviews translate to a whopping $200 billion in yearly losses for retail businesses — and just one negative review is capable of costing as much as $3,000 in lost business over the course of a single 12-month period.
Even if that estimate were slashed to just a third, that still adds up to $1,000 lost for every negative review received — and that’s just in the course of one year.
Unfortunately, you have no control over the types of reviews you ultimately receive. However, you can take back some control by monitoring and managing your reviews.
When you respond to an online complaint instead of ignoring it, you open the doors to a conversation with that customer. That enables your team to resolve issues more rapidly and more successfully, even if they’re challenging or complex. Simply by monitoring your reviews for dissatisfied customers, you can reach out swiftly where help is needed and improve customer retention.
Remember: if left undealt with, a bad review can cost up to $3,000 per year. While you (usually) can’t remove a bad review, you can mitigate any resulting losses by responding to negative comments swiftly and ensuring that your customers receive support.
3 More Reasons Your Business Needs a Reputation Management Strategy
You’ve already learned about some of the reasons why monitoring and managing customer reviews is integral to the financial health of your business, like saving money by improving customer retention. However, those aren’t the only ways your organization can benefit from prioritizing online reputation management. Here are three more reasons your business should implement a review management strategy ASAP:
- Replying to reviews can provide SEO benefits. In a Google support article discussing how to improve your local ranking on Google, it’s recommended to “respond to reviews that users leave about your business” because “it shows that you value your customers and their feedback.”
- When you respond to positive reviews, you can mention promotions, deals, sales, and other share-worthy news about your brand. That can help you attract business from readers who are browsing reviews and may be unfamiliar with your organization.
- Glowing reviews are the perfect endorsements to share on your website and/or social media pages — but you probably won’t spot them if you’re not monitoring your reviews.
How to Manage Your Reviews Effectively and Efficiently
The bottom line is that poor reviews cost your organization money. Monitoring and responding to negative reviews will help you reduce those losses by enabling your team to identify and resolve customer complaints efficiently. A customer may even decide to change a negative review to a positive review or rating, depending on their follow-up experience having the issue resolved. Responding to negative reviews won’t change every unhappy customer’s mind — but it will increase retention, while also showing your brand is committed to excellent customer service and support.
While negative reviews tend to steal more attention, it’s equally important to monitor and respond to good reviews. Acknowledging and thanking your supporters helps you build brand loyalty, foster relationships with your customers, and create superfans who will generate buzz around your product. Plus, as we went over the previous section, replying to reviews also has SEO benefits.
The question for businesses is how to implement a review management strategy that works. Shout About Us makes it easy by providing a turnkey, all-in-one solution that covers generating, monitoring, removing, and responding to reviews, bringing simplicity to reputation management. Choose between an AI-powered, human-powered, or hybrid review response plan to fit your budget and needs — and start connecting with customers like never before.
Take Back Control of Your Brand’s Reputation with Our Response Scribe Service and Review Management Platform
If you’ve neglected or been overwhelmed by reviews in the past, don’t worry — it’s never too late to change gears and adopt a new strategy. As we’ve covered in this article, there are numerous benefits you can gain when you start responding to reviews, like boosting customer trust and loyalty, improving your local ranking on Google, and even creating opportunities to use keywords. Responding also gives you an edge over the 75% of brands that say they never reply to negative comments — a strategy that, as you’ve learned in this article, risks driving potential business away and costing opportunities for growth.
With Shout About Us’ secure and intuitive platform, managing your reviews and reputation is easy. Decide how hands-on or hands-off you prefer to be, then leverage AI or human-powered responses to provide superior support to your customers fast. Our response scribes deliver custom hand-written responses within 24 hours or less, while our AI-powered and hybrid options maximize value.
Learn more about the solutions we offer and schedule a demo to see it in action. Contact us today to discover how reputation management could give your business a boost.
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.