You already know that it’s crucial for businesses to respond to customer reviews. As we’ve explored in our blog over the years, responding to reviews has benefits like:
- Improving your customer service and retention
- Improving your local ranking on Google
- Making customers more likely to return to your business
- Making consumers more likely to try your brand
- Helping you stand apart from your competitors
- Providing damage control when reviews are negative
- Providing opportunities to talk about what makes your brand great
- Enhancing brand loyalty
Responding to reviews enables your business to reap these and other benefits. However, while that has long been the case, there’s now a new factor for businesses to consider: the recent rise of ChatGPT and other tools that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to generate text.
With AI becoming more prevalent—and more sophisticated—businesses need to answer the question: can AI tools be used to respond to reviews? Should they? If so, to what extent? What are the pros and cons of an AI-powered vs. human-powered approach? And is there a middle ground that combines the best attributes of both?
We’ll explore the answers by looking at five factors businesses should consider when comparing AI-powered vs. human-generated review response solutions, like Response Scribe from Shout About Us, which gives your brand multiple options. Read on to learn whether an AI-generated, human-generated, or hybrid response strategy is best for your team.
1. Extremely Negative or Sensitive Reviews
AI is improving rapidly, but still has a few limitations that might make it unideal as an exclusive solution—for instance, when handling a legally sensitive review that accuses your business of fraud, harassment, discrimination, or other issues.
In these instances, it’s usually recommended to use a people-powered or hybrid solution, ensuring a watchful set of eyes is protecting your business from liability and false accusations. For example, we offer a hybrid response plan that blends AI-generated responses to positive reviews with carefully hand-crafted responses to negative reviews, ensuring all of your bases are covered with both efficiency and a human touch.
Learn more about dealing with sensitive reviews that make serious negative claims against your brand.
2. Google Rankings and Personalization of Content
Google uses search algorithms that are made to push quality content to the top. Depending on countless factors — mobile-friendliness, domain authority, site speed, backlinks, quality content, site structure, and keyword optimization are only a few examples — websites can also be penalized, which causes their rankings to drop.
Google’s algorithm is capable of recognizing AI-generated content, which could potentially harm your ranking. On one hand, Google warns that “using automation — including AI — to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.” On the other, Google also acknowledges the role of automation in producing useful content, such as “sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts.”
Ultimately, it needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, says Google: “Using AI doesn’t give content any special gains. It’s just content. If it is useful, helpful, [and] original…it might do well in Search. If it doesn’t, it might not.”
One solution is to utilize a hybrid or people-powered approach that lets you apply personal, custom touches to every review response. This allows you to easily avoid producing spam or generic content, which Google penalizes regardless of whether it’s human- or AI-generated.
3. Cost and Efficiency
When it comes to up-front costs and efficiency, AI-powered solutions are a clear winner. Shout About Us provides a fully automated, AI-powered review response service for just $0.15 per response, providing a streamlined, cost-effective way to manage your reviews — without sacrificing the speed or professionalism of your responses. Your reviewers receive polished, helpful replies within moments, ensuring that issues and complaints can be resolved swiftly.
4. SEO and Keywords
When you respond to a review, you have an opportunity to include specific words and phrases in your response that can help your business rank. That includes branded keywords, or keywords that mention your brand name, and unbranded keywords, which are keywords that avoid using the name of your business. If you rely solely on AI, you might lose opportunities to insert branded keywords or other beneficial content—for example, using a reviewer’s mention of your “amenities” as a natural springboard to promote your new pool, gym, or parking area in your response.
Learn more about including keywords in review responses and how this strategy can be leveraged to benefit your business.
5. Convenience, Ease, and Simplicity
Our review response solutions are designed to be intuitive, streamlined, and simple to use. Whether you opt for a human-powered, AI-powered, or hybrid approach to responding, all offer total ease and convenience for your team.
For example, when you sign up for our AI-powered response service, you can connect your account and start generating responses right away — without needing to spend time and effort writing your own responses from scratch. When you choose our people-powered plan, personalized hand-written responses are delivered to every reviewer in 24 hours or less. That’s valuable time and energy that you can put toward other priorities, giving you the freedom to grow your business efficiently.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll have the ability to receive response alerts and activate review flagging, all with the peace of mind from 24/7 customer support. Talk to our team today about which of our solutions is the best fit for your organization.
Choose an AI-Powered, People-Powered, or Hybrid Review Response Solution to Fit Your Local Business’ Needs
Save time on responding, boost your Google ranking, and build stronger brand loyalty with an AI-powered response service that delivers professional replies to your customers within seconds. Or, explore hybrid and human-powered solutions that provide an unparalleled level of branding and customization. With Shout About Us’ flexible plans, you have the power to choose from an AI-powered, people-powered, or hybrid response strategy, giving you total control. And with the ability to switch plans at any time, you can adjust your strategy as your brand expands and evolves.
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.