The weather is changing, and so are consumers’ spending habits. According to one survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers, “Summer is the second most expensive season of the year. Poll participants spend an average of $2,229 in the Summer, while spending $2,314 in the Winter, $2,064 in the Fall, and $1,952 in the Spring.”
The summer months bring a boom in travel, tourism, and outdoor entertainment, with 85% of consumers saying they plan to travel this summer and 42% saying they intend to travel more than they did the previous summer. Other research shows that consumers spent 10% more on goods during Summer 2022 than Summer 2021, with some of last summer’s Amazon best-sellers including pool accessories, beach gear, hammocks, insect repellents, and water bottles.
On the other hand, many industries experience the opposite effect, confronting a yearly “summer slowdown” marked by slumping sales and sluggish performance. For instance, while the summer is traditionally a busy season for restaurants as the warmer weather invites outdoor dining, the restaurant industry saw a slowdown in Summer 2022 tied to inflation and tightened spending.
Whether you’re expecting business to speed up or slow down this summer, you can put your brand in a better, more profitable position by implementing a robust review management strategy. Monitoring and managing your reviews will help you reach a larger number of people, rank higher in local searches, establish greater trust in your brand, and reduce churn by delivering better customer service — not to mention a few other benefits, which we’ll discuss in this article. We’ll also cover why your business needs to prioritize customer service this summer, why review management is an essential part of customer service, and the top nine industries most impacted by customer ratings and reviews
Keep reading to learn how you can make 2023 your brand’s best summer ever by embracing a customer-focused review management strategy this season.
Why Providing Great Customer Service is More Important than Ever for Businesses
Every successful business knows that customer satisfaction is key. But exactly how much impact does providing great service have on your business? Here are a few compelling statistics that drive home the massive importance of customer service in 2023:
- According to Gartner, customers are over 90% more likely — 94%, to be exact — to make repeat purchases from a brand that provides them with incredible service.
- According to Bain&Co, brand advocates are anywhere from 600% to 1,400% more valuable to your business than brand detractors.
- According to Qualtrics, customers who have a good experience with your brand are over five times more likely to recommend your product or service.
You need to prioritize stellar service if you want to stand out from competitors, entice consumers to try your brand, and keep your existing customers loyal. And one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways you can provide better service is simply to start replying to your reviews.
As Google Support puts it, “When you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback.” Indeed recommends responding to business reviews for the same reason, as does Gartner Digital Markets, which writes, “Actively responding to user reviews makes customers feel heard, respected, and valued, and eventually turns them into your greatest advocates.”
Shout About Us’ response scribe service delivers speedy, professional, on-brand replies to your reviewers in 24 hours or less, including reviews on leading platforms like Yelp, Google, and Facebook. You can take a hands-on or hands-off approach to suit your needs, with optional abilities to review and reject or edit responses, request response revisions, incorporate automatic signatures into responses, and more.
Learn more about our review reply service for agencies, franchises, and brands, or explore the other review management solutions we provide. Otherwise, keep reading to find out which business types are most strongly affected by ratings and reviews.
What Types of Businesses Are Most Impacted by Online Reviews and Ratings?
Let’s be clear on one thing: all brands are strongly impacted by their reviews and ratings. This is an unavoidable reality of doing business in 2023, with data showing that virtually 100% of consumers now check local business reviews, including 76% who either “always” read reviews or report reading them on a regular basis.
With that being said, some types of businesses are more sensitive than others to the influence of reviews. According to one survey, here were the top nine industries most strongly affected by customer reviews, ranked by the percentage of consumers who answered “very important” in response to the question, “How important a part do online reviews play in your decision to use them?”
- Service businesses and tradespeople (55%)
- Healthcare (53%)
- Automotive services (52%)
- Care services (52%, tied with automotive services)
- Financial and legal services (48%)
- Pet services (40%)
- Food and drink (34%)
- Real estate (33%)
- Beauty and wellness (31%)
Not only is review management a powerful strategy for improving the customer experience, like we discussed in the previous section — it’s also a massive factor in consumers’ shopping decisions, particularly in industries like healthcare, real estate, and home services.
If you’re in one of these industries, managing your reviews is vital — and even if you aren’t, review management still offers numerous benefits for your business. Read on to learn six ways that managing and responding to your reviews can help make 2023 your most profitable summer ever.
Benefits of Managing, Monitoring, and Responding to Reviews
You already know that the ratings and write-ups your business receives on review platforms like Google, Yelp, Trustpilot, and Tripadvisor impact the likelihood of consumers choosing your brand. For example, 38% of consumers won’t consider using a brand unless it has a minimum 4-star rating, and another 16% won’t consider it without a minimum 4.5-star rating (11%) or perfect 5-star rating (5%).
What you might not know is that your responses to reviews can be just as impactful as the reviews themselves. For example, the way you engage with your reviews directly impacts the percentage of consumers who are willing to use your business, with 88% saying they are either “highly” (34%) or “fairly” (54%) likely to choose a company that “responds to all reviews, positive or negative.”
If that’s not enough to convince you, here are six more reasons to start monitoring and responding to your reviews this summer:
1. Improve your local search ranking. Ranking higher in local searches is key to gaining more brand visibility and outperforming your area competitors. Google recommends responding to reviews as one of its tips for improving your local rankings, a topic we covered here.
2. Build trust in your brand. Trust matters because it’s a vital ingredient for both acquiring and retaining customers. Unfortunately for businesses, consumer trust is substantially lower than most companies think it is, with one PwC study finding, “87% of executives think customers highly trust their companies, when in reality it is roughly 3.0%.” The good news is that responding to reviews and personally engaging with your customers helps increase trust in your brand, driving better outcomes for your business.
3. Reduce customer churn. Businesses can decrease churn and reduce the associated costs by providing incredible service — and, as we discussed a little earlier in this article, that’s where having a robust review strategy comes into play. The best way to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one is to apologize for their disappointing experience and assure them you’ll work to make things right, which you have an opportunity to do whenever you reply to a negative review.
4. Create brand evangelists. In addition to reducing churn, leveling up your customer service has another benefit: helping you create enthusiastic fans who will rave about your brand and provide social proof to other consumers.
5. Learn what needs aren’t being met. Payment glitches, inattentive service, lack of accessibility, and other issues will prevent customers from returning to or recommending your business. That means you lose repeat business from the original customer, plus the friends or family to whom they might otherwise have suggested your brand. Monitoring your reviews provides you with actionable insights about issues and pain points that are detracting from a positive customer experience, enabling you to meet your customers’ specific needs, create happy, loyal promoters, and generate more positive buzz.
6. Increase your company’s star rating. Most consumers don’t expect a perfect 5-star rating; but on the other hand, few are willing to purchase poorly-rated products or services. While you can’t control your ratings, you can help improve them by responding to your reviews. Additionally, anywhere from 45% to 53% of consumers say they would be willing to consider changing a negative review if they received an appropriate response from the business.
Get Your Business Ready for Summer 2023 with Our Review Management Platform
At Shout About Us, we take a personalized approach to review management that empowers you and your clients to thrive. Our bespoke review reply service ensures that your reviewers receive friendly and courteous responses that align with your brand’s voice and values — always in 24 hours or less. No matter how many review sites, locations, or time zones you need to stay on top of, our centralized platform and review response service make the process streamlined and effortless.
Discover why Jersey Mike’s Subs, Sizzler, Suds Creative, Soapy Joe’s, Talentcare, V Digital Services, Wyndham Garden Hotels, Broadway Restaurant Group, CallSource, G5, and thousands of other brands trust Shout About Us to manage some of their most valuable assets: their reputations. Book a demo and see how your organization could benefit.
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.