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More consumers are reading online reviews than ever, and these reviews significantly influence purchasing decisions. According to a 2022 BrightLocal survey:
Whether you run a mobile dog grooming service or a barbershop, beauty salon or busy restaurant, a portion of your customer base will want to give their two cents about your business. Even more potential customers want to read those opinions. Customer reviews can be genuinely valuable tools for improving customer engagement, generating trust, and ultimately boosting sales.
Digital reviews are critical to customer engagement and business growth. Let’s explore how your business can take advantage of the different review platforms available.
As a business owner, it's highly unlikely that you have bucketloads of time on your hands. It's worthwhile knowing which platforms are worth your effort, and which aren't. In fact, 85% of all reviews come from only four sites.
More consumers are using Google to evaluate local businesses than ever before; 81% googled local businesses in 2021, compared to 63% tin 2020. Plus, with zero-click searches rising to 65% in 2020 and customer reviews helping to boost SEO performance for brands, Google clearly remains the number one review platform your business needs to consider.
The best place to start, if you haven’t already, is by creating a free Google My Business account. You’ll then be able to claim your Google My Business listing, manage your profile across the platform — including Google Maps — and set up notifications to receive reviews instantly.
Google reviews are essential to create credibility and build the reputation of your brand. Google has even confirmed that responding to reviews of any nature increases your website's SEO performance. It raises an obvious question for business owners — how to respond to Google reviews, both favourable and otherwise?
What’s great about having business accounts on each of the above platforms is the scope to proactively manage positive and negative reviews. By responding appropriately to the poor or indifferent as well as the glowing reviews, your business demonstrates its willingness to listen to customer concerns while aiming to exceed expectations.
You might be able to restore the loyalty of a customer following a less than ideal experience, or build an even stronger connection with a happy customer in the moment. At the same time, you’ll show potential customers that you take the customer experience seriously and you’re prepared to acknowledge — and better yet, fix — any quality-of-service issues raised in the public domain.
At face level this appears to be an easy win, and in many ways that’s true. But remember that responding to positive feedback can build on the momentum the customer has already created. How can you add value to this interaction?
Here's how to respond to a 5 star review on Google, or any other platform.
Are you getting positive feedback on a regular basis? Here are some examples you can use to make the most of them.
Thanks so much for taking the time to post this review and offering such positive feedback.
We pride ourselves on providing a service that exceeds our customers’ expectations, so I’m very pleased to hear about your in-store experience.
Is there anything we can do to make your experience even better next time?
Thanks again for your review, John, Owner.
I'm thrilled to hear that you loved your meal at our restaurant.
Our chefs enjoy mixing up the menu with seasonal produce, so I hope to see you here again soon – say hello next time you pop in for dinner.
Thanks again for stopping by, Jane, Owner.
1 or 2 star ratings immediately stand out for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, bad reviews come hand in hand with business. It’s highly likely you’ll receive one at some point. Think of less desirable reviews as opportunities to show off your exceptional customer service skills.
A business that can resolve problems outlined in negative customer reviews can actually end up reaping rewards down the line. Your approach here provides the public with a strong sense that your business really does care about its customers. On the flip side, ignoring poor reviews will only damage your reputation and customer relationships further.
What should you do about a bad review? Here's how to respond to a 1 star review on Google, or another platform.
Finally, don’t forget the following best practices for managing reviews.
Zeller can help your business with this final, key step of the customer journey by making the payment process as smooth as your customer review responses. Zeller Terminal accepts every common card type (even AMEX), giving customers one less reason to be frustrated. You’ll never need to refuse a customer’s card of choice, or send them to the nearest ATM to get cash out. Payments can also be accepted over the phone.
Your chances of receiving a positive online review will indirectly improve when your business takes the time and hassle out of every transaction. With Zeller, transactions are quickly processed in seconds — which means less chances of queues forming, and a positive transaction experience for all.