“I love waiting for a response,” said no one, we’re guessing, ever. That’s going to be the first reason we give for why responding to online reviews in a timely manner is critical.
If a customer were to call a heating and electric company to request service, it’s in the business’s best interest to get back to them as as soon as possible—revenue is on the line. We can deduce that making customers wait is usually bad for business. Why wouldn’t this be the case after the transaction as well? Especially when there’s potential for developing a long-term customer relationship? That’s where responding to online reviews is critical.
No one likes to wait, especially when a business is taking their sweet time responding to online reviews, particularly when it’s about a negative experience. Even when a customer isn't expecting a response to their positive review, it's sure a pleasant surprise for them to read a response just a short time after posting it.
Businesses should have a strategy around how they will be responding to online reviews; it’s entwined with its customer service strategy and should involve promptness and sincerity. Here are a few reasons explaining why responding to online reviews in a timely manner is important:
Boost Your Google Rankings - The more a business responds to reviews, the higher it will rank in local Google searches. Google likes to see businesses and customers talking. So when a business is regularly responding, Google’s algorithm is more inclined to filter that business to the top of a consumer’s Google search, while the business that doesn’t respond may not rank as high.
Time Doesn’t Heal - Customers don’t forget negative experiences. They tell their friends, family, co-workers, Facebook friends, Twitter—the list is endless. When a business doesn’t respond promptly, the issue only grows in the customer's head and rightfully so. If you don’t respond to negative reviews quickly (we’re talking within an hour or two), you are likely to lose business. According to a WebPunch study 33% of online reviewers just want some sort of resolution. 12% want a response from an owner or manager, while 9% just want acknowledgment.
Get Them Back - When you respond to online reviews, you have the potential to turn a detractor into a promoter. Respond to them as quickly as possible and you will prove to them that they are top priority and that fixing their issue is of utmost importance. Putting them first and showing a sense of urgency is a great way to celebrate your customers.
Anyone Home? Timely responses to online reviews, negative and positive, means that someone is listening and that your business is active with your customer base. To us, that showss that your business is concerned about quality, getting feedback, and taking care of things quickly—all things that customers look for when choosing a business.
Everyone Likes a Listener - Responding to online reviews promptly may encourage others to keep the chatter up. No one likes talking if no one is listening. Respond to online reviews quickly and customers will be more inclined to add to the conversation.
Get out there in front of your customers. Keep the chatter about your business lively. Whether it’s a positive or negative review, respond and do it quickly so that the reviewee knows you’re there and that you care.