3 Signs Your Business Needs Customer Review Management

By Jane Garfinkel - Review Response Specialist

Reputation management processes are becoming standard practice for small businesses. In a recent study by TripAdvisor, 97% of business owners said online reputation management is important to their business. Podium, the leading customer interaction and reputation management platform, was recently ranked 13th on the Inc. 5000. Clearly, reputation management is important. If you still need convincing, check out the three signs that your business needs an online review monitoring and response service. Do any of them apply to you?

1. Your local search ranking is not what it should be

Did you know that since Google moved to the slimmed-down, 3-listing map pack in 2015, map pack results appear at the top of organic results 93% of the time for local searches? And you probably already know the value of being #1 in search but as a reminder - the #1 spot in search generally sees CTR’s of around 30%. Achieving the #1 spot in the map pack should be a focus of any local business.

Up your ranking by focusing on online reviews. According to Search Engine Journal, reviews are the most prominent local SEO ranking factor. Google values the volume, frequency, and quality of reviews on Google My Business pages. Increasing the number of reviews means an increase in your ranking.

Importantly, Google also values responses to reviews. This is something you have direct control over. Responding to reviews gives you the opportunity to pack in SEO rich text, further improving your ranking. Widewail, only months old, is already seeing an increase in referral traffic received by our clients. Consistently monitoring and responding to reviews works, and our clients are the proof.

2. Your business is not receiving enough reviews

The amount of online reviews your business receives matters. Consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business. Even if your reviews are positive, without enough of them consumers may not give you a shot to earn their business. Having the right number of reviews and a consistent volume of new reviews on a monthly basis will give your business credibility and a better chance at gaining the lead locally.

Further, older reviews don’t have as much sway as newer reviews. In fact, according to Bright Local only 4% of consumers pay attention to reviews older than a year. That means all those five stars reviews you worked so hard to receive when your business first opened aren’t very valuable today. For reviews to be meaningful, they need to be posted often and at a consistent rate.

A simple way to increase your review volume is by responding to customers. Visitors will see that your business cares about feedback and actively engages with their clients and will be more likely to leave a review after doing business with you. According to the Harvard Business Review, businesses who respond to their reviews receive an additional 12% more reviews as compared to businesses who don’t.

3. Negative reviews are being left unresolved on your company’s page

We wrote a blog post all about how negative reviews can add value to your business. In summary, responding to negative reviews increases your ratings, earns back customers, and helps you improve your business. However, these benefits are only gained if reviews are answered. There are additional consequences for just letting negative reviews slide.

For example, if a consumer sees unanswered negative reviews they are more likely to leave a negative review themselves. In the same Harvard Business Review study, it was found that when hotels began answering their online reviews the number of negative reviews they received dropped. It was also found that the number of reviews containing unsubstantiated negative feedback were reduced as a result of actively responding. Those reviewers who like to make up fantastic tales of poor customer service and faulty products were less likely to show themselves as a result of the business being engaged with their reviewers.

If your business is experiencing any of these issues it’s time to invest in review management software and services. A service like Widewail is affordable and valuable, bringing more customers to your site and to your store.

Jane Garfinkel