According to Podium’s 2021 State of Reviews, consumers require a minimum 3.4 star rating to consider engaging with a business, so improving your online ranking is essential if you want customers to even think about doing business with you.
In recent years, consumer behaviors around finding and choosing local businesses online have become incredibly nuanced—consumers are not just looking for five stars anymore. Now they’re paying attention to six different factors when it comes to reviews: quantity, quality, consistency, relevancy, diversity, and review responses. And that last one has become increasingly important in helping them make their decision.
With more and more local businesses emerging every year, your business has to go above and beyond to compete, and this doesn’t just mean smiling and wishing them well as they leave your business. It means proving to them—before they even decide to make a purchase—that you care about your customers. And the absolute best way to do that is to respond to all customer reviews.
Business responses offer insight into how responsive, responsible, and caring a business is. Responses tell the consumer how the business is potentially going to treat them. In fact, 56% of consumers say that a business’s responses to reviews have changed their perspective on a business.
Not only do customers appreciate your response, but it makes you seem more human, and it makes the experience more personalized. Personalization is one of the top priorities for consumers, so personalizing the customer journey by responding to reviews can lend a hand to enticing potential new customers.
Reviews influence 87% of consumers in discovering a local business, so your response conveys a sense of inherent trust, and reassures potential customers that your business will go out of its way to meet their expectations.
Plus, with so many alternative options available, 66% of customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, so responding to a review could have a big impact on whether or not a customer chooses to continue doing business with you.
If you’re curious to learn more about how responding to reviews can impact your business, or you want to find out how customers’ expectations are shifting, read Podium’s 2021 State of Reviews for more info.