News Courtesy of Moz.com:
I’ve advocated the use of Google’s owner response review feature since it first rolled out in 2010. This vital vehicle defends brand reputation and revenue, offering companies a means of transforming dissatisfied consumers into satisfied ones, supporting retention so that less has to be spent on new customer acquisition. I consider review responses to be a core customer service responsibility. Yet, eight years into the existence of this feature, marketing forums are still filled with entry-level questions like:
- Should I respond to reviews?
- Should I respond to positive reviews?
- How should I respond to negative reviews?
Over the years, I’ve seen different local SEO consultants reply in differing degrees to these common threads, but as of May 11, 2018, both agencies and brands woke to a new day: the day on which Google announced it would be emailing notifications like this to consumers when a business responds to their reviews, prompting them to view the reply.
I missed this announcement. Granted, it only happened a few days ago. The author of this article makes a great point. Now that notifications are going out to business owners, the expectations of a response by the consumer will surely increase. In the past, I’ve always looked at writing a review for a business as a way to show appreciation or to vent. I generally don’t like writing negative reviews unless the service or product was extremely unsatisfactory. This includes deceptive practices by the business or rude/uncaring staff. As long as I could share my opinion with other potential customers, I didn’t expect a response.
These days, more and more businesses are taking reviews seriously. Those businesses that see the value (or harm) have been quick to respond to their customers. It’s like taking a customer service experience to a public forum. Instead of emailing directly, the experience is shared for all to see. It’s a good tactic to force a business’s hand if they aren’t responsive to your problems. At that point though, I suspect most people have already given up on wanting to use that service.
Now that notifications will be sent to businesses upon posted reviews, the expectation of a response will be great. I’m not just referring to negative reviews. If an already thrilled customer receives an appreciative response, it’s like putting the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. It might make them more inclined to refer friends or be an advocate for that business. On the flip side, these notifications will help increase awareness of unfair reviews. Those customers who expect the moon and then some. Even though the terms of service clearly indicate what they get. Some people think you should give them everything, regardless if it is included in the service.