It’s important that your business has ears on the ground. It is imperative that businesses monitor and quickly respond to positive and negative online reviews. According to a recent study, 70% of respondents said their opinion was changed after a business responded to a review. With that said, you should choose a review to response ratio that is realistic for your business and stick to it. A well rounded ratio should have a review to response ratio around 1 response for every 4 reviews.

Positive reviews are customer experience gold. They tell your customers that you’re a business with whom they should engage and inform you on what your business is doing well. When you receive a positive review, make sure to respond to a few and show that your business cares about and is proud of the experience they were able to provide.

Negative reviews are clearly more difficult to digest than are positive ones. But, they allow your business a few unique opportunities. First of all, negative reviews allow your business to see what needs to be improved upon. Large enterprise companies spend millions of dollars each year to receive customer feedback. With online reviews, you can see what needs to be improved upon for little to no cost. The major cost associated with a negative review is the possibility for lost business by other potential customers seeing that review. This brings us to the next point; responding to negative reviews.

Taking the time to respond to a negative review can have a large impact. In fact, 41% of consumers see a brand’s response to an online review as a sign that the brand really cares about its customers. This is a chance for your business to act fast and right whatever wrong the customer feels your business made. If you’re successful, you might even get the upset customer to take down the negative review.
The example to the right does a great job of taking a cool-headed approach in responding. They follow a few simple steps that can turn this negative into a positive for any potential customer
What happens if the negative response isn’t legitimate? Hootsuite suggests that regardless of whether or not the complaint is legitimate, you should address it and apologize. Tell your side of the story in a sympathetic manner and offer to help correct the issue in any way possible.

Online reviews, if responded to quickly and appropriately, can serve as a revolving feedback loop.By utilizing positive and negative online reviews you can effectively implement, test, and alter processes that affect your customers’ experience. For example, a customer might leave a 3-star review for an automotive dealership stating the cause for discontent was the hour she had to wait after the paperwork was finalized. That dealership might take this feedback and adjust their process to clean the car while the paperwork is being completed.
In the scope of customer experience, online reviews provide a cost-effective way to identify gaps or inefficiencies and improve upon them. Those gaps or inefficiencies in business processes can be the difference between a repeat customer and a one-time customer.
Online reviews can also help your business identify potential case studies and evangelists. 
One of the most useful features of online reviews, for customer experience purposes, is that a business can generally see who left the review. This provides a great opportunity for businesses to showcase people who were satisfied and likely to refer someone to your business. Case studies and quotes are powerful tools that sales and marketing can use in a number of areas. Utilize your happy customers’ satisfaction by showing others that you can offer the same to them.

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