Responding to reviews can help your business gather valuable insight, create customer advocates, and even win new business. What’s more, brands that respond to 60% of reviews see an average increase of .28 in their star-rating.* But there is no shortage of places where consumers today can leave feedback — and monitoring and responding to reviews at scale is no small challenge.
Here’s how to determine who should manage review response for your business — and what that looks like at scale.
Who should respond, and what is the process?
The general template for a successful review response is the same, regardless of business size. But while it’s easy to assign this responsibility to one local manager at a small business, deciding who to put in charge of monitoring and responding to reviews is more complicated in a franchise model.
To avoid confusion, your business needs to make a decision about whether review response will be handled centrally — by either a corporate manager or customer care team — or by individual local managers.
There are pros and cons to each method. A centralized approach is more likely to ensure consistency and makes it more certain that responses will adhere to corporate brand guidelines. On the other hand, empowering your local managers divides the workload. It also makes it more likely that feedback can be implemented in an actionable way at specific business locations — but it could result in inconsistent performance.
How quickly do I need to respond?
Ideally, you should respond to your customers as quickly as possible, while still providing a thoughtful and helpful response. 82% of customers say that getting their issue resolved quickly is the most important factor in a great customer experience.**
If you’re curious about average response times by business vertical, the majority of retailers, food service, healthcare, and financial services institutions respond within a week. The fastest vertical? Beauty and spa businesses — over 70% respond within a day!*
What happens if I need help responding to reviews at scale?
Once you’ve determined whether a corporate care team or local managers will handle your reviews, you’re off to a good start. That said, issuing high quality responses is time consuming, and some brands decide to explore automated tools that can help.
These automated tools can certainly save you a lot of time, but it’s crucial that your end response still sounds human. People are good at sniffing out AI-sounding responses, and if yours seem automated, then you aren’t providing the level of personalized customer support you’d like to aim for.
Essentially, automated review response tools can be a great time saver — but your business should monitor how they’re functioning in order to ensure the personal connection and customer experience that you want.
Explore more strategies in The Complete Guide to Reputation Management.
*Yext Proprietary Study, 2019