The Importance of Responding to Online Reviews

5 star reviews bubbles coming from a phone

Did you know:

95% of people consult reviews before purchasing products or services.

88% of consumers are likely to use a business if they can see the business owner responds to all reviews, whether positive or negative.

87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022, up from 81% in 2021.

76% of consumers “regularly” read online reviews when browsing for local businesses.

If you haven’t been focusing on online reputation management and review ratings, it’s time to start. 

To better understand why handling reviews correctly matters so much, we’ve spoken to our very own expert: Chelsea Wilson, Communication and Content Director at SageAge.

Q: Why should you respond to online reviews?

A: For a couple of reasons:

Responding enhances your online reputation. 

Building a positive reputation ensures effective sales engagement and marketing efforts. A number of factors can contribute to an organization’s reputation, influencing perception and ultimately impacting how consumers make buying decisions, and this includes both offline and online reputation.

The success of any organization relies heavily on its reputation, and with 98% of people reading online reviews for local businesses, it’s important that we’re not only monitoring reviews, but responding to them as well.

It improves your overall brand image. 

Twenty-one percent of consumers use the internet to find more information about a local business. If someone is doing a search for your community and they see nothing but negative, non-responded-to reviews, they’ll consider looking at another community.

It gives search engine optimization a boost.

Having more positive, responded reviews not only helps your brand perception, but it also helps your SEO. Simply put, the higher your review rating and the more reviews you have, the higher your SEO and place in search results will be.

Q: Do I need to respond to all reviews?

A: In almost every case, a response is necessary.

Responding to Negative Feedback

If you have a negative review, this is your opportunity to make it right. Families, team members or residents may reach out through reviews. Take the time and connect with them to resolve their situations and concerns. 

If the situation is resolved and the reviewer is happy with the resolution, this gives you another opportunity to request they remove the bad review or write a new one.

Positive Reviews

Responding to positive reviews builds loyalty with customers while allowing you to share your appreciation that they took the time to review your products and services.

Q: Is there ever a time you won’t respond?

A: Most of the time, you should respond to customers, but on rare instances, it’s not needed.

Sometimes a negative review, like one left by a bot on social media, doesn’t warrant a response because most individuals who read it see it for what it is.

Q: Does when you respond matter?

A: We usually recommend doing so within 24 hours.

As a general rule, responses should be posted within 24 hours. There may be circumstances where information needs to be gathered, particularly if a negative review raises a legitimate issue.

Even in those cases, however, you should leave some kind of response stating that the situation is being addressed within the 24-hour window.

Q: How do you get reviews?

A: We get asked that a lot. The answer is: Ask!

When you’re in the dining room with a resident and they’re raving about the food or the customer service, ask them to leave a review. Right after giving a tour, send them a link to your review site and ask them to share their experience and leave a review. If family members visit often, ask for a review.

QR codes left on the tables in the dining room or at the concierge’s desk make it easier for those visiting your community to leave a review. SageAge creates the QR code, reviewers scan them with their smartphone, and they’re taken directly to the review site.

Q: How many reviews should I aim to get?

A: At least three monthly.

These reviews should come from different sites, not just one. The big ones for senior living are Google, Facebook, Indeed, Caring, Senior Advisor, Yelp, and Glassdoor. Ensuring reviews are coming through different platforms will help your SEO – and make sure those reviews are being responded to!

Q: How does SageAge Help?

A: Through Birdeye, our reputation management tool.

Our reputation management services give client-partners full access to the Birdeye platform, where they receive alerts about new reviews and gain the ability to request them via email or text. Our team also drafts suggested responses for every positive, negative or neutral response posted to online review sites about our client’s community.

SageAge: Here for You, Always

To learn more about how SageAge can connect you with this service while enhancing your online reputation, contact us today.

SageAge is a multiple-award-winning strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Melinda Schmitz at 816.349.0464/

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