Now is a unique time for customer reviews, and the rapid evolution of online reviews is continuing to change the customer experience game—for the better.
If you’ve ever considered a review management plan, this quick history of reviews will show you why now is the time to put a plan in action for monitoring and responding to reviews.
Where Online Reviews Have Come From
- Reviews were obsolete.
When reviews first launched online, they were difficult to find. Some customers self-published their reviews in hopes of spreading the word about their experiences. Others jumped on obscure websites that offered a platform for reviews but didn’t receive much traffic.
- Reviews didn’t matter for SEO.
Because the reviews of the past were hidden, they didn’t do much to affect search engine optimization. Now, SEO and reviews have a strong relationship. But, more on that later.
- Reviews were left unanswered.
Were businesses concerned with these little-known review sites? No, and for good reason. Companies could focus on launching proactive marketing campaigns, with no reactive brand management. Reviews were just emerging and, at the time, they didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
Where Online Reviews Are At Now
Fast forward to 2021, and it’s clear the last decade (spent moving so much of our lives online) has slowly been building up to an explosion in reviews. Now, we are seeing traction in their impact across nearly every industry.
- Reviews matter now.
The speed of reviews is faster than ever. On Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and other platforms, rave reviews and complaints can reach thousands with a few strokes on a smartphone. Brands are expected to respond to a negative review within just 24 hours.
- The pandemic emphasized the impact of reviews.
The pandemic brought more time to reviewers, and more stress on some companies due to changes in availability, staffing, delivery and more. An increase in reviews, often negative ones, caught many companies off guard.
- Brands are just starting to see the value of review management.
With an increase in reviews, businesses are just starting to learn how to make the most of their customer reviews. Review management, though slowly being adopted across industries, is helping companies respond well to their customers on a larger scale than traditional customer service allows.
The Future of Customer Feedback
Looking at 2022 and beyond, we predict reviews will become even more important to brands.
- Reviews will become a major component of local SEO.
Reviews are poised to become one of the number one ways for a brand to establish—and for the public to measure—authority and credibility.
- Review management will prove a secret weapon for companies.
With remote work options increasing, as well as an emphasis on digital presence for your brands, your brand needs every advantage it can get to reach customers online. Companies will be looking to harness their reviews for that extra leg up in this increasingly digital ecosystem.
- Reviews won’t be effectively managed with DIY marketing.
Cost cuts from the pandemic have created a “DIY marketing” environment. As a result, companies will need to pay attention to reviews and online engagement, while investing in reputable review management services.
Let Us Respond Is At The Forefront of Review Trends
Review management is trending now, and it can set you apart in your industry.
Stay in front of the trends without breaking your budget. Learn how Let Us Respond can manage your reviews, across all your locations. Request your free consultation now.