Importance of Customer Reviews for Your Business
Did you know that 90% of people first check out online reviews before making a purchase? Real reviews from genuine customers help to shape your business by building loyalty, increasing customer confidence and boosting your sales. From Google Reviews to feedback left on Facebook and popular review sites such as TripAdvisor, it is important for all businesses to implement a feedback process for a variety of reasons:
- Your brand can build significant trust and credibility from a steady stream of positive reviews.
- Popular search engines such as Google use reviews as one means of indexing your website. When you’re ranked higher, algorithms and people alike tend to see your website as an authority in your industry, which also leads to more exposure, visibility and organic searches.
- Companies with better average ratings are significantly more likely to see views converted to traffic and sales.
- They give you the ability to have a two way conversation with your customers. Ratings and reviews are an invaluable source of feedback, and a good way through which you can steer your business towards the ultimate goal of meeting your clients’ needs. Online reviews, both positive and negative, can be used to identify any areas of your business that could use improvement.
- Reviews can make you stand out from your competition and have the power to influence consumer decisions.
So, how can you encourage more reviews?
If you want to generate online reviews, it goes without saying that there needs to be a place for customers to post them. You should identify where you want your reviews to be left and ensure your Business is correctly set up on those platforms, whether it’s Yelp or CheckaTrade. We highly suggest making sure you have a Google Business Listing that is linked to your website and updated regularly. From here, you can send these respective links directly to your customers, making it as convenient as possible for them.
You can encourage reviews by emailing customers after a purchase (give it 3-5 business days before doing so) and offering an incentive in return for a completed review, such as a discount on their next purchase. You could also pick up the phone and offer some after-sales care (such as following up on their shopping experience with you) and, at the same time, ask directly for their feedback, offering to send them a link whilst following up on their experience.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
It is important to remember the importance of replying to any negative reviews. 45% of respondents said that they’re more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews as it shows you listen to your feedback and prioritise customer communication. Consider any negative feedback as an opportunity to improve and showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction. When responding to negative reviews, make sure you do so in a timely manner and remain professional, calm and factual. Offer to resolve any issues over the phone or offline, where possible, and make it clear that you have acknowledged what they have said and take a proactive approach to rectifying any negative experiences.
Almost two-thirds of shoppers think that online reviews are an essential part of the decision-making process, meaning that online reviews are increasingly essential for all businesses.
If you take action now, it will take a couple of months before you begin to enjoy the results.
We’d love to know how you have tried to increase your number of online reviews? Have you ever received an online review that led to an important change in your company’s structure? Let us know!
Need support with your feedback process? We can help! Get in touch with the Business Success team here.