Why are reviews important. Many business owners still question why online reviews are important. They never gave them any thought in the past. Why start now?
Before the Internet, many businesses relied on word-of-mouth referrals. If a customer was happy, the business might ask them to “tell a friend about us.” Happy customers would go out and tell friends and family about good experiences. The song in a 1980s commercial for Faberge shampoo tells it well.
But unhappy customers were also out there warning others by word-of-mouth. And businesses could do very little about that. They may never have the opportunity to make things right.
Online reviews have given reviewers a global platform to rate businesses. And businesses can now respond. Do you want to use these reviews to build credibility? Do you want to connect with your customers? Do you want to turn negative experiences into positives for your brand? You can!
90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. 72% say that positive reviews make them trust local businesses more. And 92% will use a local business with at least a 4-star rating. 86% of people will reconsider a purchase if the business has negative reviews. With these stats, there’s no question that consumers pay attention to reviews.
Online reviews have earned a level of importance that compares to personal referrals. 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Positive reviews serve as personal referrals that keep giving over and over again. And negative reviews can keep driving customers away.
It’s hard for consumers to know who to trust. The media constantly covers stories on scams and dishonest practices. Online reviews reassure customers that you deliver what you promise.
Online reviews are modern day referrals. The more you have, the more you stand out from your competitors. People are more likely to trust what is said about you more than what is said by you.
If you’re going to stand out against your competitors, you need to find ways to connect with your customers. This is another reason why reviews are important. When you receive a review, you can thank your customer for taking the time to leave it.
You can also learn about problems you didn’t know existed. You can offer a solution. Others reading the reviews can now make a more informed decision.
The smartphone has made online reviews even more important to local businesses. Potential customers don’t have to be sitting at home to see if they want to visit your business. Tourists can read reviews before eating at restaurants, visiting attractions, or finding hotels.
This means that your business can’t rely on a shiny exterior. You can’t just have fancy or promotional pricing. You’ll have to provide excellent experiences every time.
You know the importance of ranking high in search results. You probably even spend money on SEO content for your website. Or you make use of social media to drive traffic to your website.
A lack of reviews can result in lower search rankings. Google gathers review information across the web when determining where your business ranks. Yelp and Facebook also have algorithms that assign ranking based on reviews.
You provide great products and services. You know it. Your customers know it.
What’s that? You’re not sure if your customers know it?
Well, you need to find out what your customers think. Start by sending out customer satisfaction surveys. Send one every time customers make a purchase. They won’t respond every time. That’s okay.
Keep improving your already great products and services. Customers are most likely to leave a review when they’re very happy or very angry. Your goal is to get them to have such a positive experience that they want– No, they NEED others to hear about it.
Even with happy customers, many won’t take the time to share a review on their own. They may not even know they can. Or that you want them to.
You need to ask for reviews if you’re going to get them. Create a template you can email after each interaction. Direct them on where to go to leave you a review. Walk them through the process on how to submit a review.
Within your reviews, you can find words and phrases that will resonate with your audience. You can find out what’s most important to them.
Consider the example of Fred:
Fred has a car-detailing business. On his website, he lists 30 individual cleaning steps to complete a car detail. Everything you could think of from vacuuming to washing to polishing.
One day Fred is reading his online reviews. He sees many reviewers say, “Love Fred’s air fresheners!” He includes air fresheners. But he never thought to list them because they’re not really part of the cleaning. But now his process includes 31 steps and customers call him to help get rid of odors.
Search for themes when reading your custom reviews. Themes are powerful when developing your messaging. You can attract new customers or solidify relationships.
Sometimes customers aren’t exactly thrilled with your products, but they don’t tell you. And for the same reason, they don’t tell anyone else about you. But sometimes they do leave this valuable information in your reviews.
What customers see as minor problems may be contained in a review. And resolving those problems might be an easy fix on your part. Once you improve your product or service, now you’re on the road to making some very happy customers.
Don’t ignore negative reviews. You may feel like you don’t want to give the person further attention, but other consumers want to know you care. And that you take responsibility.
Like word-of-mouth referrals, online reviews can get you more business. But online reviews give you the power to respond to the negative. How you respond to positive and the negative can attract more customers. Why are reviews important?
You know that many customers will check out your reviews first. And you now know why reviews are important. So always deliver your best, ask for reviews from happy customers, and respond to reviews. Responding to reviews costs nothing but time. Start managing your customer feedback today!