With reviews becoming more common, it’s important to consider that review sites should be used as customer service tools. 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34), before deciding to purchase. That means that what others say about your business in reviews, directly impacts other customers decision to buy from you. To put it simply, reviews drive conversion.
The top reason businesses are afraid to manage customer reviews which are getting no reviews, having negative reviews or, fear of having to manage online reviews on multiple review sites is causing them to miss out on all of the positive benefits of reviews. Because reading reviews is so common, people will assume that there’s something wrong if you don’t allow open communication about your business from your customers. If you try to save yourself from the trouble by ignoring it, it could be negatively impacting your business anyway.
1) Reviews help shape your company’s online reputation
One of the worst things your business can do to hurt it’s reputation is ignore reviews. Generally, people will respect you if you make a mistake and properly apologize. On the other hand, you won’t have a chance to make up for something if you ignore comments. Especially when someone is heated over a problem, you can lessen their anger or even turn them into a happy customer by addressing the problem directly. When people see that you are a part of the conversation about your company, they are more likely to trust you.
2) Reviews provide useful feedback
The whole point of leaving a review is to provide constructive feedback, that not only help future customer make a decision, but also internally help you improve your business. Customers may experience friction somewhere in your business that you are unaware of until you receive a review. Use reviews to gauge performance and delight your customers.
3) Reviews can appear in search results
Reviews are so relevant and useful, that search engines display them in search results. They can include a star rating, as well as the numerical rating, the amount of reviews, as well as a top review preview.
How can you get more reviews?
To leverage reviews for your business, simply start asking more customers to leave reviews! First, figure out the site or sites you would like to generate reviews for. The top sites that we generally recommend are Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook.
Once you pick the one you want to start with go to the site (while you are not signed in), click the review button and save the url. That url can be sent to customers so that when they click it, the link automatically opens up, ready for them to leave a review. You can include this link manually in emails, texts or with codes on their receipts, or use review generation technology to make it quick and easy.
Top 3 review management tips:
1) Remember to add and claim listings on review sites
It’s pointless to get reviews if your listing information is incorrect or listings are unclaimed. For search engines to connect your reviews to your business, you must add or claim your listings on review sites.
2) Always ask for reviews
Although you won’t be able to get every customer to leave a review, it never hurts to ask. Start racking up those reviews today!
3) Customers like leaving reviews on review sites
People trust review sites and may be less likely to leave a review if you ask them to do it on your site because they feel like they can’t be unbiased like with review sites. We know you want reviews and testimonials for your website, but you can still use the reviews from review sites to display on your website.