For local businesses, reviews have power to skyrocket or break your business. Most people don’t realize just how powerful these online reviews really are.
Reviews affect more than just local search rankings and conversion rates, as many people think they do. In fact, 91% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Customers’ reviews can be an extremely useful part of marketing strategy for local businesses, even though they are based on opinions. When you ask customers to leave reviews, you increase your chances of getting your business before potential customers.
Why Are Customer Reviews Important
Customers have a lot of power when it comes to online reviews and even public opinion. 93% of customers read online reviews to determine a local business’s quality, and 72% will not purchase anything until they’ve read online reviews.
Most online customers read reviews to decide which products and services they purchase. They rely on others’ opinions on review sites like Google Maps or Yelp before making a decision. Customers can make or break potential sales by commenting on their customer experiences with a product or service.
Reviews that other customers have written on these websites act as social proof. The level of trust others will feel for a service is called social proof, which refers to how many people use and enjoy the same things as you do. The more people who use or love a product will make it seem to potential customers that they should follow suit.
Why You Should Care About Customer Reviews
The way that customers interact with businesses has changed dramatically in the past decade. Simple advertising campaigns and sales pitches are less effective, as customers now want to know what others’ experiences have been like before making their own buying decisions.
Customer reviews help to sell products online, and are a key factor in local search engines. Positive reviews are an important tool for companies to sell their products. Customers will spend 31% more on a business with excellent ratings and feedback, making it even more worth the cost of advertising.
On the other hand, consumers are more likely to change their minds about a purchase following negative reviews online. Four out of five customers say they changed their minds about what product or service to buy after reading negative reviews in detail. Only 13% of customers will consider doing business with a company that has a 1 or 2 star rating on Yelp.
How to Get More Customer Reviews
A business benefits greatly from online reviews as many customers read them before making any purchase. Here are some ways you can use them to help your business.
Ask Customers to Leave a Review
After a customer makes their first purchase from you, give them an incentive to leave feedback about your business by providing them with the best service possible. If they are happy with your business, ask them to leave a review on review platforms like Yelp or TripAdvisor.
When customers make a purchase from your online store, you can send them customer satisfaction surveys and emails asking for online reviews. This will help solidify their experience and spread it to more people.
Remember to never pay for positive reviews, even if you think it will increase your company’s credibility. If found out, this can hurt consumer trust and put a dent in the reputation of your business.
Respond to Customer Reviews, Whether They’re Positive or Negative
No matter how positive or negative the customer feedback is, you can’t ignore it. You need to make sure your message and tone are on-brand so the customers feel heard.
This shows you are taking into account negative feedback as well as positive feedback before publicly responding online. It shows proactive customer service to take all viewpoints seriously, no matter how positive or negative the comment was.
Transparency in Your Online Reviews is Key
Many companies have started taking the initiative to let customers review their products and services, as it can help promote your company. If you’re a customer-focused business that wants what its customers say about them heard, make sure they are able to share information on online rating sites.
Some businesses put Trust Pilot ratings right in front of potential customers by using HTML widgets or creating testimonials pages for people who’ve had great experiences with them before – this way more reviews will be left.
Use Online Reviews In Your Marketing Campaigns
Make use of the positive online reviews you’ve received by incorporating them into your marketing campaigns. The need for reassurance can be alleviated by enhancing the visibility of customer reviews. In the software industry, it is common for 64% of customers to read at least 6 reviews before making their decision.
Reviews that mention the product’s name will help customers connect to it and learn more about what they are purchasing. It is always important for buyers to know not just how a company feels, but also how other consumers feel too.
Online Reviews Can Greatly Benefit Your Local Business
If you want to be successful, then online reviews are a must. You will not get very far if you neglect the power of customer reviews. Customer reviews are an important part of your small business.
They can help you improve your product, build trust with potential customers, and increase sales. With these simple steps, your small business can optimize search engine rankings and increase brand recognition by getting more online reviews.