How important are customer reviews to a business? Nine out of ten customers claim they read online reviews prior to working with a business. With at least 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a referral or personal recommendation, it is an essential component of your online marketing strategy.
Online reviews have an impact on your sales. However, obtaining reviews has always seemed to be a challenge for businesses. How do you know your most satisfied customers will leave reviews? What should you do in the event you receive a negative review?
Getting Started with Online Reviews
Understanding how reviews work is the place to start. Business owners need to take some time to familiarize themselves with Google My Business and other social platforms where customers leave reviews. Depending upon your industry, you may find yourself dealing with reviews on websites like:
Local Businesses and Online Reviews
Multiple studies show that 53% of customers will visit a business within 48 hours of performing a local search. In addition, 33% of customers surveyed by ReviewTrackers say they will not eat in a restaurant with less than 4 stars or multiple negative reviews.
Bad reviews will hurt your business and can drop your website ranking. In fact, one single negative review can drop sales by 5-8% or more!
Google My Business
Each month, Google averages about 158.3 million visitors. With such high exposure, it pays to spend some time optimizing your profile. It is free to claim your Google My Business profile and it does give your business a stronger local presence. Once you have verified your business listing, your website will start to appear in the search engine results and people can start leaving reviews.
Google My Business does provide an option for businesses to post updates and share information directly with the customers. If you do not have a website, or you feel your website is not that impressive, your Google My Business page will become one of the best free resources you have available to keep focused on attracting customers.
Asking for Customer Reviews
It is important to ask your customers for reviews. We utilize services that make it easier for customers to submit a review. We can customize a personalized email and SMS text message tool that will go directly to the customer, making it easier for them to leave a review.
Never be afraid to ask customers directly for a review. If they are in your store and having a great interaction, ask them to leave a review. Most customers are happy to leave a positive review when they have a good interaction with the business in person.
Handling a Negative Review
What happens when you have a negative review? The most important thing we can stress is to avoid attacking the reviewer. Before you even respond to the review, you need to make sure you know all the facts. One thing you can do is make sure you read the review, take the information into consideration and respond positively.
When you respond, the upset customer may update their review or might even remove it entirely. Potential customers will be able to see the response and notice that the business does care about customer satisfaction and is seeking to always improve.
Add Reviews to Your Website
Customers love testimonials as it gives them peace of mind. People want to know what type of experiences people have been experiencing with the business. Use a variety of clients to provide feedback in multiple industries and continue improving the conversion rates for your business.
Online reviews are vital to each industry. Failing to prioritize online reviews can be detrimental to your business. Reputation is everything in the modern Internet-driven world. Successful reviews may not happen immediately, but with the right tools and engagement strategy, you will be able to see a boost in your online reputation and website traffic!