How Important Are Online Business Reviews

reviews

If you care about your online reputation, then listen up. Business reviews are essential to your business! Reviews provide valuable feedback and advantageous recommendations, that can easily boost your business further into success. If you want to make a positive step forward, dive into the importance and benefits of getting business reviews below.

Better understanding

Reviews share with you a certain type of information that cannot be found anywhere else. Reviews can tell you whether you are doing a good job, what you are doing wrong and how to improve if you are not hitting the best quality of your product or service. Overall testimonials are a free and easy way to understand how your business is doing.

Consumers do the marketing

Think about it, why can’t a few positive reviews online be just as beneficial as a marketing campaign? Your existing positive reviews answer any questions that your potential customers have an enquiry about. Plus it plants a good image in potential customer’s heads when hearing others say positive things about your business. It is like a small marketing campaign, without having to pay out, which will have a positive effect on your brand awareness and the whole business in the short and long term.

Sales

There is a higher chance that a customer will purchase if it is already recommended by others. People like to hear information and other people’s opinions before making their own decision. Wouldn’t you want to hear someone’s story of the purchase process, to help enlighten you on the potential journey ahead? It allows you to keep away from spending any of your money on fakes on the web, as those before you will call them out on reviews.

Customer Engagement

For the consumer it may not just be about making a review. In some cases it’s about building trust with the brand and being involved in a community of other customers. Many customers initially leave testimonials and then keep returning back to the website to see if anyone else has commented on their review. Whether it is you, the business owner or another reviewer commenting, it keeps everyone connected and talking about your product or service.

Having a voice

You want your customers to have a voice. You want them to talk about your products/services and connect with everyone. If you give them a platform to chat on, the more opinions and information they will spill out about your product or service. They may even voice their opinion on your business website, to friends, on your Facebook page and other platforms. The more the merrier!

Loyalty

If customers do take the time to leave a review and keep returning to check their placed review, it means that they are loyal. Loyal customers are precious as it means they could highly recommend your company to peers. So value customer loyalty, it is extremely advantageous to your business.

While other customers may only shop with you for a particular product or service, they are still highly important for your business since they too show loyalty and bring a regular income to your business.

Ranking

A search engine (like Google, Bing and Yahoo) will consider you more important if you have a large amount of valuable information written about your business. This is the part where you get people to speak about your business, to get word around and resulting in being easier found on any search engine. Remember these factors have an influence on your ranking:

  • The sheer number of reviews that your business has
  • How fast the reviews were generated
  • The authority of the person who writes the reviews

A tip: If you don’t have any Google accounts, then you should think about setting one up. They can really help improve your business website ranking on Google results. Setting up a Google+ business page for each of your business locations is the next step forward.

How do I get online reviews?

Consider asking for reviews

As the saying goes “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So don’t be afraid to ask, but remember the following:

  • Don’t be pushy. Pushing your customers too much to post a review could put them off.
  • Only ask for reviews after the transaction has been completed.
  • Let them know that you take their opinions seriously.

Respond quickly to bad reviews

The trick is not to fire back at customers when they express their opinion, even if it’s not positive. You have to listen to their concerns, apologise if necessary and resolve the problem. You don’t want to upset any consumers, especially if it causes them to steer away from your business completely. Remember you can likely fix whatever the problem may be, so listen to their concerns and make the situation a positive one.

Remember: People will always complain. Expect your negative reviews to rise as your number of positive reviews increases.

Make reviewing easy as possible

Your consumers are taking the time to give you feedback. Don’t make it complicated for them to help you out. Here a few ideas that you can adopt to make their experience easier:

  • Simply ask your consumers for a review. Don’t wait too long after their purchase to ask them for one. You best bet is to send out an email as soon as the transaction has gone through.
  • Where’s the harm in sending out a little thank you to those that have just given a review? An unexpected discount, trial or freebie could easily make your customer’s day.
  • Offer them a small incentive. For example, you could do a monthly giveaway just for reviewers to entice them to give you feedback. However you need to be careful with incentives. It is pointless to collect bias reviews that you’ve bribed your way for. You need constructive criticism to learn and grow, and you can only do that with truly honest testimonials.

Pay attention to the reviews that you already have

If you have existing reviews, check them over. Reviews are valuable and full of ways to improve, don’t let them sit there to rust. This also gives you the time to not just concentrate on new leads, but those that are already existing and keenly waiting on your response.

Additional Tips to consider:

  • Use Facebook to your advantage – Signing up as a business on Facebook will automatically set up a review tab on your page. This allows your followers to post a review straight to you and your page.
  • Amazon. Take a leaf out of their book – They make every review count. They recommend other products that you may like, based off of your previous testimonials. This system helps Amazon, as well as being useful for the consumer.

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