Online reviews give your marketing and leads a little boost as well as increase trust in your company.
You might shout about your products and services from the rooftops and tell the world how amazing you are but no one has good reason to believe you until your customers back up these claims with their own glowing reviews of your business.
Studies have shown that customers use online reviews to research and judge a business before committing to purchase. In fact, 80 – 90% of shoppers reported that reviews affected their buying decisions.
Most customers start a buying journey with a quick search in Google, so the company or product with plenty of feedback on will likely be one of the first places people will click.
Do online reviews affect SEO?
Once the online customer reviews start coming in, not only will you quickly build trust with potential customers but at the same time you will increase the search engine’s confidence in your brand, leading to a positive increase in your rankings.
Can online reviews increase revenue?
With an increase in positive reviews and more visibility in search rankings, it’s likely your revenue will increase as a result. However, a one star difference in rating can affect revenue by up to 9% so it pays to get those positive reviews in!
Okay, I’m convinced! How can I start collecting reviews?
The best place to start collecting reviews is from previous customers. These people have hopefully already had a positive experience with your company and therefore are more willing to drop a positive comment your way when politely asked.
Ask customers to give feedback via your website, Google ‘My Business’ page, Yelp or Facebook page. Also check for industry-specific review sites for your business’s sector. Tripadvisor works for hotels, restaurants and other physical establishments. Trustpilot is great for e-commerce as Checkatrade is for tradesmen.
If you are unsure where online to start building reviews, a good place to start would be to Google one of your competitors to find out what they are doing.
Ask for reviews after purchases have been made and services have been delivered. You could even offer incentives or run competitions to drive more reviews. Just remember to ask for quality, honest reviews instead of encouraging unhelpful fake comments made by customers looking to gain.
How do I deal with bad reviews?
Firstly, a bad review doesn’t mean the death of your business. As a customer about to make a purchase, you’ve more than likely ignored a bad review whilst scrolling through a sea of positive comments. Bare in mind that some people have ridiculously impossible high standards and some just like to have a moan and attract attention to them when given the chance. More often than not, these comments will be taken with a pinch of salt by realistic buyers.
The key thing here is not to ignore negative reviews. Mistakes are bound to happen and acknowledging these will make your brand seem a little bit more human and easier to connect with. Apologise to the customer for their bad experience and attempt to resolve the issue. When people see a genuine willingness to solve issues, it shows you care as a business and promotes a positive image of your brand. It also provides customers with a safety net as they can see you are reachable and responsive should any problems arise.
At the same time, acknowledge positive reviews by thanking those who leave positive comments. Letting them know you appreciate their time and business will certainly earn your brand’s customer service more brownie points.
Before you do anything else, set up Google alerts as this will notify you whenever your business is mentioned anywhere on the web. This can be handy for many marketing strategies but when it comes to online reviews, it gives you a chance to reply to comments promptly. Response time is extremely important when managing reviews, especially the negative ones!
The positive to negative reviews
It might sound silly but a few negative reviews can actually improve your brand’s image. You certainly can have too much of a good thing and a consistent stream of 5 star reviews sometimes looks suspicious. A pinch of negative reviews makes your business look more realistic and human, as well as increase your customer service reputation if you follow the advice above.
Review your reviews
Reviews aren’t just for customers to make a decision about you. They can be a helpful insight into what works and what doesn’t within your company, so pay attention to them. Receiving a whole bunch of negative reviews is a huge indicator that something is not working. Review the reviews to identify pain points in your business and act on them. Ironing out any bad experiences your customers may have will help increase conversions and lead to better reviews later on.
Feeling inspired and want to start collecting reviews? Why not contact a handful of your customers today and see what responses you receive and if you need assistance contact us here.