Are online reviews important?
Reviews are essential for your business to succeed. With the increased competition in today’s market, they can make or break whether you do okay, better than average, or significantly above all of your competitors!
The importance of reviews cannot be overstated; it is critical that we know what our customers think about us and how effective we have been at providing them with an enjoyable experience. Reviews impact many aspects on a customer’s purchasing decision including their opinion as well as others who may see these comments come up when looking into a company online.
Reviews are an important part of any customer’s decision-making process. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which product is the best choice for your needs – but don’t fear!
Customer reviews and testimonials make up one of the strongest forms of social proof out there. Amazon has made its reputation on this very thing by giving customers a completely unbiased look at what other people have thought about a certain item before deciding whether or not they want that same experience themselves.
” The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision. ”
How do you get started with reviews?
You may think that it’s difficult to get reviews from your customers, but there are plenty of tools and methods out there today.
One easy way is by asking for them when you do the billing process with a cash or card at checkout!
The customer will be on their best behavior during this time so they’ll feel less guilty about giving feedback if asked right then and there. Another popular technique involves using an email marketing service like MailChimp where people can subscribe in order to receive promotional content as well as requests for review updates along the way.
It has never been easier to collect reviews these days because we have such great resources available now more than ever before!
All businesses need to have a streamlined process in place where they are asking their customers for a review after delivering the product or service. Whether you work with just one customer each month, or 1,000 new ones every week – this is important and can make all of the difference!
Benefits of online reviews
- Buying Decisions Are Based On Customer Reviews: A recent survey shows that 93% say online reviews do impact their purchasing decisions. That means when a customer reads a positive review, they are significantly more likely to make a purchase.
- Reviews Boost SEO
- Reviews Have a Clear Impact on Sales: A Harvard study found that one-star improvement on yelp.com leads to a boost of 5% to 9% on sales in the short term.
- Reviews Allow Customers to Start a Conversation With You
- Constructive Criticism (Reviews) Can Even Help Your Business Become Better Overall
How do you ask for online reviews?
The most basic and simple method, which will work well if you serve a limited number of customers, is to send a personal email asking them to review your business.
This could be a request for them to write a written review or testimonial that you will feature on your website, or you could point them towards a specific location such as your Google My Business page, Facebook page, or an online property such as Trustpilot.
For businesses that serve more than a handful of customers each week, it would be too time-consuming to send out a manual email to each customer. This is where an automation process will come in handy.
Email automation is quite simple, especially if you already have an email provider such as ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drip, MailerLite, or MailChimp. It’s important to create a new review automation sequence consisting of one or more emails asking for a review. Then, you can add new customers into the sequence in just a few clicks.
Always respond to customer reviews.
Now let’s talk about how you can stand out among your competition. There are two very important words in this world that aren’t always used enough in business – “thank you.”
If you can take the time to thank people for leaving you a review, you help to cement the relationship that you’ve created with your customers and add a human element to the process. When you thank people publicly for their reviews, it also allows prospective customers to see that you care about what your customers think.
You should be responding to negative reviews as well as positive ones. In these instances, you probably won’t be thanking the reviewer. What you will be doing is acknowledging their experience, trying to figure out what went wrong and if there’s a way to fix it, and inviting them back for what hopefully will be a better experience. This shows that your company cares about its customers.
Also, and this may sound weird, but don’t get upset at negative reviews. You WANT some negative reviews. If a business has 100% of its reviews as 5 stars and no one has ever said a bad word about them, it can be a red flag to consumers.
” Among consumers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews. ”
Why are negative reviews good?
Reviews are so key to boosting your business that even a negative review has its pros. For one, a negative review affords you the chance to respond. You must, after all, respond to both negative and positive reviews. When you respond, offering your sincere apologies, you show the customer and everybody else on the internet reading the review that you actually care about your customers. You value their business so much that you will apologize in a public forum AND work to right your wrongs. That goes a long way in building trust and confidence in both current and future customers.
How do you respond to negative reviews?
When responding to negative reviews, you should always begin by apologizing. Then, you may want to offer the customer a discount or a free product, like a dessert if you’re a restaurant business. Anything you can do to entice the customer to come back for a second chance. Never get into a fight with an online reviewer. We know things can escalate quickly behind a keyboard, but trust us, apologize and try to make amends, then move on.
How to respond to reviews
There are three recommended methods:
- Reply to the review – Most review platforms will allow the business owner to reply to reviews. So you, or a member of your team, can take the opportunity to say thank you and follow up with any reviews that are left for your business.
- Email the customer – If appropriate, you can send an email to the customer that left a review. It’s a great way to say thank you and it allows you to keep a personal touch that specifically talks about the product or service that they purchased.
- Use a tool like Bonjoro – Now this one is a lot of fun. Bonjoro allows you to record a personal video message via your smartphone, which is then emailed to the recipient. You can use Bonjoro to record a quick 10-30 second thank you message, which is personalized to the user. Can you see how great this would be for your business?
Repurpose reviews to help attract new customers
Repurposing a review gives you a great opportunity to take the comments from your customers and use them to promote your business in other areas. This can be as simple as creating a social media post that showcases the review or as in-depth as using it in your next printed brochure.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s always a smart (and polite) idea to ask your customers if you can share their reviews in other locations, such as your website and social media. You can add a blanket mention of this practice in your initial email to cover your bases.
With that said, let’s run through 5 different ways that you can repurpose the reviews that your customers leave for your business:
- Your Website – It’s a great idea to make sure that the reviews you receive for your products or services are featured prominently on your website. This would include your homepage and/or any other relevant pages, e.g. those that talk about your offerings in more detail.
- Case Study – One popular way of repurposing reviews is to use this as part of a case study to show the problem that your customer had and how you were able to solve it. Case studies are an excellent way of showing your expertise and the review from your customer serves as the final chapter of the story.
- Social Media – Create graphics that feature reviews from your customers and post these on your social media accounts. It’s an easy way to repurpose content and make sure it’s in front of both existing and potential new customers.
- Promotional Videos – When you create a promotional video for your business, you can feature reviews from your customers. Even better if you’re able to ask them to be part of your video.
- Printed Brochure / Leaflet – For your next brochure or leaflet, leave some space for customer reviews so you can share the thoughts of your customers and why they chose to use your company.
Make your business stand out with customer reviews!
Great reviews can massively enhance the reputation of your business and help potential new customers to trust that you’re able to assist them with their needs. They offer new customers social proof of your offerings and help boost your visibility in search engines. If you’re not asking for reviews, today’s a great day to start!