Findings from a 2018 local consumer review survey show that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. 80% of people aged between 13 and 34 years have written online reviews, and 91% of consumers in this age bracket trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
In another survey, it was found that 90% of customers read reviews before making a purchasing decision or visiting a business. The survey also found that 88% of customers incorporate reviews in their buying decisions and 72% of consumers do not take action until they have read online reviews.
There are a lot of factors that affect a customer’s buying decision. Customer reviews are very influential in buying decisions, and they can boost your sales more than marketing can. How does your business benefit from these reviews?
Benefits of customer reviews
80 percent of customers trust businesses that have 4.0-5.0 star ratings. Here’s how such ratings can benefit your business:
- Reviews are one of the tools that boost your search engine rankings because your business is mentioned many times
- Free advertising as other customers can know your organization and what it sells, increasing visibility and awareness
- Increased credibility because consumers generally trust reviews more than they trust advertisements
- Reviews help to build and manage your online reputation because they give you an opportunity to reply to both positive and negative feedback
How to get more reviews for your business
- Run an email campaign
Email is one of the most effective channels for requesting feedback from customers. To get a better response to email feedback requests, take your time to build a mailing list from customer information. Once that list has grown, start a conversation and use open-ended questions to motivate customers to leave reviews.
To capture your readers’ interest and drive them to act, keep your email concise and personalize each email by addressing individual recipients by their names, and including your name. Remember to include a link to the page you would like customers to leave reviews on.
For increased efficiency in a feedback request email campaign, encourage your readers to focus on the client experience, rather than the business when writing their reviews. According to David Anderson, author at ihatewritingessays.com best paper services, most review services focus on polishing their online reputation and generating money. This puts the customer last and, as a result, the business suffers.
- Create more spaces for customer reviews
When you rely on your website only for reviews, your business is likely to suffer. Most customers are likely to be exposed to your business on other platforms before they can even visit your website. Therefore, it is important to ensure that every customer can learn about your business, when conducting research, from any possible first point of contact.
If you have a Facebook page for your business, ensure that you set up star ratings and reviews to allow customers to learn about your business without leaving their social network. Also, you can rely on third party sites that people consult for business and product information such as Google, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau.
- Respond to every review
Did you know that responding to a negative review can result in better ratings overall? Customers value empathetic and compassionate customer service. Therefore, whenever you get a negative review, ensure that you respond to that review thoughtfully and without being defensive.
A great explanation and apology in every negative situation will show your customers that you care for them, sparking more positive reviews. This does not mean that you should respond to negative reviews only. Thanking customers for positive reviews makes them feel that their opinion is valuable. By appreciating their input, you encourage them to leave another review whenever they buy a different product from your business.
A big percentage of customers believe that reviews that are older than three months are no longer useful. Most will only trust reviews that are less than two weeks old. Therefore, you ought to prompt customers to leave reviews on different sites often, using the tips discussed above.
Having many reviews serves as a complement for your SEO package since it boosts search engine rankings. Also, they help you foster and strengthen your business’s reputation, winning you more loyal customers.
About the writer: Carol Duke is very keen on teaching students new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on marketing-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling, taking immense pleasure from visiting new countries.