Importance of Online Reviews – and How to Get More!
How important are online reviews? Well, you be the judge!
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before making an online purchase
- 88% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations
- 31% of customers are willing to spend more on a product with “excellent reviews”
- 72% of buyers say that positive reviews make them more likely to trust a business
In short, online reviews are very important. They can make all the difference in whether people trust your business, buy your products and services and recommend you to others.
Why Online Recommendations Matter
People shop differently than they used to. If a customer wants to purchase something, they don’t have to do so blindly. They can narrow down their options and read the reviews to make their final decision. And, people typically don’t mind spending more money if the reviews are highly positive.
Customer feedback isn’t just important for individual products but businesses as well. In fact, 94% of shoppers admit that negative reviews will stop them from visiting a business. While people might be forgiving to a negative comment or two, several of these can cause a significant drop in traffic.
Here are a few more important reasons why you need online recommendations:
- Social proof. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase if others agree that it’s a good thing. It doesn’t matter if they know the people or not. Seeing others enjoying something makes them want the same, too.
- Visibility. Most algorithms favor fresh, relevant content, and reviews can help with this. Whether people are posting on Facebook, Google or Bing, the algorithms index this content and push the brand further up in the search results.
- Trustworthiness. You can say whatever you want about your products and services, but people will always trust users’ opinions more. A steady flow of positive reviews is the best way to show that you are a reliable, trustworthy brand worth buying from.
- Expand conversation. When people have good things to say about you, it can start a conversation about your brand. You may appear on external websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor and be recommended on Facebook. All of this acts as good PR for your business.
- Influence decisions. When customers are on the fence about a product, they generally rely on customer reviews to make the final decision. Having solid reviews about your products can swing the vote in your favor.
Need More Reviews? Here’s How to Shake Things Up!
We can all agree that reviews are important, but how do you get more? It’s not always easy to get people to write an informative review, after all. But, if you don’t encourage authentic reviews, you could lose control of your brand image. Not only might you lack useful, relevant feedback from real customers, but also this leaves an opening for spammers and competitors to leave negative feedback. By building a community, you protect yourself from this.
Here are some proven ways to generate more online feedback from your customers.
- Ask for reviews. You would be surprised by how many businesses do not ask their customers for feedback. Don’t be shy about doing this. Print out reminders, add your request to the bottom of receipts, send emails, etc. Let customers know that you want to hear from them!
- Make it easy. Always make it easy for customers to leave feedback. Let them know what platform you want them to use (Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc.), along with brief instructions. Sometimes, people don’t leave reviews simply because they don’t know how to.
- Personalize communications. If you’re sending an email, make it personal. Use the customer’s name and let them know you care about their experience. If they know their voice is important, they’re more likely to leave feedback.
- Offer an incentive. Give incentives to keep fresh reviews rolling in. Customers should not be penalized based on their review. A discount code or special offer should be offered to anyone who takes the time to rate you.
- Respond to reviews. When people know that a brand is listening, they are more likely to share their experience. Always respond to customer reviews, whether they are positive or negative. Everyone should be thanked for their time, and you can take negative conversations offline to fix the issue.
Don’t Forget – Be Part of the Conversation
By encouraging customer reviews, monitoring what others think of your brand and responding to feedback, you can be part of the conversation. While you can’t always control what other people say, it’s important to know what’s going on. This way, you can learn about your customers’ likes and dislikes, appreciate the positive feedback and address negative reviews.
Now, if you’re wondering where you are going to find the time to monitor every conversation, there are solutions available. You can either work with a reputation management company that monitors online brand mentions for you, or you can use reputation management software. By giving WSI Net Advantage a call, we can discuss which option is best for your needs. Contact us today at 510-687-9737 or fill out our online contact form.
About the Author
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage…
The Best Digital Marketing Insight and Advice
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