Similar to sheep, when customers see positive feedback about a company, they tend to follow the herd.
How often have you asked your friends or family to recommend a product or service? We all do it, word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool. So, imagine how useful you would find it to see comments and reviews posted by real customers who have already used the company, product or service.
In digital marketing terms, reading customer reviews is an important step in the buyers’ journey, when deciding between different suppliers. The reviews inform our opinion as to the possible outcome based on other customers’ experiences. Similar to sheep, when customers see positive feedback about a company, they tend to follow the herd. This sheep mentality also works in reverse, negative comments can be detrimental to a company.
Where should you get your reviews?
There are a number of different review sites, such as Google Reviews, Facebook, Trustpilot, Yelp to name a few. Google Reviews is the most commonly used platform for the obvious reason – it’s Google! On this site, all businesses can be rated using a 5-star scale with comments. Needless to say, Google Reviews has a big impact on your website as the ratings are visible under your website link. Therefore, its important to keep it at a high 5-star rating.
Benefits to your business
Customer satisfaction reviews not only help customers move along their journey towards a purchasing decision, there are also many other benefits for the business. Reviews are an effective method of boosting credibility and they also alert the business to any issues, as the best customer reviews tend to provide information about what you can do to improve your product or service. This information can then be used to address any issues. They are also offer an opportunity for you to show your customers that you care and to solidify the relationship by responding to their review.
Reviews also help you improve your SEO, as search engines reward websites with content that is regularly updated. Consequently, reviews are the easiest way to reach those standards. And people tend to specifically search for the company name and “reviews”. Overall, gathering positive customer ratings and reviews to market your company in an ad or on your website can help increase sales.
How to make your reviews work for you
As mentioned above, having Google customer reviews can be beneficial to your company. They are much more than just a review, they can be used in many different ways, here are just few examples:
- Include reviews to sell your services and products
- Feature reviews in emails
- Make a customer review page which can be regularly updated to increase SEO
- Post reviews on social media channels
How to handle bad reviews
Of course, not everyone leaves a good review. All reviews should be responded to, however its especially important if you receive a negative comment. Ignoring the bad comment won’t make it go away, so you should try to defuse the situation by responding professionally, which can result in better ratings.
Professional and polite
Remember, when responding to critical comments, never get personal. Your reply should be useful and easy to read. Always thank you person for taking the time to leave the review, as its basic courtesy and it could help to transform a negative comment into a positive one. Always, include a summary of the customers name and complaint, as it shows you have taken notice and that your business appreciates their feedback.
Finally, it’s also a good idea to let them know that they can contact you personally to continue the discussion. It is much better to try to solve the problem in private, rather than conducting the entire conversation in public via the website.
How to get customer reviews
- Ask customers in emails whether they had a good or bad experience and why
- Create a shortcut link to google reviews on your website with a “share a review” CTA button
- Ask customers in person if they would want to leave a product review
- Ask for reviews on social media
- Partners or vendors can leave a business review on how it is to work with you
- Include the Google review link in your email signature
- Use social media platforms to post specific questions regarding business performance which will encourage followers to leave a review if you also include the link in the company bio for easy access.
To conclude, online reviews provide potential customers with reassurance. In fact, 84% of consumers noted that reviews were important in their purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, it takes only one bad review to change the mind of a customer, as opposed to five positive ones. Therefore, its essential to try to get as many positive trusted customer reviews as possible and to deal with any negative feedback in a polite, professional and timely manner.
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