We all like to think we appreciate honest feedback from customers, but in reality, most business owners underestimate the significance of online reviews – sometimes, to dire consequences.
The reality is, that if you want your business to be a success, gaining positive online reviews is very important indeed. Most people will search on Google, through Facebook or on Yelp, before they decide to buy a product or visit a service. Statistics that demonstrate just how influential online reviews are will shock you.
Just How Important are Online Reviews Anyway?
You may find it baffling, but around 90% of people report they trust online reviews as much as they trust word of mouth. Large numbers of potential customers are influenced by the verdict of strangers online, whose reviews comes in different stages of legibility, and have varying degrees of legitimacy.
Less than 8% of consumers report they never read online reviews, which means that if you’re neglecting gaining positive reviews, you’re potentially alienating as many as 92% of your consumer base.
From here on, the statistics become even more shocking. 22% of customers state they won’t buy a product or use a service after only one negative online review. It is estimated as little as four negative reviews can alienate as many as 70% of potential consumers.
From a business perspective, it is obvious just how damaging it can be to alienate all these potential customers because of poor online reviews, without even mentioning how negative reviews impact on your local SEO. Positive reviews signal to Google your value and legitimacy, and so you organically move up in search engine rankings.
Because positive reviews are so important for gaining customers, retaining them, and ranking well on Google, we’ve made a handy guide on how to gain more positive reviews, to help your business grow.
Provide the Best Service You Can
This one is the most obvious point, and the most important. Your business should provide an exceptional service at all time.
If you run a shop, emphasize the importance of customer service to staff. Make sure that everything is clean and tidy, so the atmosphere is welcoming.
Most importantly, from now on, there are no off days – every day you have to provide the best service you can, because you don’t know which customer might have a real passion for leaving negative feedback online.
Look at The Reviews You Have Already
Look at the reviews you already have, and ask yourself what you did right, what you did wrong, and how you can improve.
The customers who have already reviewed you have left clues as to what parts they like and dislike about your service. Although you can’t please everyone all the time, you can take this feedback and cleverly apply it to improving your service.
Ask people to Review
There’s no need to be overly pushy, but do ask people to review your product or service once the transaction is complete. A good idea is to incentivize people to review with a discount code, or if that’s not going to work, remind them to leave a review in a little note on the receipt.
The more reviews you get the better – for attracting new customers to your business and improving your SEO.
Get Active on Social Media
A younger age group are used to engaging with brands and services they lack on social media, and you should tap into this resource. If you can create a fun and engaging internet presence, you’re going to garner lots of feedback for your service that’s organic and positive.
Respond to Bad Reviews
It’s not advisable to respond to bad reviews aggressively, like the chef who proclaimed “KOBE BEEF SHOULD NEVER BE WELL DONE! Burn in Hell” unless being supremely #edgy is crucial to your brand.
Instead, thank the customer for reviewing, apologize, promise to do better next time and offer them a discount. And if you think there was a significant failure on your part, make the appropriate changes.