Five Star Reviews— Are They Really Necessary?

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Wouldn’t it be fantastic only to get five-star reviews? What could boost your reputation more than continuously being rated with five stars? Well, so you’d think. So, you might be surprised to learn that you don’t always need to get 5-star reviews. In fact, only having five-star ratings could cause customers to become suspicious. Why? Read on to find out.

Reputation management is crucial for your business success. And you’ve probably been putting a lot of effort into getting 5-star reviews. However, those five stars may not be helping your business as much as you think.

Of course, there’s nothing more satisfying than getting rave 5-star reviews from happy customers. Typically, checking for new reviews from satisfied customers is the first task of the day. Reading all that praise your customers are giving you can motivate you to continue providing excellent customer service.

So, you may be wondering—if 5-star ratings boost my reputation, what’s so wrong with them? In this article, you’ll find out why a few 4- and 3-star ratings among 5-star ones provide the perfect balance. You’ll also learn how to leverage the impact of negative reviews to your benefit.

First, let’s see 5-star reviews are a good thing.

Do You Need 5-Star Reviews?

The hard work you put into getting 5-star reviews is always worth it. Studies show that having at least five reviews increases a product’s purchase likelihood by 270 percent. Still, five reviews are not enough. It seems from other studies that 90 percent of consumers read at least ten reviews before making a purchasing decision.

There is also a tremendous benefit in getting 5-star reviews. Harvard Business Review reports that every one star increase can boost revenues by five to nine percent. This is mainly because search engines like Google reward you by ranking your site higher. Readers trust the opinions of those who have left a review. Those five stars reflect verified users’ positive experiences and can help encourage a purchase.

Nobody likes to be the odd one out, so plenty of 5-star reviews discourages others from leaving a 1- or 2-star review.

Do You Always Need 5-Star Reviews?

Increased trust, better conversion rates, and higher revenues—why shouldn’t you always strive for 5-star reviews? The issue is that a company with only 5-star reviews, particularly local companies, can appear to be too perfect. It’s highly suspicious when a company gets everything right—all the time.

Consumer psychology is a complicated matter. You would think that the highest star ratings would instill more confidence in a company. Instead, people become skeptical. There’s a saying: “if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.” Unfortunately, consumers apply this to online reviews.

Always getting 5-star reviews can cause consumers to doubt the authenticity of the reviews. They may assume the business paid for fake reviews, offered incentives, or in some way manipulated them. They may also think that you censor your reviews. According to some studies, 62 percent of consumers won’t buy from a company that edits online reviews. 

What Is the Perfect Star Rating?

If you don’t really need a perfect 5-star rating, what is the ideal star rating? Here are some staggering statistics that show what the ideal star rating is:

  • Fifty-seven percent of consumers search for companies with four stars or above.
  • Only 11 percent searched for businesses that have five stars.
  • Thirty-one percent say that great reviews are the most important factor—they don’t have to be specifically five stars.

The latest research shows the perfect star rating is between 4.2 and 4.7 stars. This is an ideal goal to ensure Google ranks your site well. It also means that you get the most amount of traffic, and your revenues increase.

Furthermore, having more than four stars and less than five puts you in the magic category—most consumers for companies with four or more stars.

Why Are Some Negative Reviews Necessary?

A splash of negativity helps to reassure skeptical consumers. A few negative reviews in the mix aren’t enough to upset rankings and conversion rates. Once you hit the 4.5 average, you increase your trustworthiness, showing customers that you are only human and make mistakes.

Did you know that you can leverage negative reviews to your advantage? The small number of negative reviews provide you with two fantastic opportunities.

First, negative reviews give you the chance to learn to grow. Customers who leave negative reviews may include aspects that you may not be aware of. Or things that didn’t come up during your testing. How can you fix something if you don’t know it’s broken? Becoming aware of issues enables you to make things right. The result is that you improve your company and levels of customer satisfaction.

Second, consumers don’t only read reviews. A surprising 97 percent of people who read reviews also read your response. Crafting the ideal reply to negative reviews shows readers that you care and are committed to making changes. Your response can turn an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one and convince a potential buyer.

Related reading: How to respond to every type of review.

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What Can You Do to Get a 4.5-Star Rating?

Of course, you can’t ask customers to leave 4.5-star reviews. Aside from the fact that there is no button for this, it’s also unethical. In fact, there is nothing you can do that will guarantee you will achieve the 4.5-star average.

The key to getting between 4.2 and 4.7 stars is simple—get more reviews. Here’s how it works. Have a strategy to get more Google reviews and provide excellent service. Naturally, your customers will mostly leave 5-star reviews. When you start getting a steady stream of new reviews, you increase the possibility of getting some negative feedback.

So, it would be best if you had a few 3-star reviews or even 2-star reviews to hit the magic star rating of 4.5.

How Can You Get More Reviews?

There are lots of creative ways you can get more reviews. The best ways to encourage customers to leave feedback are to ask, make it easy to leave a review, and have a review management strategy.

Let’s look briefly at how to get more reviews:

  • Ask—If you don’t ask for reviews, you won’t boost the number of positive ones. Be in the habit of inviting customers to leave feedback. This could be at the point of sale, in a little thank you card with their product, or send emails. Even sending a reminder email won’t hurt if they don’t respond to the first one.
  • Make it easy to leave reviews—Anything more than a few clicks and a couple of minutes can make a happy customer abandon the process. Send links or even QR codes that take customers straight to your review site.
  • Use review management software—Review management software makes it easy to get a ton of new reviews. You can also track your reviews, reply to all of them quickly, and automate processes to save time.

How Starloop Helps You Get More Google Reviews

Starloop has created the perfect, simple solution to help your business get more positive reviews. The software sends automated invitations to customers. So, with just a couple of clicks, they can leave feedback on Facebook and Google.

Starloop has gone the extra mile to help your business get more reviews. Starloop provides powerful motivation for your customers to leave feedback. And it works. Starloop members say that their reviews have tripled since using the service.

First, the automated system sends two or three reminder emails in case the customer has forgotten.

Second, Starloop plants a tree for every review you receive. So, your customers know that you care about the environment. They are then motivated to do their part—leave a review to help your business and benefit the planet.


Posted on February 19th, 2021