Many factors affect the success of your business. Providing an excellent service, posting on social media, advertising, and a strong online presence are all critical. But there is one secret to being a successful business. What is it? Online reviews.
What your customers say about you online is the secret to your success. Your clients and customers will share their experiences with others. These provide important signals to potential new customers about what they can expect. If you get a lot of 4 or 5 star reviews, your customer base will increase. Get just a few mediocre reviews, and savvy consumers will think twice.
Even worse, not having any reviews at all make customers suspicious. You don’t have any social proof to back up your marketing claims.
Of course, some small business owners are afraid that negative reviews may harm their reputation. So, they are on the side of caution and don’t encourage reviews. However, that is a bad idea. You see, your customers are already talking about their experiences with your business. And it’s not just their friends they are telling. They are posting on social media, blogging about you, and leaving reviews on other websites.
In this article, you will learn why online reviews hold the secret of your business success. You will also find out how implementing an online review system can boost the number and quality of reviews you get.
The Secrets about the Importance of Online Reviews
How consumers interact online with businesses has changed radically in the past few years. It is now easier than ever to engage with businesses small and large. Through social media and review websites, customers sharing their experiences with other people.
Reviews have also become an essential source of product information for almost everyone. So, when a new customer decides to book an appointment, buy something online, visit your store, they already know a lot about your business.
Studies show that 91% of people read online reviews before making a purchase. You may be surprised to find out 84% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a recommendation from a friend. Other statistics reveal that shoppers expect an average of 112 reviews on a single product or service.
All of these reviews can affect your overall star rating.
The challenge for small business owners is to get enough positive reviews to keep a good average star rating. So, knowing consumer behavior is essential in turning online reviews into success. This is how it works:
- Customers are usually more willing to write a bad review if they’ve had a negative experience.
- Some estimates show that only 1 in 10 satisfied customers leave a review.
- To keep a star-rating of at least four stars, you need four five-star reviews to offset every 1-star review.
So, you can see the challenge that small businesses face when trying to get more reviews. This “good-to-bad” review ratio is one of the secrets to understanding why online reviews affect your business.
How Online Reviews Affect Your Business
Having a positive online presence is the best way to build your business reputation. If you are a small business owner, getting more reviews that reflect positively on your business can help you compete with your competitors.
Let’s look at why online reviews drive your business success.
1. Customers trust you more
Online reviews are the best way to build trust among your existing customers and attract new ones. When you have many real positive reviews, customers will feel more confident about giving you their business.
Even if you have a few negative reviews, your response will show that you care about your customers.
2. Boosts rankings in the search results
Regularly getting new reviews is also an important factor that increases your online visibility. Google says that reviews build customer’s trust, and they can help your business stand out on Google.
Some estimates claim that as much as 10% of your rankings on local search results are due to your Google reviews. Also, customers don’t trust reviews that are more than three months old. So, you also need a steady stream of new reviews to keep your business relevant.
3. Get valuable feedback
Reviews are one of the best ways for your local business to get priceless feedback. If you are providing excellent service, your customers will tell you. If there are issues to sort out, reviews will help you nip any problem in the bud.
4. Engage with customers
One of the best ways to build a loyal following is to always respond to customer reviews. Remember that a customer has taken the time to write a review, hopefully, praising your business. So, they will appreciate it if you reply.
Responding to every review also helps take any sting out of negative reviews. You can quickly address any issue your customer had. Your comments also help build trust because they show you care.
Did you know that the majority of consumers tend not to trust reviews that are purely made up of 5-stars?
How to Create an Awesome Review System
By now, you are probably wondering what you can do to encourage more customers to leave reviews.
Here are the best four practices for getting more online reviews.
Make it easy to leave a review
First of all, the process of leaving reviews should be as easy as possible. Ideally, a customer should be able to leave a review with a few clicks.
Ask for online reviews
A gentle reminder to leave a review is sometimes all it takes to increase the number of positive reviews. Asking to leave a review helps to encourage the 9 out of 10 customers who forget to share their positive experiences.
Know your customer
You also need to know your customer behavior. For example, how do they prefer to communicate? Is email best for asking for reviews or text messaging? Does the request have a simple link to take them to the review page? Do they prefer Google, Facebook, or another digital platform?
Track requests for reviews
If you start asking customers for reviews, you need a system to manage requests. For example, you need to know who has left a review and who hasn’t. You may also need to send a couple of requests to give a gentle nudge. But you can’t send too many, or you risk antagonizing your customer.
At Starloop, we understand the importance of reviews to your business success. Our review management software follows the best practices to encourage your customers to leave a review.
The results? Our members have seen that increasing the number of Google and Facebook reviews helps their business grow. They see an increase in new customers, build a loyal following, and boost their revenue.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your business grow by getting more online reviews.