Why Customer Reviews Matter for Your Business
Recently we worked for a client to improve the customer reviews on their local pack on Google My Business. And you don’t believe the impact. So I thought to outline the impacts a customer review can bring to your business.
Customers looking to purchase are more likely to go through the reviews of any product or services. According to Podium around 93% of consumers say that reviews help them in their buying decision.
Why is the percentage so high? If you are a consumer and about to buy a product, will you study the business and its portfolio first or will look for reviews which are there along with the product. Obviously you will go through the reviews first.
Reviews and ratings are important, because they fuel the buying decision of a customer. Being a marketer, I know not all the reviews provided are true or authentic. But think from a customer’s perspective, a product with reviews even if fake is better than a product without any reviews or ratings.
According to a local consumer survey by BrightLocal, nearly half of all consumers (49%) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from their friends and family members.
From the reviews, a consumer can find out the quality of a product or service or business.
Whether you own or manage a small shop, an e-commerce store, a restaurant, or a popular gift center, your customers are likely to look for you online. The age is digital, and your customer wants to know you on their mobile phone rather than visiting you online or offline.
From the statistics above, you can imagine how powerful customer reviews are. In today’s digital age, customer reviews have become an essential aspect of marketing. And trust me it is unavoidable if you want to compete with other businesses.
What are Customer Reviews?
I know many of you have a fair idea about what a customer review is. I might sound stupid.
It’s just a brief rundown about customer reviews. Customer reviews are the feedback of the customers, sharing their experience with a product, service or business. Reviews may come in many forms, including written feedback, star ratings, and testimonials. But the most important form comes in star ratings.
Imagine, you are running a restaurant at the same time delivering food using online food delivery services. And you are collecting reviews on Google My Business and as well as on the online food delivery application. Just imagine, if any of the platforms has a good number of reviews that will impact both in improved footfall and increased online orders.
The Evolution of Customer Reviews
You must be thinking why I’m talking about the evolution of customer reviews. The evolution of customer reviews has shifted from traditional methods to online platforms, making it important for businesses to adapt their review collection methods accordingly. I just want to make sure that the methods you are using to collect customer reviews are relevant for the current generation.
Before the internet, customer reviews were mainly shared through word of mouth. Customers would share their experiences with family and friends or in-person communities.
With the advent of print media, customers could also share their reviews in newspapers, magazines, and other printed publications.
Customer service hotlines allowed customers to provide feedback directly to businesses, either through automated IVR systems or by speaking with a representative.
The internet revolutionized the way customer reviews are shared. Online platforms such as social media, review websites, and online marketplaces made it easier for customers to share their opinions and for potential customers to access a wealth of information about products and services.
Visual reviews, such as photos and videos, have become increasingly popular, particularly on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
Influencers have become a new source of customer reviews, particularly on Instagram and mostly for the beauty, fashion and lifestyle industries. Customers trust the opinions of influencers they follow and often make purchase decisions based on their recommendations.
It’s important for you to keep up with the evolution of customer reviews and adapt newer review collection methods accordingly to ensure your business is effectively engaging with customers and building a positive reputation.
The Importance of Customer Reviews
The market today has become competitive. And to sustain in this market is much more difficult for many businesses. Some of them are advancing while some can’t. And if you look closely, customer reviews is one such important aspect that can help your business grow. Customer reviews when turned out to be positive, makes your business or products trustworthy.
Just assume, you are visiting an online ecommerce store to purchase something. What you will do. Would you connect with the seller to get information and feedback or you will rely on the existing reviews that’s shared by past customers.
Let me drive you through the factors which make customer reviews so important.
1. Establish Social Proof
- Seeing positive reviews from other customers provides social proof that the business is trustworthy and can deliver on its promises.
- Social proof helps to alleviate doubts and concerns potential customers may have, increasing the chances of converting them into paying customers.
- Social proof also helps to validate a business’s marketing claims, making them more believable and persuasive to potential customers.
- By providing social proof, businesses can establish a positive reputation, which can help them to differentiate themselves from competitors.
- A significant majority of consumers, about 72%, report that positive reviews increase their trust in a local business.
2. Build Brand Credibility
- Positive reviews can help to build brand trust by demonstrating to potential customers that the business is reliable and can deliver on its promises.
- Brand trust can lead to customer loyalty and repeat business, as well as positive word-of-mouth referrals.
- Businesses with high levels of brand trust are more likely to attract and retain customers, even in a competitive market.
- By building brand trust through positive reviews, businesses can establish themselves as leaders in their industry and set themselves apart from their competitors.
3. Establish Thought Leadership
- Positive reviews can validate a business’s expertise in a particular field or industry, helping to establish it as a thought leader.
- By showcasing their expertise through positive reviews, businesses can attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones.
- Demonstrating expertise through positive reviews can also help to increase brand awareness and attract media attention.
- Businesses that are perceived as experts in their industry are more likely to be trusted by potential customers and viewed as reliable sources of information.
4. Boost Online Visibility
- Online reviews can be shared and seen by a wider audience, increasing brand exposure and potentially attracting new customers.
- Positive reviews can also help to improve search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find the business online.
- By expanding their reach through online reviews, businesses can tap into new markets and grow their customer base.
- Expanding reach through online reviews can also help to establish the business as a recognized brand and build credibility.
5. Improve Purchasing Decisions
- Reviews can have a significant impact on a customer’s decision-making process, with many relying on them to inform their purchasing choices.
- Positive reviews can help to build trust and confidence in the business, making it more likely that a potential customer will make a purchase.
- Reviews can also provide important information about a product or service, helping customers to make an informed decision.
- By influencing purchasing decisions through reviews, businesses can improve conversion rates and drive sales.
- According to a study by World Financial Review, having reviews available can increase conversion rates by an impressive 270%.
6. Establish Industry Authority
- Positive reviews can help to confirm a business’s authority and position in the market, making it a more attractive option for potential customers.
- Establishing authority through positive reviews can also help to differentiate the business from competitors and build a loyal customer base.
- Reviews can also provide valuable feedback and insights, helping businesses to improve their products or services and stay ahead of the competition.
- By confirming their authority through positive reviews, businesses can establish themselves as a trusted and respected leader in their industry.
7. Improve Search Rankings
- Positive customer reviews can help to increase a business’s E-A-T by demonstrating its expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers and search engines.
- A strong E-A-T can lead to improved search rankings, increased website traffic, and ultimately more customers and sales.
- By focusing on building E-A-T through positive reviews, businesses can establish themselves as reputable and trustworthy sources of information and attract more customers.
- According to a recent study conducted by Semrush, businesses in the top position of Google’s local map tend to have more positive reviews compared to those in the second and third positions.
8. Expand Online Reach
- Positive reviews can help to improve a business’s online reach by generating buzz and creating a sense of excitement around the brand.
- Reviews can also be shared on social media and other online platforms, increasing the brand’s exposure and potentially attracting new customers.
- By improving their online reach through positive reviews, businesses can establish a strong online presence and build a loyal customer base.
- A strong online presence can also help businesses to stay top-of-mind with customers and increase the chances of repeat business.
List of Platforms Accepts Customer Reviews
With numerous platforms available for customers to leave feedback, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones to prioritize. Which customer review platforms are the most effective for your business?
To assist you in leveraging the power of customer reviews, I have compiled a comprehensive list of platforms and sites that can help you strengthen your online presence and collect valuable feedback from your customers.
By utilizing these platforms, you can easily gather social proof and improve your business’s credibility. We’re here to help make your transition to these platforms seamless and efficient, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
- Google My Business – for local businesses
- Yelp – for all types of businesses
- Facebook – for all types of businesses
- Amazon – for products sold on the platform
- Angie’s List – for home service providers
- Better Business Bureau – for all types of businesses
- Booking.com – for hotels and travel services
- Capterra – for software and tech products
- CarDekho – for automotive services
- ConsumerAffairs – for all types of businesses
- Expedia – for hotels, flights, and travel services
- Foursquare – for local businesses
- G2 Crowd – for software and tech products
- Glassdoor – for employers and job seekers
- Healthgrades – for healthcare providers
- HomeAdvisor – for home service providers
- Justdial – for all types of businesses
- MagicBricks – for real estate services
- MouthShut – for all types of businesses
- OpenTable – for restaurants
- Practo – for healthcare providers
- Sulekha – for all types of businesses
- Swiggy – for restaurants and food delivery services
- TripAdvisor – for hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions
- Trustpilot – for all types of businesses
- UrbanClap – for home service providers
- Yellowpages – for all types of businesses
- Zomato – for restaurants and food delivery services
Bazaarvoice’s 2018 study highlights that product pages featuring reviews can generate conversion rates up to 3.5 times higher than those lacking reviews.
How to Ask for Reviews from Customers
Collecting reviews is a good practice as this will help you to identify the quality of your services or products. What are the areas that need improvements and many other factors which can directly or indirectly help you to transform and scale your business.
Don’t ever fear engaging with your customers to collect their feedback, if they will rate negatively. According to a recent study by BrightLocal, in 2022, 80% of consumers were encouraged by local businesses to leave a review.
Here are some effective ways to ask for reviews from customers:
- Email follow-up: Send a follow-up email after a purchase or service asking for a review.
- In-store signage: Place signs in your store asking customers to leave a review.
- Social media: Ask customers to leave a review on your social media profiles.
- Website Landing Pages: Use landing pages on your website to ask for reviews.
- Review request cards: Include a review request card with the customer’s order.
- Feedback form: Include a feedback form on your website or after the purchase.
- Post-purchase email: Send an email after the purchase asking for a review.
- QR codes: Include a QR code on a receipt or packaging that links to a review site.
- In-person ask: Train staff to ask customers in person for a review.
- Review incentives: Offer a discount or coupon code for leaving a review.
- Follow-up phone call: Call customers after a purchase and ask for a review.
- Automated review requests: Set up automated review requests to be sent out at specific intervals.
- Review kiosk: Set up a kiosk in your store where customers can leave reviews.
- Blog post: Write a blog post asking customers to leave a review.
- Use SMS: Send SMS to request reviews from customers who have shared their phone number.
By using these effective strategies, businesses can encourage customers to leave feedback and build a strong online presence.
How to Respond to Customer Reviews
It’s important to respond to customer reviews promptly, ideally within 24 to 48 hours. This shows that you value customer feedback and are willing to take action to address any concerns.
Over half of customers (53%) expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, with one-third of customers expecting a response within just 3 days or less.
- Always respond to reviews with a courteous tone, regardless of whether they are positive, negative, or neutral. Thank the customer for their feedback and let them know that you value their opinion.
- Address the customer by name, if possible, to show that you are taking the time to personalize your response.
- If a customer leaves a positive review, thank them for their kind words and let them know that you appreciate their business.
- If a customer leaves a negative review, address the specific issues they raised and apologize for any inconvenience caused. Offer to rectify the situation or provide a solution to their problem.
- Show empathy towards customers who have had a negative experience. Let them know that you understand their frustration and are committed to making things right.
- If a negative review is based on a misunderstanding or incorrect information, provide context and explain the situation to the customer.
If the issue is complex or sensitive, offer to take the conversation offline to resolve it privately.
- Avoid responding defensively or making excuses for negative feedback. Instead, focus on finding a solution and improving your business.
- If you make a commitment to resolve an issue, make sure to follow up with the customer to ensure their satisfaction.
Remember, responding to customer reviews is an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and improve your business. By following these tips, you can maintain a positive reputation and build customer loyalty.
Final Words Concluding the Entire Conversation
Customer reviews is one form of social proof and is an essential aspect of modern marketing for businesses. Reviews provide valuable feedback, build trust and credibility with potential customers. Additionally, it also helps owners build a strong brand reputation. There are many platforms that allow businesses to enroll and collect reviews. It’s important to encourage your customers to leave reviews on such platforms. And your task should be responding to the feedback, making sure of the improved customer satisfaction.
Ready to leverage the power of customer reviews and social proof to build your business’s credibility? We at Mark My Words specialize in designing marketing strategies that showcase your positive reviews and help you stand out from the competition. Contact us today to learn more about our services and take your business to the next level.
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