As a consumer, you’ve probably bought something and have read an online review before doing so. You might have been considering hiring a local company, but found through online research that they had a very low star rating and this may have negatively impacted your decision. Although it may be clear that some reviews are more valid than others, online reviews have a significant impact when it comes to influencing a consumer.
It’s clear that online reviews can be significant, but how significant can they be – and does this impact both small and large businesses? According to BrightLocal, 88% have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. This number continues to increase year over year. It’s not surprising that this number continues to increase, but it is astounding how much trust consumers put into online peers that they may have never met when it comes to their views on a local business.
This means it’s more important than ever to take part in the conversation that’s happening about your business. This isn’t something that you can afford to ignore, as the same survey mentioned above found that only 12% of consumers don’t read online reviews. The majority of consumers are relying on customer reviews to impact their purchasing decision, so jump in and take part in the conversation!
Do a search for your business name online and see what conversation is already taking place. Depending on what you see, it may be important to take action! It’s always a good idea to respond to online reviews, whether good or bad, so that is certainly a good place to start. If you like what you see, great! Continue to monitor reviews and encourage customers to post a review for you online. If you don’t like what you see, it’s important to create an online review plan and share with your employees. You might want to consider this either way!
Ask for reviews
Asking for reviews should become a part of your daily work routine when dealing with customers. Plan to ask customers who have been satisfied with your service to leave you a review online about your business. The easiest way to do this is via email, as you can provide direct links to review sites making it as easy for the customer as possible. Having a natural, organic system set in place to collect reviews is a great way to build your reputation online.
If this is the first time doing a search for reviews for your business online, there may be a knee jerk reaction to reach out to a variety of current customers and quickly asking them all to review you at once. Please, don’t do this. Review sites are smart. If you all of the sudden receive a few highly positive reviews on one day they will look into the activity. If it seems not authentic, they will delete all of the activity on your page and you’ll lose everything that may have been on there. Create a natural, easy-to-use system that all employees can take part in to build your reviews online naturally.
As always, if you have any questions on this, reach out to your Marketing Specialist!