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Why Customer Reviews Matter

person looking at a website on their laptopIn today's world, where most businesses have an online presence, customer reviews have become an essential part of building trust and credibility. 

Customer reviews offer potential customers a glimpse into your product or service from a third-party perspective. In fact, according to a survey by BrightLocal, 91% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision.

In this article, we'll explore the reasons why customer reviews are crucial for any business and how to gather them effectively.

Why do I need customer reviews?

Build Trust & Encourage Loyalty

Online reviews are a fantastic form of social proof for your business. They help build trust with potential customers making them feel more confident about making a purchase and in turn increases your conversion rate.

Trust is a big factor in who customers will buy from, so seeing reviews from other happy customers is great, as well as seeing that you care about your customers' experience by responding to the not so good reviews with resolutions. 

Improve Search Engine Rankings

Google and other search engines alike consider customer reviews as a ranking factor in determining which businesses show in search results.

The more positive reviews, the more likely Google will improve your search engine visibility.

Get Feedback on How To Improve

After all, keeping customers satisfied with the products and services your offer is incredibly important.

Reviews provide an external view of how your business is viewed. Whether the reviews are good or bad, it can be incredibly helpful to see where customers think you do a good job, as well as what areas could use work to enhance the customer experience in the future.

So how do I get customers to leave a review?

Now getting customers to leave reviews can be a challenge. There is a fine line between being too pushy and giving yourself the best chance at receiving a review from a customer. Here are some solid tips for getting more reviews.

Make it easy to leave a review - The more effort it takes to leave a review, the less likely customers are to do so. Make sure there are multiple sites and directories for reviews to be left, as well as send out an automated review request tool.

Time your review requests strategically - Ideally, you want to ask the customer for a review when they have had a positive experience with your business. This could be immediately after purchase or service experience. However, if the purchase is online to be delivered, after the product has been received could be a good time to ask for a review.

Offer incentives for leaving a review - You can offer incentives to customers who leave a review to make the time leaving the review worth it for the customer. Examples of incentives include discounts, prize draw entry and freebies. However, make sure you are clear on the T’s & C’s and don't offer anything that could be perceived as a bribe.

Respond to existing reviews - When you respond to the existing reviews (both good and bad), it shows customers that you value their feedback and care about whether they had a good experience with your business.

5 Creative Ways to Ask for a Review

  1. Create a personalised video request: This makes the customer feel like you're not just sending a bulk email and that you care about their individual experience.
  2. Include a review request in your signature: This means you aren’t being pushy and send emails with “give us your feedback” in the subject line but offer the customer the opportunity to review easily.
  3. Create a review contest: Incentivise the customer to leave you a review by offering the opportunity to win a prize when a review is left.
  4. Use social media: Create a unique hashtag for customers to leave reviews under 
  5. Host an event: if you have a physical store, host an event for your loyal customers and ask them to leave a review at the event. Or better yet, get them to leave a review as their RSVP for the event.

How do I handle reviews?

It is very important to respond both promptly and professionally to ALL reviews. Yes, this means both the good and the bad ones. This shows that you value the feedback and want to resolve issues or concerns.

The Good 

  • Positive reviews are an incredibly valuable marketing tool. 
  • Not only do they help build trust and social proof, but you can share these reviews on social media, your website or in any other form of marketing you use. 
  • Just make sure to ask permission before sharing feedback publicly.

The Bad

  • Nobody wants to receive a bad review; however, it is important to respond in a way that shows the customer you care. 
  • How you respond to a negative review can actually lead to a positive review from the same customer. 
  • Make sure to apologise and provide either a solution or compensation when appropriate.

Where to gather your customer reviews

Website

Your Website is a fantastic place to gather reviews. You can have relevant reviews on the respective product and services pages you are advertising. 

This not only provides feedback but allows potential customers to be able to get a better idea of your product/service and builds their trust when there are multiple good reviews.

Reviews on your website under specific products/services can also help potential customers in their buying journey when it comes to what size or colour to purchase.

Social Media

Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are another great place to gather reviews.

Receiving reviews on social media not only means that they are easy to reuse on your own social media, but are shared with that customers following also. This is potentially hundreds of people directly being exposed to your product/service in a positive light.

You can also easily offer incentives such as prizes or discounts for customers who leave a review using social media.

Google Business

Using your Google Business Profile to gather online reviews is also a great way to increase business.

When people google your business, they don't even need to enter your website to see a star rating and review summary.

Receiving good reviews on Google can also increase your visibility and online presence by ranking higher in google search results.

Person holding a mobile phone using google maps

In conclusion, customer reviews are a vital part of any business's success, helping to build trust, improve search engine rankings and provide valuable feedback for improvements. By making it easy for customers to leave reviews, strategically timing review requests, offering incentives, and responding to both positive and negative reviews professionally, businesses can gather feedback to build credibility and grow their customer base. So, if you haven't started gathering reviews for your business, it's time to start now!

Posted in Marketing, Social Media

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