Responding to customer reviews is an absolutely essential part of making sales and building a reputation online. Aside from the fact that reviews from customers help others decide whether they should visit a business or not, reviews are now more prevalent on search results pages. This places a lot of eyeballs on what is being said about your company online.
The influence that reviews have on shoppers is staggering: it has been found that online reviews influence purchase decisions for 93% of consumers. Businesses are told to get more reviews on review websites to keep attracting new customers. With so many review websites out there, where does a business even begin? Your business may be afraid to manage customer reviews on review sites as you may not want to end up in one of these situations:
- attract zero reviews
- receive zero recent online reviews
- receive negative online reviews
- buried under a stack of unmanaged online reviews across multiple review websites
Unfortunately, by neglecting reviews, your business is really missing out. This lack of free online word of mouth is actually hurting your business through inaction, because reputation drives conversion.
1) Business reviews and social posts help shape your company’s online reputation
In fact, one of the worst things your business can do is ignore your online reviews and social posts. As easy as it is to make a mistake when handling your business’s online reputation, it can also be easy to recover if done properly (and with an apology). While damage will inevitably happen, your business can take steps to mitigate the degree of damage. The biggest mistake your company can make is not helping to shape the conversation about your reputation.
2) Reviews provide valuable feedback for your business
While it can be easy for your business to take negative comments to heart, it is important to recognise that reviews are constructive feedback. They help your company gauge its performance and see how you can improve. There is always room for improvement and a lot can be learned even from positive business reviews. Through reviews, your business can see which products or services you should be shouting about, which ones need work, and even discover which employees rock at customer service.
3) Your business reviews can now appear in search results
Search engines have caught on to the popularity of reviews and are now displaying them more prominently. If someone searches for your business, there’s a chance that reviews could be displayed on the search engine results pages. In Google’s markup—the annotated content that appears in search—of a company or product, business reviews and ratings can now be included in search results. In other words, when a user performs a search on Google, Google will find and possibly display review summaries from online business reviews and consumer ratings. Below is an example of how business reviews now appear in search results.
How can businesses get more customer reviews?
There are a variety of methods your business can employ to ask for more business reviews. You could email consumers manually, use surveys, ask consumers to leave reviews with codes and review sites on their receipts, or utilise review generation software to automate the business review process.
Three important customer review website management tips:
1) Remember to add or claim listings on the top review sites
It’s a good idea to add or claim a listing or business profile on the most popular review sites. Also, remember to correct your business’s listing information – you’ll soon see the reviews piling in!
2) Your business should keep asking customers for reviews
Asking the average customer for a review can be hard work. Granted, it is often easiest to get reviews from consumers that are either really happy or really unhappy with the level of service they were provided. Always remember to ask though. Customers are busy creatures and will not remember unless they are asked or reminded to leave feedback.
3) Customers are more open to leaving reviews on review sites
Asking consumers to leave a review on your business’s website can seem contrived. Try asking consumers to leave reviews on a trusted review site instead. Since the review site is a third party, customers will feel more able to leave an honest, unbiased review.
Customer reviews are here to stay
In conclusion, there’s no getting away from business reviews. The good news is that there are methods to get more business reviews as well as effectively managing reviews from customers. Also, businesses needn’t fear negative online reviews, as there are ways to negate the effect of negative reviews.
At Red Quokka, we’re experts at online reputation management – if you’re not sure where to start, book a quick call with us, and we’ll give you some free tools to help you on your way to becoming an online all-star!