Why Online Customer Reviews Matter
Every business owner understands the significance of online customer reviews and the impact they can have on sales and revenues. With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, getting online reviews has never been easier, especially when many regions around the world are already using the Internet. Businesses need to adapt to the changing way customers consume their products and services, that is why to make sure the reviews they are getting are favorable, they are doing everything possible to keep their business running smoothly for optimum feedback. This might mean implementing blockchain development services to help solve any problems that may come up as well as keep track of digital assets within the company. They may also find it beneficial to check out personal software services for just what they need.
According to Internet World Stats, there are 3,611,375,813 Internet users around the world as of June 30, 2016. Because of this, online customer reviews have become a vital component of businesses and are considered by many as a form of “social proof” where people take the word of others as proof that a particular product or service is valuable and worth getting.
When a potential customer conducts online research about a product or service from a business with many great reviews, it makes it much easier for them to not only trust the company but also purchase those goods because of the social proof shared online.
On the contrary, businesses with a shortage of great reviews don’t get the benefit of the doubt from potential customers. Worse yet, having zero reviews is just as detrimental as having negative reviews.
With this in mind, it’s crucial that every business owner conduct a reputation management analysis to identify the areas that require improvement and do their best to get their existing customers to share their reviews online as a form of social proof for potential customers.
Ask and You Shall Receive
If you’re new to getting reviews, it may seem a bit awkward to ask customers to assess your business and share their opinions online about the products or services purchased. But don’t let that stop you. Like the old adage goes, “ask and you shall receive.”
So instead of feeling hesitant, you need to just simply ask your customers to leave a review. In parallel, you must also train your staff to make it a point to ask customers for a review as part of their regular routine. Doing so will go a long way and you’ll find that customers are more likely to actually review your business than if you were to leave it solely up to them.
Let Us Help You Get a Running Start
If you’re new to this and are not sure where to begin, we can help you get a running start.
Follow these helpful tips to simplify the customer review process and get the glowing reviews you’ve always wanted.
1. Help Them Help You
No one wants to spend time searching for ways to leave your business a review, especially when they don’t have to. Therefore, you should make it extremely easy to leave reviews for your business by streamlining the entire process. To make the user interface simple and convenient, you can take the assistance of a reputed website designer in Bristol (or wherever your business is based).
Alternatively, to do it on your own, you can add a URL on your webpage that links to popular review sites so that customers will only need about a minute to complete a simple review. Or vice versa, you can add a link to your business profile on popular sites to get reviews – we recommend doing both!
Here are some popular online review sites to choose from:
- Consumer Reports
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
- Trip Advisor
- Merchant Circle
2. Get Social Proof with Social Media
Using social media platforms is a no brainer when it comes to getting social proof for your business. Whether you’re a small, or large company, every business must use social media as part of their marketing strategy to not only promote their business but also to get customer reviews. Start with these sites and you’ll get social proof in no time at all:
3. Online Business Directories Are Your Friend
Online business directories is another great place to start when looking to build your online presence. Once your business is setup with these directories, you can check the reviews periodically, and of course, respond to them in a timely manner:
4. Use Surveys and Get More Reviews
Believe it or not, surveys are still used by millions of businesses and it’s still an effective way to see how your business is doing. And although you can still conduct surveys via phone, we prefer using other online methods for ease and convenience.
Calling customers at inconvenient times hoping that they’ll complete your survey is a thing of the past. Nowadays, it’s much easier to send out online surveys so customers can complete them at their leisure. Here are some of the more popular survey sites to choose from:
We recommend keeping your surveys short and simple. Ask customers how they feel about their latest experience with your business. Make sure to include a section for them to rate your company based on a star scale from 1-5, or have them rate your company as “Poor, Fair, Good, or Excellent.”
5. If All Else Fails – Give Incentives!
If you’ve tried everything listed above and you’re still not getting the amount of reviews that you want, then it’s time to start thinking about rewarding your customers for their opinions.
To incentivize customers for their reviews, you can entice them with the following:
- Give discounts on products or services offered
- Provide samples of goods for their testimonials
- Hold a contest – customers who leave a review is automatically entered into the contest
*Note: Incentives are meant to reward your customers for taking the time to complete a review of your business and it should NOT be construed as a bribe.
*Disclaimer: Make sure that the website(s) that you’re offering customers incentives on ALLOW for this type of activity since some sites restrict this effort – read their rules, terms & conditions first before providing any incentives to customers for their reviews!!!
Tips to Remember When Responding
When the reviews come pouring in, there are certain things to keep in mind when responding.
First, you must LISTEN to what your customers are saying – that’s the only way to improve on the products and services being offered.
Next, take ownership of the reviews, regardless if it’s ruthless and scathing. Ensure that you’re addressing the problem at hand. Don’t steer off course or avoid the concerns because you don’t want to deal with them. Do your best, to be honest, helpful, professional, and polite. If you are a person who takes things straight to the heart or in case you feel responding back to these reviews and keeping track of them deters you from concentrating on other important tasks, try outsourcing it to an online reputation management agency. They might help in your journey to bolster your online reputation.
Remember that responding to good reviews helps to reinforce positive customer experiences while replying to bad reviews helps to resolve customer concerns.
Keep your responses short, sweet, and simple. More importantly, humanize your responses so that it’s not generic and robotic. Doing so, shows that your business is doing its best to get to know customers on a more personal level by engaging with them.
Last but not least, always says “thank you.” This action alone shows customers that you care about their feedback and honesty and that you’re doing your best to address their concerns.
In today’s world, gaining customer reviews makes a big difference to a company’s top and bottom line. Previously, companies had to give out samples of products and/or services in order for potential customers to determine if the goods were worth purchasing. In any case, if you or your staff are not accustomed to managing your online reputation and responding to reviews promptly, you could consider outsourcing it to an online reputation management agency. They may be of useful assistance in boosting your business reputation.
Nowadays, everyone with Internet access simply goes online to look at reviews to determine if the business is trustworthy and that the goods being sold are of high quality.
The better the reviews are, the more likely potential customers will purchase those products and/or services, hence why the proof of the pudding is actually in the reviews now and not the eating.
Following the tips above will go a long way in building customer rapport and you’ll also get a great reputation as a people-centric company. Only then will you get those glowing reviews you’ve always wanted!
We love it when our customers say awesome things about us, especially on social media and review sites. We would like to say thank you for all your support!!!
As a token of appreciation, we welcome our customers, including staff, to join our Advocates Program to reward you for your honesty and loyalty.
Follow the steps below to become an advocate today:
1. Log into the “myCP” homepage.
2. Go to the “Community” section and click on the “Advocates Program.”
3. Read the “Rules & Conditions” to our Advocates Rewards Program.
4. Agree to the “terms & conditions” and follow the three simple steps below to sign up.