- 25th February, 2019
Customer Reviews – are they worth the time and effort?
100 blog posts
We are bombard with customer review requests.
Customer reviews are shown on everything we do. It seems like every time you make a purchase be it for a bag of potatoes or a new car you are immediately asked for a customer review. We are bombarded with requests for feedback and customer reviews for products and services daily. Giving a customer review does little for the customer unless it is to vent when something is not right. Do they seriously do enough for a small business to commit the time to chasing these hopefully kind words. Why would or should you give your time to leave a review if you have no idea what the value it or why.
There are many contradictory stories out there about how many people leave customer reviews and the effectiveness of them. It seems that 57% is regularly quoted as the figure for people who read and follow the feedback from reviews. A straw poll around the office seems to say this figure could be much higher. The interaction with your customers and what they say, even though we don’t personally know these people is the new word of mouth. These are the social media friends who are telling us “this is good “– it is the social media take-over of word of mouth.
It is established that as a consumer we take note of customer reviews. If you are looking to make a purchase and out of three possibilities one had 1300, 5-star reviews against something that had less reviews and maybe poor reviews it pushes us to make the purchase so increases direct sales. It is not always easy to encourage people to leave a review so are there other benefits?
If you are going to take reviews of your products or service seriously there are three major steps within the online review timeline. You need to take all three of these seriously and it is a time commitment to ensure the reviews work for you.
- Asking customers to leave them,
- Monitoring the reviews that come in
- Responding to the customers who leave them, both positive and negative.
In order to understand why these investments are necessary, here are a few reasons why online reviews are so important.
Customer Reviews Build Credibility
This is all about building trust, we want to have some certainty that our purchase will be a success. Reading reviews helps to build this trust (or not if they are poor reviews) Having our computers in our hands in the form of a phone, consumer research is easy and immediate. As mentioned above, most people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Consumers turn to review sites to gain a better understanding of a business, so the more positive reviews you have, the better. These positive reviews will help instil trust within your business, they tell you story, and consumers believe them.
Customer Reviews Help Your search engine ranking
In order to appear in online searches, your business needs to have good SEO (search engine optimization). Online reviews play a big role in SEO, as reviews can influence where a business falls within search rankings. Google, for instance, gathers review information from many sites when determining where a business will fall in search results. Google also reward interaction with websites so a review being left and then responded to gets a big tick in the SEO box.
Customer Reviews Help Connect you with Your Customers
To stand out against competitors within your local community, it’s important to find interesting ways to connect with your customers. Reviews provide an avenue for doing just that. When a customer leaves a review, you can take the time to respond and thank them for taking the time to do so. This will also provide credibility to others who read the reviews and see your responses.
You can also learn about issues that you didn’t know existed this way. For instance, a customer might leave a comment regarding an issue they came across. You can then provide them with a solution to their problem, and hopefully turn that negative comment into a positive one.
Small businesses should embrace the power of positive online reviews. They can help customers learn more about your business so that in the future, they turn to you when they’re ready to learn more and possibly make a purchase.
As a consumer, if you care about the business always leave a review. It is a tough world out there when you are in business on your own. Marketing and promotion can be very expensive. Reviews are no always the answer as they are not always good. The best advice is to make sure that what you offer is the best it can be, learn from your reviews, make sure you respond to them all and use them to power up your sales process.
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