Practically everyone has access to the internet. And because of this, many people do the majority of the shopping and research prior to buying online. In fact, in this modern world, it’s unlikely that someone would make a purchase without doing some sort of searching and shopping around.
This is true for many products and services out there. Whether it be to buy a computer, a apparel, or even a wedding ring. People do their fair share of research, and even more so if it’s an ‘investment’ purchase - meaning high price tag.
Buyers may browse the business sites, and compare items that way. But, a lot of research also includes reading reviews. As a review is typically done by a tried and true user, and their opinion is not as biased as what the company would say about themselves in their promotional content.
Because of this, reviews act as word of mouth for your business. And often lead many referrals to your door (or e-door… if you’re all online).
Here are a few reasons why getting reviews is a good idea for brand reputation management.
- The potential uplift from including reviews on your site is around 18%. According to Revoo
- Purchases were most influenced by reviews with an average star rating between 4.2 and 4.5. According to GetApp
- 72% of customers don't take action until they have read reviews. According to Testimonial Engine
- Displaying reviews for higher-priced products can increase conversion rates by 380%. According to Spiegel Research Center
Reviews are one of the top 5 influences of a purchase decision. Just under costs and variety of options.
If that doesn’t make up your mind. Here are a few more reasons why you should be asking for reviews.
1. Consumers are willing to spend more
The more good reviews you have the more people are willing to spend. According to RevLocal, having just ‘one extra star can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue’.
This may be because customers feel more comfortable knowing that product or service is probably going to be great. Because of this, “31% of people are likely to spend more on a business that has positive reviews”, as mentioned by Planet Marketing.
So not only will your overall revenue increase, but those who read your reviews are more likely to spend more money too.
2. You’ll get more referrals
A referral is a great way to get new business, as your happy customer refers their friends there is a built in level of trust. But, that doesn’t mean a referred person isn’t going to take a deeper look at you.
The referral may put you in their radar, but they may still need to read a few ‘unbiased’ reviews (or ones mentioned by someone outside of their inner circle) to really figure out if you’re a good fit for their needs. This is especially true for service type businesses.
So, if you have a few reviews out there, you may be able to convert that referral into a customer.
Plus, if you think about it, even those people who aren’t directly referred can be a referral if they decide to choose you based on reading reviews (as they are taking the word of someone else).
Note: people may refer on their own, but the right referral software can make referring even easier!
Anyone getting referred to a business would love to also see reviews that recommend the business!
3. You can increase your brand awareness and SEO
Customer reviews can add to your online search fuel. These types of ‘original’ content can provide another way for you to be found by search engines. Plus, original content like this does really well with algorithms, and usually is what pops up first in many search results. Meaning you may have a better chance at getting your name exposed to more front page search results.
An online review can act as another content pipeline. By having multiple positive reviews out there, you are spreading the word about your business, and hopefully shining light on positive customer experience while doing so. All of which increases your brand awareness.
Whether it’s your homepage or a review being found, the more exposure you have, the more authority you can build.
As mentioned in Forbes, reviews are fresh and free content. “And even better than that, customers will use words you typically won’t”. You may use a specific term to reflect consistency on your webpage, but a customer may use a different term that can help you rank for that term too. Which is great for SEO!
4. You look more trusting
Regardless of what type of business you have, a review can help build your trust among leads. According to BrightLocal, 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars on average.
This is important because those businesses without ratings or reviews may suffer as potential leads may skip over their business to go with ones that have reviews.
This is even more important for eCommerce and service based businesses (like lawn services) where these types of business often lack the brick and mortar storefront. Therefore, these types of business miss out on creating personal relationships with customers, thus they have to rely on reviews as a way to do it for them.
Take a look at the listings above. If you were to choose a business, which one would you choose based on these reviews?Probably Superior Pools who has the most reviews and the best star rating.
5. Leads can see how real customers use your product
Customers can be really innovative. This can show others some versatility that you might not advertise on. Plus, you may learn a new way to market your product too. And if they add images to their review, it can be an even better way to show how your product can be used differently.
For example, if you make custom made pottery and glassware, you may find that customer has turned one of your pieces into a beautiful lamp. This wasn’t it’s intended purpose, but it works and looks nice. This can be another way to market your business or at least impact your SEO. You can create a blog of interesting ways customers use your product!
6. They provide you with insight on things to improve
Many businesses avoid reviews because they are scared of receiving negative feedback. But a negative review can lead you to an opportunity to grow. You will learn customer pain points and be able to fix the problem and become a better solution.
When customers feel that they are heard, they appreciate it, and stick around. “Feeling unappreciated is the number 1 reason customers switch”, NewVoiceMedia.
Negative reviews are necessary sometimes. Some customers want to know what the worst thing to happen is, so they can figure out if it’s worth it.
Plus, “Too many positive reviews can seem fake to some shoppers”, as mentioned by Neil Patel.
68% of customers trust reviews more when there’s a healthy mix of both positive and negative reviews. - Revoo
Your response to negative reviews matter
Another reason negative reviews matter is that they show customers how you respond to negative situations. Were you helpful, did you resolve the issue, did you offer an apology. A potential lead can use this as an opportunity to see whether or not you actually care about what you do and the people you serve.
Showing empathy towards an unhappy customer or situation can drive better customer relationships and create happy customers in the end.
Responding to reviews can lead to an increase in ratings. In a study done by TripAdvisor, they found that 1/3 of the hotels were able to increase their ratings by half a star or more within just six months of providing their first response.
Note: if a review comes back and is completely false or malicious, you can ask the webmaster to remove it. But, it could also be a great way to prove your innocence and share what really happened. This can further help potential customers to make an even more informed decision.
Ask for reviews and don’t be scared to get negative ones, as all the reviews will provide you with the opportunity to grow.
A review can do so much for your business as they are a great source of word of mouth, they build your SEO, and they provide you with a blanket of trust.
Asking for reviews can be a vital step in your business’s health.
About the Author
Megan Mosley is a marketing specialist at Referral Rock, who makes referral marketing software. When Megan isn't writing, you'd be able to find her at her favorite coffee shop or exploring nearby trails.