As more people are shopping and doing business online customer reviews have become more important. You might think that getting critical or bad reviews may be damaging to your business but that is not always the case. Customer reviews are an important consideration for new customers and should be encouraged. Customers are doing much more online research before making a purchase and 90% of them read online reviews before visiting a business.
A recent survey showed that online review engagement has more than doubled during the Covid-19 pandemic. More people are doing business online and cautious customers are reading reviews so that they know what to expect when they visit your business. You are more likely to get a visit from new customers if they see reviews from other happy customers who rave about your business and employees and that it is run safely.
Reviews build your credibility - reviews are a large part of the online reputation of your business and can greatly enhance customer trust. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 72% say that positive reviews help that to have trust in a local business.
Reviews increase sales - When potential customers read reviews they are more likely to purchase something if other people have already done so. The concept of people following the actions of the masses is called "Social Proof". As more people are likely to enter a busy restaurant than an empty one customers are more likely to make a purchase if they believe that it is a good one.
An Invesp infographic showed that:
Reviews give you the chance to interact with your customers - You can reinforce positive comments with thanks and rectify negative ones by showing that you care and solving any problems. Interaction with your customers is very important to make them remember your brand and this works both ways good and bad. Interactions with your customers help to build brand loyalty and support for your business and make them more likely to recommend you in the future.
Here are some of the most important review platforms that you should considerate to collect reviews for your business:
Google My Business - is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across google. Once a business verifies their information and complete their Google my business registration the users can start to leave reviews. Google customer reviews show up in searches improve SEO.
Facebook - is an important business review site. Businesses need to create a Facebook business profile and the process of leaving reviews is easy for customers as most already have a Facebook account.
Yelp - is the largest platform for online customer reviews and can be useful to any kind of business. It has many useful review management tools and allows businesses to reply privately and publicly to customers who have posted reviews about them.
Tripadvisor - is the world's largest travel website and businesses can list on there for free. It increases exposure to a qualified audience and is ideal for travel related businesses such as accommodations, restaurants and attractions.
Better Business Bureau - is a business rated review system that educates consumers and assists them in finding trusted businesses. A company profile on BBB will have a short bio, a history of any complaints about the business and a rating from A to F.
All businesses benefit from an online presence and customer reviews. They give customers the best experience that they can and reviews let more people know about it.
From an article by Claudia Labonte-Kudzman
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