Our current economy is making all types of sales difficult (with perhaps the exception of groceries). Although customers have been reallocating resources, their behaviors before making a purchase and commitment have not, especially when it comes to customer reviews. Customers want to see that your business, its products, and its services are reviewed before they make a commitment.
Customers are Reading Reviews
According the the Spiegel Research Center, nearly “95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.” Additionally, according to BrightLocal, “90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business within the past year.”
In an earlier survey by the same research group, it was determined that “93% of local consumers use reviews to determine if a local business is good or bad.” Additionally, those customers care about how businesses respond to the customer reviews. All of this information gathering creates action within the customer. The average customer must read at least ten reviews before feeling able to trust a business, which begs the reasoning as to why having a place to gather these reviews is essential for your business. People want information on it before making the decision to use your business or product.
Online Customer Reviews Equal In-Person Sales
The above data and information is to qualify why it is important to not only solicit reviews from customers and clients, but why it is also important to maintain those reviews with responses. According to the Spiegel Research Center, “displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%.” Sites and Networks like Facebook and NuOp that allow you to enable comments and reviews will yield positive results for you and your business should you manage those responses well. Additionally, purchase likelihood improves “15%” when buyers read verified buyer reviews over anonymous posts.” Most customers will not even take action unless there are online reviews for you and your business. When evaluating similar businesses and products with the same rating, a person is more likely to select the one that has the most reviews.
Improving Online Customer Reviews
You can improve or maintain your online reviews with some time, monitoring, and good ol’ customer service. Here are three simple ways that you can better your online reviews.
- Educate Customers on Leaving Reviews. Many customers will want to help you and your business, but do not know where to go or what to write. Simply taking some time to direct them to a specific site and explaining the importance of a review, regardless of the content, can be very helpful for the future growth of your business.
- Prioritize Customer Service. Good news spreads quickly, bad news spreads faster. If you want good reviews, you will have to cultivate a business where customer service is a priority. Great customer service will yield great reviews and return customers.
- Respond Affirmatively to Negative Reviews. Be sure to monitor your online presence and respond to those that leave negative feedback. Be sure to tailor your response toward making things right for the customer. Customers care more about how you handle a bad situation more than the actual bad situation itself.
- Have a Website: Going back to the first point for a moment, it is important to direct customers to where they can leave a review. But what a better place then your own website? Don't fret! Making a site is as easy as ever with the tools out there for the everyday freelancer. But not only will people have a good location to leave reviews, but you will also be growing your online presence as well as your SEO.
- Be Active Online: Just like responding to negative reviews its important to be active on the internet. You could do this by simply posting on social media or talking with your customers. But either way, more engagement means more customers.
Reviews for the Win - Conclusion
In the end, an online presence is essential for consumers in modern business. The more positive reviews, the better for business. The more reviews with your engagement, the better for business. Reviews will give your customers the sense of trust in the products and services you provide. Trust in spending time on cultivating online reviews as it is an incredibly impactful portion of your business.