In 2021, world travels fast – especially online.
If you want to protect your brand and boost your business, you need to pay attention to what your customers are saying about you.
One of the best ways to know where you stand is to manage your online reviews.
The more support you receive on popular review platforms, the easier it will be to build trust with consumers.
And if you’re seen as reputable, those consumers will be more likely to do business with you.
Without enough reviews, you may lose potential sales to a competitor with a better online presence.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at why online reviews matter so much, what happens if you don’t have enough of them, and how to get more of them for your business.
The Impact of Online Reviews
Some business owners assume that online reviews aren’t a make-or-break part of their business.
They’re nice to have, you might think, but they aren’t essential to my success.
This is an unfortunate misconception. Like it or not, our world is driven by all things digital.
If you don’t have a strong enough presence on the most well-known review platforms, customers will have a much harder time trusting you.
Since most won’t want to take a chance on a product or service, they’ll opt to buy from a competitor with more than enough digital proof of the value they provide.
In other words, businesses without enough reviews are at a huge disadvantage.
According to data from BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for businesses in 2020. Nearly 80% of people said they trust them just as much as personal recommendations.
But there’s a catch. Only 48% of consumers say they’d consider patronizing a business with a total review ranking of fewer than four stars. What’s more, the vast majority of shoppers say reviews published within the previous three months matter the most. And before being able to actually trust a business, the average customer needs to read around 10 reviews.
Simply put, you need to concentrate on generating great online reviews for your business on a consistent basis. If you don’t have enough public feedback, you’ll end up fighting an uphill battle.
Tips to Generate More Online Reviews
Now that you understand the importance of reviews, you might be wondering where to start. Here are just a few tips that can help you acquire more reviews for your business.
- Provide Stellar Customer Service: The sad reality is that the majority of customers won’t take the time to leave a review, especially if their experience is average or good. Unless they have a major complaint, they may not be inclined to put in the effort. But if you go above and beyond with your customer service each and every time, you’ll automatically encourage them to share their thoughts to support you.
- Use Automation Software: One of the most effective ways to get more customer reviews is to simply ask for them. However, that can take a lot of time and effort. You have the option to automate this process through the use of the software. You can set up “triggers” that will send out emails after a customer purchase, for example. You might also target certain audiences to ask them to leave a review after a certain amount of time has passed.
- Add Links to Your Website: The easier you can make any process, the better. Asking a customer to go out of their way to find your Yelp profile or Facebook reviews may not yield the results you’re after. You can make it simple for your customers to find where to go by adding direct links to your website (or in your email blasts). That way, it’ll take just seconds for them to complete the process. Removing these barriers can help you achieve your goals.
- Respond With Empathy: Once you start receiving reviews, it’s important to respond to each one promptly and with compassion. Remember that even if you receive a negative review, it isn’t the end of the world. How you respond to that review will matter more than the fact that it exists. Showcasing your customer service and your values can convince consumers who were on the fence to support your business. Always make sure the reviewer feels heard and resist the urge to become defensive! This technique will often increase your sales, which can then increase your reviews in the long term.
Our technological dependency isn’t going anywhere – and neither is the need for online reviews. With these tips in mind, you can increase your brand awareness, build trust with your customers, and achieve your larger business goals through reputation management.