When it comes to your online reputation – reviews are the rock & roll to word-of-mouth’s country classics. Simply put, online reviews have become a customary, convenient response for your clients to share their thoughts and rate their experiences for all to see. Furthermore, sites that publish crowd-sourced reviews such as Yelp and Google+ allow businesses to provide active responses and cultivate a relationship with clients on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at how the two cents left by your customers, can hold an enormous amount of value.
The Beginnings of a Beneficial Relationship
Time is valuable, and when clients make the effort to leave a review they’re telling you that your business and services matter to them. They’re willing to establish a relationship with you – and as such plant the seeds for a potential long-lasting loyalty or grow their trust and evolve as a valued client. More than a courtesy, providing expedient and thorough responses not only show you take their thoughts and concerns seriously but that they have a voice that’s being heard.
Reviews Relative to Increased Sales
In the era of information, consumers crave every ounce of data they can find. According to Marketingland.com, an astonishing 90% of customers admitted that buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. On the sales side, 31% of customers are likely to spend more on businesses with overwhelmingly positive reviews, proving more than ever that reviews matter in the minds of potential buyers.
Spread the Word
Reviews spark more reviews. When a business showcases a healthy number of reviews, the greater the likelihood of additional feedback being collected to continue to grow your online presence. Customers will feel a greater confidence level in leaving their own review or piggybacking a particular point made by another client. The result? Increased community engagement and a stronger sense of community.
The Bad with the Good
While positive reviews provide an obvious boost, less than likable reviews should propel you into action to assertively ease your client’s concerns and manage issues before you lose business. Take the time to analyze a negative review and identify what went wrong and how you can improve your level of service. Responding publicly to complaints and concerns provides a personal response the consumers appreciate, and creating a resolution can turn a negative situation into a positive solution that bodes well for the future of your business.
Soaring Search Engine Rankings
The importance of online reviews go far beyond the basic eye test. The more reviews you have, the higher your website will rank in results on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and more. Increased visibility means your credibility follows suit, so if they need a push try to encourage your clients to be active participants by offering an incentive such as a free or discounted service for leaving a review.