The New Word of Mouth: Online Reviews
Online Reviews ‑ why do they matter?
Did you know that according to Bright Local, 82% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase?
Reviews are powerful! Here’s what reviews do:
- Influence decision-making
- Affect a business’ credibility
- Shape perceptions of your brand
- Drive sales (up or down)
- Open up conversations about your business
- Help you get found online
- Contribute to how your business ranks in search engine visibility
As a small business owner, getting found online and ranking in search engine visibility is key! If you aren’t already, it’s time to seek out those positive testimonials!
Replying to Reviews…Is it worth my time?
Yes! It’s important to always reply back to the customers who leave you a review. Of course, you will want to sincerely address any bad reviews that may come up. But also, take time to acknowledge and appreciate the good ones!
Replying to reviews is a type of customer engagement that leaves a good impression. It shows your customers that you care about their opinions and appreciate their business. It also shows other Google users or Facebook followers that you care about providing a good experience for your customers!
How can I get more online reviews for my small business?
- Just ask. Most people are very willing to leave a review, but just need the invite or reminder to do so.
- Make it easy. Always share the direct link to your Facebook Reviews section or to your Google My Business listing. People don’t want to search for the right place!
- Share the process. Explain when and how the invitation for a review will arrive. Be sure to share why reviews are important to your business and also what areas you might be seeking feedback on.
- Timing is key. You want the review to come when the experience with your business is still pretty fresh. So make reviews a part of your own workflow. It should be a task inside your project manager or a key part of your sales process.
- Provide multiple reminders. Don’t spam someone, but do utilize all your marketing platforms to gather reviews. Send out an email after purchase. Share a positive review on social media, and ask others to leave theirs, too. Put the link to your review page in your own email signature, so it’s there for the taking. Ask via text message. Send out a quarterly Google Form to ask how you’re doing.
Online reviews are the new word of mouth, but possibly even more important because they have sticking power! They are going to stay around for a long time for people to read. Boost your business and ask for feedback today!