4 Reasons Online Reviews are Important and How You Can Get Them
One of the main reasons reviews are such an important tool for businesses is that they are one of the easiest and most obvious ways for customers and prospective customers to communicate their feelings about their experience.
Social proof has always been a part of gaining new customers, with people more likely to opt for something if they know others have enjoyed the product. Online reviews have galvanized this mechanism by allowing that proof to occur between the reviewer and anyone reading the review, effectively turning the internet into a supercharged version of word of mouth advertising.
Think of your own behaviour: do you check reviews before you purchase or hire someone? Read on to learn more about why reviews are so important, and what you can do to utilize this amazing resource.
1. Social Proof
Reviews are a great way to establish social proof. This is the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to emulate behavior in certain situations. Meaning that when people shop, they look for reviews, recommendations and ways that others have used a product before making their decision.
If someone else has had a good experience, it’s likely they will as well. As much as we like to be unique, when it comes to hiring or purchasing, people are more comfortable in doing something if others have done it first.
Reviews are also a great way of establishing your credibility as a company. Reviews are a powerful tool when it comes to affecting how customers perceive your business, with something as simple as a star rating making a tremendous difference in whether they choose you or another business they perceive as being more credible.
Ultimately, most customers will not be doing deep or prolonged research into a company, and they will want to find the quickest route to the best service for them. This is where something like Google reviews can be incredibly useful, as even before they click on the reviews themselves, having a higher average rating and a higher volume of reviews compared to the other companies in the search results, will give you an advantage.
3. Open Communication
Reviews give you an open channel of communication to your customers, with a way of not only hearing their feedback, but of providing your own perspective, and helping alleviate any of their concerns or grievances.
Ultimately, this makes reviews a great way of understanding your customer’s mindset, and of demonstrating that you’re a company that puts your customers first. This communication can also help you create a customer friendly brand image, one built on a personal touch, that will impress both prospective customers and potential future employees.
4. Search Rankings
Reviews are an important part of the mechanisms behind promoting and ensuring that your business is more visible to those searching or browsing online. This is especially vital when it comes to Google searches, where reviews make up a key factor in determining how highly your page ranks.
It may seem like a small thing on its own, but in conjunction with the other small parts that make up the search algorithm results, it can go a long way to helping your company rank higher, and therefore be more visible to potential customers.
Making The Most of Your Review Opportunities
While there are a number of dedicated channels that will vary depending on the nature of your business, such as TripAdvisor for restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions, Houzz for trades, Facebook for more small local businesses, the one that will be mostly universal, and important to your business, is Google.
When it comes to getting more reviews on these all important platforms, here are some tips you can utilize to ensure happy customers are sharing their opinions online:
- Ask your customers in person after a job has been completed. If you don’t ask, you likely won’t get! This is one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting reviews. And it’s something you should ensure that you and your employees are doing on a regular basis.
- Include it in your marketing materials. By including an invitation for a review in your email signatures, on receipts, or if you have a physical product on an accompanying card to go with the packaging, you can also effectively solicit reviews.
- Send a follow up message. Whether it’s via email or text, one of the best things any business can do is follow up with their customers, not only does this help extend the relationship, it also improves your chances of garnering more positive reviews.
- Reward your customers for their reviews. By offering incentives or discounts for customers who leave reviews, you can not only generate follow up sales, but also increase your chances of getting a positive review on your page. Just make sure you’re not bribing your customers, being authentic and genuine is important!
- Monitor and respond to both positive and negative reviews. Yes, responding to negative reviews is important, as well as the positive ones, as it helps demonstrate that you’re a company that not only listens to its customers, but that values their feedback and input. Plus this can help set the record straight if they are not being truthful in the review.
Get the Reviews
When it comes to using reviews as a marketing tool for your business, the first step is the most important: ensuring that your satisfied customers leave reviews for your business. Luckily, this is something we offer as a service! If the above list seems like too much work or you don’t have enough time to do it yourself, we can solicit reviews on your behalf.
This is a relatively new service compared to our other offerings, but it has been a very successful endeavor. Our clients appreciate that they are receiving more Google reviews with little hassle, and we love increasing their online visibility and credibility.
Reviews are one of the most important parts of your online presence. It’s all very well for you as a business to tell the world how great you are, it’s a different thing entirely when you have an objective voice also saying that message! These are invaluable sources of content, and should be used to their full extent. To learn more how Radar Hill can help you get more reviews, get in touch.