These days, reviews can be found in a variety of places, whether that’s on social media, a business’s own website, or through third-party reviewing services. They are a useful way of securing new business and a great tool for validation, they’re also a good way of gathering client feedback. But why are online reviews so important for your business? Why is it becoming a key part of branding? Understanding why you need online reviews will assist you in optimising your customer experience and establishing a great online presence. Let’s take a look at the reasons why your customers’ published experiences with your business matter.
Why are online reviews important for business?
Online reviews are becoming increasingly important in digital marketing and sales. Customers (both potential and current) read online reviews all the time to decide whether or not to buy a product, hire a company, visit a destination, or dine at a restaurant. The popularity of online reviews has grown in recent years and the following data demonstrates the significance of online reviews:
- In 2020, 87% of buyers will check online reviews for local businesses, according to a BrightLocal survey from last year.
- Now in 2021, 93% of customers read online reviews before purchasing a product, and 94% of all purchases are for products with an average rating of 4 stars or above.
Reviews help you stand out, increase sales, enhance search engine results, educate customers, and persuade them to pick up the phone and call you. It’s time to start paying attention to your online reviews. Here are 10 tips to help you go above and beyond when it comes to product reviews and customer testimonials.
Put your reviews in the spotlight
Consider including a handful of customer reviews on your site. If you have product reviews, include them on each product page. With a link in your top menu, you may even create an entirely new page dedicated to amazing testimonials. Simply make sure they are on your site in a way that makes sense for your product.
Join the same social media platforms as your customer
The greatest method to get honest feedback is to be friendly and approachable. Make your store’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles widely available so customers can leave comments and inquiries. You’ll also want to have a profile on Yelp and Google My Business if you have a physical location.
Follow up with the buyers
Consider sending customers an email once they have made a transaction. When the purchase is still fresh in people’s minds, you are more likely to obtain a review. To automate this procedure, look at BigCommerce app partner Yotpo, which not only makes it easier for you but also for your customers. Reduce the friction between your request and their ability to submit a review as much as feasible.
Ask the right questions
To do so effectively, you must first determine the type of responses you desire before you begin asking for them. What are the interests of your target audience? When it comes to making a purchase, what are their main concerns? What are the common pain points in your industry? By aligning yourself with these questions, you’ll be able to obtain more meaningful and relevant testimonials.
Make contact with those who leave glowing reviews
If you see a positive Yelp review or a beautiful, tagged photo on Instagram, thank them. Make a point of following up on positive feedback and making it public. You can also inquire about using their shoutout on your website or social media.
Contact those who leave you negative reviews
Ignoring them will not make them disappear. Try to reply to bad reviews, especially if you believe the reviewer is valid in their criticism or if other customers have expressed similar concerns. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from your customers and enhance your business.
Incentives are an excellent approach to motivate customers to act. You can hold a contest or giveaway in which individuals who submit positive reviews for your business are placed into a monthly draw with a random winner. Make sure you are not asking for a positive review, but rather an honest one. Do not force customers to purchase anything in order to enter, instead, focus on existing customers who have yet to provide feedback.
When you post the testimonial, include the customer’s name and photo
This is a lovely way to thank your customers, and it also adds a level of credibility to their reviews. Consider including the review’s source, such as Yelp, to encourage other customers to leave their own feedback. (Be sure to ask for permission from the reviewer before doing so).
Give your customers a reason to leave a review
It could be as simple as drafting a handwritten thank you note, but even a small gesture like that will go a long way towards making your customers feel appreciated. Go above and beyond to ensure that customers are willing to discuss the product or service on social media.
Don’t stop there
It is impossible to overstate the importance of maintaining ties with clients after the transaction is completed. You’ll need a long-term strategy to keep your name in front of those satisfied customers who just left a review. Remember that 92% of consumers around the world now trust word-to-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of marketing, and the primary way that new prospects find out about them. Yes, providing exceptional service and adding value to someone’s life is important. But what occurs between the time you do business with a client and their friend approached you for a referral? Attempting to recall your name months or years after working with a client may not be as simple as you believe. As a result, it’s critical to maintain contact with your network after your official business has concluded. You won’t have to ponder how to get internet reviews for your business if your clients and customers know your identity.
What are the different online customer review sites for businesses?
Reviews can be found on a variety of websites and social media platforms. The following are some of the most popular review sites:
Do you know those reviews that pop up when you do a Google search for a business? Well, that’s just one of the features built into Google My Business (or Google Business Profile as it’s now known). Getting reviews, comments, pictures, and other forms of feedback, particularly on Google, can help you rank higher in search. Reviews can only be responded to by certified local Google My Business pages.
Benefits of Google My Business:
- Google is the most popular search engine in the world, with a market share of more than 90%.
- Google has the ability to localise your review search, which means it will only show results for businesses in the area you searched.
- Creating and customising your Google Business Profile is completely free. It only takes a few minutes to set up.
- Google Reviews influence nearly 10% of Google’s search algorithm. The higher your business ranks on SERPs, the more positive ratings it has.
Yelp is a free review service where customers may give companies a five-star rating. Any business can create a free Yelp profile, and users can create their own free profiles to leave reviews. You’re free to respond to reviewers as well, but because Yelpers are such a close-knit group, we recommend adopting a measured and courteous approach to any bad feedback you get. Because your Yelp profile includes information such as store hours and location, your profile will frequently appear when people Google your business.
Benefits of Yelp:
- Yelp has almost 184 million monthly users throughout the world.
- Anyone can sign up for Yelp, and customers can submit reviews fairly easily, making it a useful source of customer feedback.
- Yelp users are a close-knit group. Your business will receive a lot of comprehensive feedback from active users.
- According to research, a one-star boost in your Yelp rating can raise income by 5-9%.
In 1995, Amazon was one of the first online retailers to allow customers to publish product reviews, and it is now one of the most valuable sites for consumers trying to make informed purchase decisions. Even though people can (and do) buy products elsewhere, if it’s sold on Amazon – many people will look up the product’s Amazon review before making a purchase.
The benefits of Amazon Customer reviews:
- Your review will be seen by over 300 million Amazon customers.
- The Amazon rating system is simple and easy to comprehend.
- Amazon has a product ranking took that determines how popular your product is.
- Amazon customers are devoted – 22% won’t look at competitors if they found a product on Amazon.
Did you know that your business has a section on Facebook where fans may offer ratings and reviews? It’s called Facebook Ratings and Reviews; it shows on the left-hand side of your Facebook page and cannot be moved or removed like other aspects of your page. Anyone with a Facebook account can rate or review a business. They only need to go to your Page’s Reviews area, click the grey stars to select a rating, and then add an optional review. They have the option of making the review public, visible to friends, or only viewable to them.
Benefits of Facebook ratings and reviews:
- Each month, Facebook has over 2.7 billion active users.
- All you need to do I create a Facebook Business Profile to start collecting reviews.
- At least once a week, two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business’s Facebook page.
- Facebook is a social media network that focuses on communication. This raises the likelihood of having productive discussions with those who post a review for your company.
Trustpilot is a rapidly expanding, community-driven customer review platform established in Denmark that has grown to 65 countries, including the United Kingdom. Businesses from all over the world can use the platform to collect client feedback in a proactive manner. Customers write both product and seller reviews, ensuring that they are third-party verified. While you may create a profile page and collect customer reviews for free, the subscription version allows you to create customisable review invitations, distribute ratings and reviews on social media, and integrate review data into your internal business systems.
Benefits of Trustpilot:
- On Trustpilot, almost 500,000 websites have been rated.
- To rate its website, Trustpilot employs its own review system. Trustpilot has a four-star rating out of five based on over 136,000 reviews.
- When customers post reviews for your business, Trustpilot’s advanced SEO capabilities help your website rank higher in SERPs.
- Shopify, Adobe Commerce, and MailChimp are all compatible with Trustpilot.
Twitter’s insanely fast-paced nature makes it seem like an odd location to try and accumulate reviews. While consumers may not always look for reviews on Twitter (unless you’ve established a review hashtag, for example), tweets are still indexed in search results. When someone searches for reviews on your business, a user’s tweet, whether positive or negative, could appear in the SERPs. Not only that but there are things you can do with the positive tweets that are being sent your way. It will be easier to identify tweets that could serve as positive reviews in the future if you start favouriting them.
Benefits of Twitter:
- Twitter has a daily active user base of over 186 million people.
- Twitter allows you to communicate with users both publicly and privately. This means you can answer to clients directly on your feed while also moving the conversation to direct messaging if necessary.
- On Twitter, responses are almost instantaneous. Customers who wish to express their thoughts about your company can do so almost instantaneously on Twitter.
- Twitter reviews are of high quality. When customers post evaluations, you don’t have to worry about an overall rating or satisfaction score.
Your own website
Finally, there’s your website, which you have complete authority over. It is a great place to share positive feedback you’ve received (maybe even embed some of the tweets you’ve favourited?) You may dedicate a part of your website to reviews and testimonials, and even offer a form for customers to leave unprompted feedback. It’s also a great option for customers who want to write you a favourable review but don’t have accounts on sites like Yelp or Google. You could also consider adding testimonials to your landing pages and product pages as well.
Benefits of your own website:
- Your reviews’ structure and rating system are completely under your control.
- You have complete control over which reviews appear on your website.
- Having reviews on your website is timely. While purchasing your products, visitors to your site can read your positive reviews.
How to ask a customer to leave a review for your business
Do you want more reviews? Ask for them! Consider whether you should ask for a review based on where your consumer is in the sales funnel. It would be an excellent opportunity to ask for a review after a customer has re-ordered one of your products or services or accomplished a project milestone, for example. Make sure you don’t ask for a review at an inconvenient time. It would be absurd to request a review after a user has just visited your site and has not called or made a purchase. How are you enjoying our product? or we’d love to hear your thoughts! are good phrases to use when asking for a review. Direct your buyer to one of two popular review sites where the vast majority of your reviews can be found (e.g., Google My Business or Facebook). You can follow up later via email, social media, a phone call, or in-person if you miss the opportunity at the time of the transaction
Remember, be proud of your reviews! When you receive positive feedback for your brand, don’t forget to repurpose it. To ensure that your reviews are seen, share them with your audience in social media posts and even newsletters. Don’t forget you may need to ask the author if you can share their review.