5 Reasons Why Companies Should Care About Online Reviews
Let’s face it. When people are looking for something, wanting to know more about something or want to find out where something is – they get out their smartphones and do an online search. Today, most of this online research is focused on reading – not company websites and landing pages – but online customer reviews.
Why? Because people trust more what your customers say about you – than what you say about you.
Online customer reviews are exploding on the web. Popular sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor and many others are giving consumers the ability to post reviews – using the now ubiquitous 1 to 5-star scale – to rate their experiences with products and services.
If you are not paying attention, your reputation and sales can suffer.
This post is designed as a quick overview of the importance of online reviews. Future posts will delve into the specifics discussed. For now, below are 5 reasons why every business should care about online customer reviews.
- Buying decisions are heavily influenced by online reviews. A recent study found that 90% of consumers say online reviews influence their buying decisions (Dimensional Research – 2013). That is a powerful statistic. The bad news is if you do not have reviews for your business, your customers can’t find you. How do you get more reviews? Ask your customers to write reviews and post to one of the major review sites.
- Increasing your overall “star” rating can boost revenues. Research done by the Harvard Business School found that for every one-star improvement in your review rating corresponds in a 9% increase in sales. A proactive campaign of reaching out to customers and inviting them to review their experience on the major review sites can increase your average star rating.
- Ignoring customer reviews hurts your reputation. Ignoring reviews is like a slap in the face to those customers that have taken the time to rate your business. Also, it tells others that you do not care about customer satisfaction. Responding to reviews can seem tedious, but with a little knowledge and effort, responding to reviews can go a long way to improving your reputation and boost sales.
- Reviews rank in organic search results. Google is giving reviews more weight when it comes to displaying search results. The key reason for this is that consumers love reviews. So managing and generating online reviews should be part of your local SEO strategy.
- Reviews provide valuable customer feedback. Suggestions and comments from consumers offer a wealth of information and insights regarding the overall customer experience including interactions with employees, product or service performance and effectiveness of internal processes. Analyzing this feedback and using the results to incorporate into staff training or to make operational improvements is invaluable.
Online customer reviews represent a tremendous opportunity for businesses to both enhance brand reputation and boost revenue. ReviewIgnite can help. Using our online reputation management services, we can implement an effective, easy-to-use solution for you and your staff to start monitoring and leveraging the power of online customer reviews today.
Want to learn more? Request a free demo from ReviewIgnite today!