Show Your Online Reviews Some Love!
Online customer reviews. They aren’t going anywhere. Ignoring them is bad for business. Fighting them only makes things worse. The reality is online reviews are actually great for your business. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, it’s time to show online reviews some love.
For most businesses, online reviews are looked upon with contempt. The mere mention of online reviews can cause the blood of business owners to boil. The reason this sentiment exists is because the online review movement got off to a rocky start.
In the beginning, there were no real restrictions for leaving online reviews. You didn’t have to register or sign in to leave reviews and there wasn’t much in the way of a gatekeeper to help ensure submitted reviews were legitimate. This fostered the prevailing mindset among business owners of not taking reviews seriously. Online reviews were thought of as either being fake, left by competitors or left by known customers that can never be pleased. It’s no wonder reviews had such a bad rap.
But that has changed. Review websites have become much more adept at filtering out fake reviews. They use sophisticated software to monitor for factors like the location of the reviewer, the reviewer’s posting history and unusual volumes of reviews being generated from the same computer. Most reviews sites also require you to set up an account with an email and phone number before letting you post a review. It’s not a perfect system, but it has come a long way over the years.
So how should businesses show their online reviews some love? Let us count the ways.
1. Respond (Promptly) to Reviews
Nothing shows you care more than acknowledging your customers. When you see a new online review about your business – positive or negative – you should respond promptly. In your responses be humble, appreciative and own up to mistakes. This approach will pay dividends in the long run.
2. Ask for Reviews
Reviews and revenue go hand-in-hand. If you don’t have any, it’s critical to get reviews. If you have reviews, more is better. A recent survey found that 7 out of 10 consumers would leave a review for a business if they’re asked to. So don’t be shy. Make regularly asking for reviews part of your customer experience strategy.
3. Share Reviews Internally
Feedback from your customers is free market research. Use it to fix operational issues or to improve customer experience delivery. If the reviews includes a kudos for a specific employee – recognize them during staff meetings.
4. Share Reviews Externally
Love what your customers say about you. Post reviews on your website and share on social media. Pull an interesting quote to make the post a good read.
5. Recognize the Impact Online Reviews Have on Sales
Today, online reviews have evolved to become a primary resource for consumers researching what to buy. According to a survey sponsored by Zendesk, 88% of consumers say they have been influenced by an online review when making a buying decision. This link between reviews and revenue should be a wake-up call for businesses and provides more evidence why you should love online reviews.
6. Include Reviews as Part of Your SEO Strategy
Because people love online reviews, search engines feature reviews in local search results. According to the 2016 local search ranking factors survey, online reviews show up in two of the top eight local ranking categories frequently touted as the main areas for businesses to focus on as part of their SEO strategy. If you do not have reviews, people are less likely find you much less do business with you.
It has been proven that online reviews are important to consumers and to businesses. The key is to look at online reviews as an opportunity to both build your brand reputation and grow sales. So not just for Valentine’s Day, but every day, show your online reviews some love!
Want to learn more regarding how to show your online reviews some love? 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.