In Others We Trust: The Power of Online Reviews

online reviews

What other people say about your business matters. But the new word-of-mouth is all happening online. An incredible 91% of people read online reviews, and 84% give those reviews as much weight as input from their friends. Great reviews are great for business (92% of people will check out a local business with a 4 star or more rating), and bad ones…well, 40% of people will walk away from a business with bad reviews.

Here’s why your business needs to be raking in the reviews – and how to make sure they’re doing your brand justice.

Online Reviews Build Trust, Visibility, and Profits

Online reviews offer a ton of benefits for your business. They include:

  • Visibility. The more reviews, the more likely your page is to be surfaced by algorithms on Google, Amazon, or Facebook.
  • Trust. People are more likely to trust a business that others have had a positive experience with. Every recommendation helps build trust.
  • Brand building. On many platforms, brands can respond to reviews, allowing you to boost a customer’s positive experience even further…or mitigate a negative one.
  • Profits. People spend more money on brands that have a high number of great reviews.
  • Conversions. Every review helps increase conversions – with research showing that 200+ reviews could mean a 44% conversion increase.
  • Business insights. Both positive and negative reviews give you important data points into what your business is doing well – or could be doing better.
  • Competitive analysis. Take a peek at your competitors’ reviews and use that feedback to boost your competitive advantage.

How to Get More Reviews (and Handle Them)

Reviews will arrive organically, sure, but if you want to boost your reputations, conversions, and profits fast, you’ll want to entice people to leave them. Here’s how:

  • In-person. At the end of a transaction, simply ask the person to provide a review. Make it easy by telling them where to go and prompting them on what to say.
  • On social. Encourage fans on social to give you a boost by leaving a review. Don’t forget to remind them that it’s a great way to support you without spending any money!
  • On receipts or packaging. Add a note to the bottom of your receipts or on your packaging requesting a review. People will be more likely to leave a review when an experience is fresh in their minds.
  • Via text. Text can be a great way to request a review. Include a link, and minimize any required typing. Texts can feel intrusive, so don’t ask more than twice.
  • Send an email. Follow up with an email asking about their experience, what you can do to help…and if they’d leave a review for you. Provide a link to make it easy – but don’t spam your customers.

There’s a strategy to requesting reviews, however. Here’s what to do to make sure you land more of those 5-star ratings.

  • Target satisfied customers. Unhappy customers are more likely to leave a review, so tilt things in your favor by actively encouraging reviews from repeat customers or those who have expressed their satisfaction.
  • Explain why reviews matter. Let people know how reviews help your business – and others like them looking for a great product or service.
  • Remove the friction. Tell people precisely where to go, and provide a template of a great review. This will remove any questions from the process.
  • Follow up with reviews. Respond to great reviews with a thanks or even a freebie. For negative reviews, try to rectify the situation. People will often revise their review upwards if their problem is solved.
  • Offer an incentive. A discount, free shipping, a Starbucks gift card, or a charitable donation on someone’s behalf can all be a great way to entice people to leave reviews.
  • Tag and backlink reviews. Feature reviews you love and link back to the customer’s social or website. They’ll love the publicity!

Need Some Help Boosting Your Reviews?

If you need some tips on encouraging more reviews or leveraging the ones you already have, talk to the pros at StellaPop. We can help you create a strategy to increase your visibility, conversions, and profits through reviews – and create a plan for showcasing existing reviews in a way that works to your benefit. For our expert insight, just get in touch!

See Also:

7 Essential Optimizations for Your Google My Business Listing to Get More Customers

6 Steps to Dealing with a Difficult Client or Customer Like a Boss

Use it or Lose it: How to Drive Top-Flight User-Generated Content

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