How useful are customer reviews?
April 25, 2016
Someone, somewhere is talking about your business right now. How do you feel about that?
Actually, it’s a good thing.
As Oscar Wilde said –
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
And I agree. When it comes to reviews from customers, we want people to spread the word. It can be a really simple way of attracting new customers and strengthening your online profile. And it really works!
How? Read on to find out.
What are the benefits of customer reviews? Customers are more likely to buy from a website which carries reviews – 66% more likely – so ignoring them could mean missing potential sales and business.
Also, (according to SEO specialists BrightLocal) a massive 92% of online shoppers now read online reviews while browsing to determine the quality of a local business. Whether they are on your website or not.
For small enterprises, these reviews are crucial in attracting browsers at this point in their shopping experience, as their eagerness to read reviews has increased.
It’s well known that we are more likely to choose a business that has been recommended or commended to us by someone else. So customer reviews carry a lot of influence when we are shopping for a product or service.
If you’re brand new to this, the first step is to see what people are already saying about you.
Reading the reviews your customers leave can do one of two things:
1) Gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when people lavish praise upon your business. You knew you were ace.
2) Fills you with fear and horror that you’re not running the killer enterprise you thought you were. Darn.
Either way, you have an opportunity here:
- If you’ve got a stable of great reviews, put those show ponies on your own website. They’re a fantastic advert for your business. A rotating selection on your homepage is an easy way of showing them off. If most of your reviews are positive, encourage people to leave more.
- If a majority of your reviews resemble hate mail you can still use this to your advantage. No, really! It doesn’t matter how painful it may be, actually read these reviews. They’ll give you a great picture of exactly what people aren’t happy with. Take notes. And then take steps to improving what you do based on this feedback.
What happens if you ignore reviews? If you’re concerned that encouraging reviews online will lead to that angry customer writing a bad one – then your concerns are justified. Even if you do provide an outstanding service or product, it’s inevitable that one will crop up eventually.
A customer may have had a genuinely poor service. And they want the world to know about it! If this happens – fear not. It’s one bad review. Reply to them addressing their concern and invite them to contact you directly.
However, be aware there are still serial grumblers always looking for a way to vent (some entrepreneurs have actually turned tables on these repeat complainers to win over an audience. See this award-winning chef take on TripAdvisor).
The upshot is; if you ignore your reviews, things will pretty much carry on as they are now. Your brilliant ones will go to waste. And your bad ones will put people off – or worse, people will share them.
By taking the reins, you’re able to use your great reviews to your advantage. And have the chance to nip the bad ones in the bud before they get out of hand.
So how do you do facilitate reviews? There are now many ways to receive and promote your customer reviews. Here are just a few…
Facebook – If you have a Facebook business page (and if you’re a small business, this is a great idea) you can use the review section there – here’s ours.
Trustpilot – A dedicated website for customer reviews. It’s a one-stop-shop in determining the level of customer service a company gives.
Yelp – If you have a listing on the online directory, your customers can leave a review using a rather neat sliding scale for easy feedback and room for a comment.
Google Ads – For businesses who use Google Ads, your customers can sign into Google and leave a review. This will be visible when someone then searches for you. The star rating is also boosted by any Trustpilot reviews you have.
Customer reviews can add a huge feeling of integrity to our businesses, our websites and online presence –particularly for small local enterprises.
If you want to get more reviews, why not ask your happiest customers to leave some good feedback?
You may be surprised at how willing they are to say good things about you.
By Laura Lloyd
Laura is just one of our superstars at Moneypenny, and is dedicated to helping small businesses enhance their customer services.
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