6 Ways Online Reviews Help Your Business Grow

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Today, we are here to discuss something especially important.  In today’s world, there are so many complex marketing strategies that are supposed to be there to get you what you want in terms of sales.  How are they working out for you right now?  Many of them work about as well as the average fad diet.

Companies that have risen to the top have to have done something right?  You are correct.  Business isn’t just one big game of chance.  There are so many working components that marketing strategies leave out or don’t consider.

Today, we are going to talk about one of them.  This one probably stares at you all day, but you don’t put too much thought into it.  “This one” refers to reviews.  Reviews can be the cornerstone to helping you build your business and today I’m going to show you why that is six different times.

1. Reviews build up your trust and credibility in the eyes of consumers

Imagine this. You are looking at two products.  Both are exactly the same.  They offer the same features.  They are the exact same price.  They are the exact same color.  They even have the exact same 4-star rating.  They are made by two completely different companies.  If you are trying to make a decision, how do you choose?

Let’s say you dive further into the reviews.  What did people like about the products?  What did people hate about them?  When you look at the reviews, you notice that one product has over 100 reviews and the last one was posted three days ago.  The other product has just five reviews and the last one was posted over a month ago.

Which product will you choose?  It’s likely that you will choose the product that has more reviews.  The increased number of reviews means that more people have tried and loved the product you are purchasing.  No one could be bothered to leave a review on the second product, so how good is it?

This is the thought process of many consumers as they go through their options to pick the best one that suits them.  They want to know who will serve them better.  If your reviews look like the second product, and your competitors look like the first, then you have a problem on your hands.

Surveys show that roughly 68% of people look at reviews before making a purchasing decision.  If your reviews are lacking, then you may be losing over half of your potential business.

2. Reviews will have a positive impact on local SEO

Let’s look at another scenario.  You are in a crowded business sector.  Your local area was booming with business at one point, but the more the internet grows, the less you do. A customer is looking for help and googles providers in your prospective field.  You are on page three because your field is so crowded.  What are the odds that the consumer will find you?  If your answer is close to zero, then you are correct.

If you lack in reviews, then your business lacks in the SEO department.  Google actually pays attention to how many reviews you get. Then, it uses that information to rank you on the search engine.

3. Your reviews deliver constructive criticism to you

As much as we like hearing nice things, we know they don’t always help us out.  Reviews that strictly praise a product, but neglect to mention what went wrong aren’t good.  Don’t believe me?

Let’s say you have a product with two functions, which we will name A and B.  Three customers bought it, only because they wanted function A.  They left reviews saying they loved it.  You take this as a good sign and have you team boost production.  You don’t know it yet, but there is a problem with function B.  Five more people buy your product for both purposes.  They leave reviews stating that function B isn’t working, and they are angry.  Those five reviews will outweigh the completely positive reviews.  That being said, now that you have them, you can fix the issue in the product and you can let people know that the issue is fixed by responding to the reviews and even offering them a replacement.

Constructive criticism doesn’t just relate to products you provide.  It can also relate to the speed of service, how good your customer service was, how well any AI you’ve integrated is doing, and so much more.  Having all of these notes in your toolbox gives you a great place to work when you want to talk about improvement.

4. Reviews can drive customer connections

What is a customer connection?  Simply put, it is anytime you interact with a customer, whether that’s during a transaction, an order placement, during delivery…any time you have any interaction with this customer.  Customer connection can be bad, which (let’s be honest) is probably how a bad review might end up on your page.

Now that you have that sad one-star review sitting on the page, what do you do with it?  Believe it or not, you can still use it to your advantage.

First off, when you see it, take a deep breath before you do anything.  The last thing you do is respond to this person with anger, accusations of lying (unless it’s clearly fake-we’ll talk about that in a sec), or any arguing no matter how tempting it is.

Tell the customer that you’re sorry they’ve had this experience.  If it applies, let them know what you’re doing to avoid situations like this in the future.  Finally, offer to fix it for them.  Get ahold of any order information (this is also a good way to get rid of fake reviews) and help them get the issue fixed.

This does a few things for you.  If your angry customer cooperates, then you have a future repeat customer.  Even if they don’t, future consumers can see your response and know that you tried your best.

Finally, if you can tell the review is fake, don’t accuse them of it.  You have an audience, and this may dissuade future customers.  Instead, say you are having trouble find their order and ask for the details.  Not having a response will tell you and your consumers all you need to know.

5. Reviews are the new word of mouth

We trust our friends and family, which means we trust what they tell us.  Today, a lot of discussion is around politics, gossip, and whatever else a group can find to talk about.  It rarely focuses on things like what business gives the best services or anything like that.  Unless someone specifically asks, it’s unlikely that a personal recommendation will be shared.

If that’s true, then how else do people get the information they need to know about a product?  The answer lies on your review page.  In fact, 42% of the people surveyed said that they trust the words of a review as much as they would trust a personal recommendation.  All of the reviews on your site are being taken as if they are a fact…for better or worse.

6. Reviews are a point of reference for consumers

Let’s talk about our final point.  Reviews are a point of reference for you potential future customers.  What was talked about above is a bit similar but let me illustrate the key difference with a scenario.

Let’s say a consumer is looking for information about how well a product works and what specific functions it has.  Your website can provide the basic details.  The reviews are what will tell the consumer more about the specific functions the product has, how they work, what the shelf life is, how it compares to other products, and more.

A lot of people also happen to have the same questions about a product.  If someone askes this question in the review section, and either you or another knowledgeable customer answers it, then they have the answer to this question without having to do too much research (which they will likely avoid by going with another product) and you don’t have to constantly answer the same question.

While 68% of people take reviews and what they see in them seriously, about 90% go as far as to at least skim them and see what sort of things they can learn for they spend money.

Your Business is your baby (or if you’re not a kid person, it’s your beloved pet).  You care for this thing a lot.  Much like a baby though, you can’t nourish one part and neglect the other, and still expect the business to flourish.  If you feed a baby, but never give it a bath, then you’re setting them up for failure.  Likewise, if you perfect your orders, you customer connections, and everything else about your business, but you don’t do anything to help nourish and maintain your reviews, then you may be setting your business up to fail.

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