In this day and age of information dissemination, online reviews for businesses are becoming more critical. In addition, the recent turn of events worldwide has made consumers rely heavily on internet recommendations. Therefore, this can be a powerful tool in generating business listings with good reputations.
Information dissemination or online reviews are also a great way to help develop the brand, get the attention of potential clients, and drive substantial revenue. Moreover, these will only become even better as they have already become an essential resource for many companies nowadays. Especially with the reliance on search engines such as Google and Yelp and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, online reviews are now considered the most reliable source of information about a particular brand.
A recent marketing study suggested that in 2021, 77% of consumers read online reviews for specific businesses and services. The number is up from 60% back in 2020.
With these details at hand, business owners must take advantage of online reviews to establish a solid online presence and gather more loyal customers.
What is the importance of Online Reviews for the business?
1. They are becoming the main factor of a consumer’s purchasing behavior - the importance of online reviews has grown exponentially with time. Consumers use them as a primary source to decide where they will buy their products, what services are being offered to them, and when it becomes available. Inc.’s survey findings show that, with 91% of people who read online reviews regularly or occasionally doing so, 84% of respondents trust these reviews as personal recommendations. In the same review, around 68% of respondents also form their own opinions after browsing a handful of reviews online. In other words, the weight of an online review can help shift someone’s opinion about whether or not they should make that particular purchase.
2. Reviews can help establish brand confidence - online reviews also serve as a significant driver of consumer confidence in brands worldwide, which provides a business an opportunity to develop its global market presence. A BrightLocal survey also looked into the top review factors that would likely make customers feel optimistic about trying out a specific brand or a local business, which can make or break a company.
3. Responding to online reviews shows that a brand cares for its customers’ interests - branding is about connecting with the customers on an emotional level. Asking for feedback creates a sense of connection and participation in the business, which can make the customers feel like they are partaking in something bigger than themselves- this feeling is likely unachievable if the brand’s focus is only on driving sales. Pitching without listening to what the people want or need can be a detrimental act for a business.
Building trust through open communication allows a business to reach a common goal: increasing brand awareness while establishing trust from the customers. Around 89% of BrightLocal’s 2022 Local Consumer Review Survey respondents have indicated they are very likely to use a business that responds quickly and thoroughly to online reviews. Thus, it is essential for an entrepreneur to connect with clients regularly and make sure any issues get resolved in a timely manner.
4. Reviews can be a gateway to become more involved with your clients - the challenge for businesses is to actively encourage customers and not just wait around until they demand reviews. A previous study has found that 77% of respondents will leave an online review if given the option, which can serve as a game-changer for many companies, especially start-ups. A huge missed opportunity in customer engagement can be found when companies are not taking advantage or trying hard enough on their communication strategies, especially in building long-term relationships with the intended targets.
5. Online reviews can help boost revenue - online reviews are an excellent way to generate more sales for any business. Also, it’s important to note that manufacturer reviews are less reliable by 12 times as much, according to Econsultancy. Thus, having a lot of reviews on the website or service, especially positive ones, can help generate needed sales to improve the quality and value for the customers.
6. Online reviews help with online ranking - according to studies, online reviews make up about 15.44% of Google’s ranking factors. This means that the more reviews a company has, the higher the chance it will appear on search engine results boosting its search engine rankings.
How to respond to negative reviews?
While all business owners dread negative reviews, it is essential that all of them are addressed. As a matter of fact, it is three times more likely for a customer to leave a review due to a negative experience. This is because humans are naturally wired to dwell with anger and frustrations longer than pleasant experiences. In many cases, too, negative reviews speak louder than those positive ones. For these reasons, it is crucial that negative reviews are handled properly.
Here are some tips on how to properly deal with negative online reviews
Acknowledge. Regardless of the customer being at fault, it is essential to acknowledge the comment and thank the customer for providing feedback.
Apologize. Even if the customer is wrong, taking the high road by issuing an apology will regard the business as professional. This act will provide other customers the reassurance that the business is focused on providing a high level of service.
Explain. It is a sound idea to provide an explanation about the situation more than merely addressing it. This will help clear out any misunderstandings. A few things to take note about explaining are to avoid making excuses or blaming the customer, take responsibility, and be clear and straightforward.
Take things offline. Invite the customer to take the discussion offline. In-person or direct contact will allow both parties to understand each other clearly and will provide larger room for a resolution. This can also prevent other customers from forming a negative impression about the company should they read the online discussion about the issue.
Online reviews are crucial because they provide a good venue for personal testimonials that can create loyal customers. This is also a perfect place for a brand to engage with its customers and have a deeper relationship with them. Furthermore, online reviews help businesses gauge their standing from a customer’s perspective - any feedback received can be used to further improve the company’s services.
Powr Connect is a software platform that allows businesses to send review requests or follow-ups to customers automatically. This way, a business can have timely information about the customer’s feedback, generate more online reviews, and capture negative reviews before they impact the business.
Want to get more reviews for your business? Book a Discovery Call with us today or visit our website for more information.