Generally, an important aspect of business for e-commerce and word-of-mouth trades, online reviews can prove crucial in growing traffic and sales.
Considering the amount of time Gen Y & Z spend on social media, there seems to be a lack of testimonials left by these two generations of tech-savvy consumers. In an attempt to rectify this, we have outlined the importance of consumer feedback and even offered some helpful tips for encouraging online reviews.
Word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective and credible ways to build a reputation and increase sales, but what happens after one of your clients recommends you to a friend? Chances are they will search for you online and compare you to other businesses who provide the same services and then evaluate you against your competitor’s reviews. Assuming you have minimal, or even zero reviews, it’s likely that you’ve just lost this potential customer. Now, imagine you have several reviews, and maybe you have a few not-so-great ones, but your star rating is still sitting around four, what would you do? Most of us would trust the majority and engage with the business.
Online reviews can provide SEO and ranking benefits, especially in terms of local search. Having reviews on sites such as Google (through your Google My Business account) can add more strength to your listing. Google themselves state that review count and score are factored into local search ranking, proving that more positive reviews can increase your Google rank. BrightLocal also found that consumers are more likely to find reviews through a search engine like Google rather than going directly to the business website or a review site.
It may seem a strange thing to talk about when trying to grow a positive reputation for your business, but stick with me here. Negative reviews can provide pivotal feedback about your business that you may be unaware of but are now given a chance to improve on. It also allows you to communicate with the person and offer alternative ways to solve the problem at hand.
Don’t forget that Google isn’t the only website that allows reviews to be posted. Other platforms include Facebook pages, search directories (such as Yelp), review sites (Glassdoor, Product Review), and LinkedIn Recommendations (for personal reviews). Encouraging online reviews from your customers could be as simple as sending a ‘thank you for your purchase’ email with an email signature that has a call to action about leaving a review. Additionally, you could provide an incentive such as a shout out on your social profiles/website/podcast – whatever it is you do!
Not everyone needs feedback to profit and grow their business, but for those who do, it’s important to keep track of try encouraging online reviews when possible. There’s always going to be a risk in pushing for more online reviews, and sometimes you may receive something you don’t want to hear, but even that in itself is something that can be worked on. The most important thing is to remember to respond to and thank all your reviewers, even if they’re negative!
Wanting to begin encouraging online reviews but struggling to find a way to implement them into your campaigns or service? Chat with one of GMT’s specialists today on 1300 332 256!