In this information age where the vast majority of consumers have a computer at their fingertips Bright Local finds that 88% of consumers consult online reviews prior to making a purchase. What’s more, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation! In other words the vast majority of consumers are forming an opinion about your brand and the product or service you offer before they even make a purchase. This is a big deal. Online reviews provide free marketing for your business while generating greater brand awareness and building consumer confidence. As a business owner it’s wise to utilize online reviews to propel the success of your business.
How Can Online Reviews Benefit my Business?
When reviews or “feedback” for your product or service are posted online in connection to your brand your SEO or search engine optimization increases substantially. In fact, it has been quantified that online reviews affect search results for your brand by 8.4%. Therefore, because online reviews increase SEO significantly and are valued as highly as personal recommendations they ultimately contribute to increased revenue for you business by driving more on point traffic to your website.
Online reviews are also a great tool that allow you to become better acquainted with your customer. Think of those reviews as a window into your customer’s world. Who are they and what do they value about your business? You may be surprised to learn what it is that is really attracting customers to your brand. There are likely other businesses that offer similar products or services but you may find that numerous customer reviews for your business highlight a specific attribute (professionalism, nostalgia, innovation…) that separate your brand from the competition. When you are better able to identify what distinguishes your brand in the mind of your customer you can better capitalize on it.
The Power of Positive Reviews
Some business owners are concerned about offering online reviews on their website for fear that any negative review could potentially sabotage their brand. It is important to consider the benefit of customer reviews – both good and bad. Reviews offering praise for your product or service will shed light on what your business is doing that is working well. When you see recurring praise for your product or service you can be assured that continuing to direct effort into that area will continue to yield satisfied customers.
The Potential with Negative Reviews
Okay, so negative reviews. Can they sabotage your brand? Certainly. If your website’s reviews section has even a handful of negative reviews that are left unattended potential customers may not stick around to see what it is your business has to offer. However, if you engage with your unhappy customers by replying to his or her negative reviews in a respectful, engaged, let-me-make-it-right manner you harness the potential to turn the ship around. In fact, Bright Local found that 1/3 of initially unsatisfied customers whose complaints are attended to in this way either go on to delete their negative review or replace their negative review with a positive one! When potential customers happen upon this exchange your integrity as a business really shines and increases their confidence in your brand. This is the power of customer satisfaction!
Providing a platform for online reviews on your business website is a shrewd business move. When carefully attended to and when utilized to fine tune your business operations, online reviews will propel the popularity of your brand and the success of your business. If you could use a little guidance with how to go about harnessing the power of the online review, contact us to set up your free 15 minute consultation today!