March 01, 2014
Do you have the online reviews you need to build trust with consumers?
by Maureen McCabe
In Part 1 of this series, I talked about some creative ways to get customer reviews, and in Part 2 I looked at how online reviews affect your internet marketing strategy. In this blog, we will explore how customer reviews and testimonials can impact your business overall.
As a small business, you need to know how customer reviews are impacting your online presence. More and more, consumers are turning to internet research to learn about a product or a business they are considering working with. This research often includes reading customer reviews from a variety of websites.
A November 2017 study from BrightLocal found that 37% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses at least once per month. Most often, these people are searching for small businesses like local restaurants, doctors, dentists, and small retail stores.
Even more importantly, 85% of consumers say they read online customer reviews for local businesses! Reading testimonials or reviews of a business is a key part of the purchasing process for consumers. They’ve identified a need for a product or service, and are now using the reviews available online to select which business they’ll work with. If your small business doesn’t have listings on some of the top review websites, you are likely not part of their selection process at all.
There might already be reviews of your business online that you aren’t aware of. On many review websites like Yelp and Google+, any user can set up a listing for your business and leave their own feedback. As a business owner, it’s important to find these listings and take control of them — especially if you are seeing a lot of negative reviews. By taking ownership of the listing, you can respond to any not-so-good feedback and try to turn bad experiences into positive ones.
Why You Need Great Online Reviews
Getting great reviews on your online listings can build trust among your existing and potential customers, and impact the purchasing process. Trust is key to the success of your business, and this extends into the online space. Today, your businesses’ reputation is easily accessible to consumers through online reviews, and this reputation has a great impact on the decision to buy.
Obtaining positive reviews on your online listings is more important than ever when you consider the following:
- 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews increase their trust of a business.
- 65% of consumers are more likely to use a business that has positive reviews online.
- 79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
These findings from the BrightLocal 2017 Local Search Survey clearly show that your online reviews can have a huge impact on your small business’ success. If your business takes the time to respond to reviews, takes into account both the positive and negative feedback from customers, and truly listens to consumers, you’ll be able to increase potential customers’ confidence in working with you. No longer can you afford to let your reputation remain online without your intervention. Leaving your review listings unmanaged, or allowing a negative reputation to form without your response, will directly impact how potential customers view your business.
By setting up and taking ownership of your business’ online review listings, encouraging your customers to leave reviews, and taking an active role in responding to feedback (especially negative feedback), you’ll be well on your way to building trust with consumers and building up a positive reputation that can have a real effect on the success of your business.
I suggest you check out the other blogs in this series; after all, you wouldn’t want to miss one juicy morsel. Or better yet, subscribe to my blog!
How to Get Great Customer Reviews Online: Creative Strategies
Why Customer Reviews are Important for Small Business Internet Marketing
Which Review Sites Should I Be Listed On?
6 Things to Know About Yelp Reviews for Your Business
How to Get LinkedIn Company Page Recommendations
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