When you surf the web to find out which company offers you the best service, what is the first thing you look at? For many companies and many people it would be the rating and customer review section.
This is because we are more likely to trust the hopefully objective opinion of a person that has used the product or service than the subjective description provided by the company who has created it. Reviews are an important component of the customers’ online experience and they strongly affect a company online reputation.
According to an American report released in 2016, “Online Shopping and E-commerce” by PewResearch Center, 82% of Americans consult online ratings and reviews when buying something for the first time, and almost 40% of them always rely on online reviews when buying a new product. Almost half of the respondents expressed the feeling that customer reviews really help consumers to feel confident about their purchases and 45% of them declared that they make companies look more responsible. Below are the main reasons why customer reviews are so important.
TO ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS
Referral marketing is so important! People are four times more likely to buy a product or use a service when recommended it by a friend.
IMPACT ON YOUR SEO
Reviews are a good example of user-generated content, which strongly influences other potential customers. Google takes into consideration a company’s rating, ranking it in a better position if the ratings are positive. To determine a business’ star rating, Google relies on third-party review sites. It has determined some guidelines for both critic and snippet reviews. “We support reviews and ratings for a wide range of schema.org types, including businesses, products, and different creative works such as books or movies” – Google.
AS PART OF YOUR SOCIAL STRATEGY
If your product or service is gaining traction from your consistently positive reviews, you should incorporate them into your social strategy to increase credibility and demonstrate customers loyalty.
AS A LEARNING TOOL
As Richard Branson wrote:
“...we know that the best way to drive positive change is to learn from our mistakes and hear what our customers have to say. Our companies thrive off customer feedback. It helps us to innovate and disrupt, and keeps us relevant."
Just remember, don’t get angry if you receive a bad review, not everyone will love your product/service! And certainly don’t reply in a cranky way nor ignore the negative feedback. Answer politely and emphatically and try to understand what went wrong. Offer him/her the chance to change his/her mind. Be accommodating and reactive!
To check your business’ reputation online, monitor your customer comments and reviews and set up a Google Alert so that you’ll be notified when your brand is mentioned, giving you the option to quickly respond.