Have you ever bought a product or booked a hotel without first looking at online reviews of that product or service? No? We presumed as much. Millions of online reviews are posted each year, and it is right to conclude that they have become an important factor in choosing between similar products or services online. Whether they are buying a pair of shoes, booking a hotel, or renting a car – people often visit websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Foursquare for comments posted by other users. That’s why it is essential to understand the way online reviews benefit your business, so that you can do everything to keep them positive when it comes to your company.
Ways online reviews benefit your business
Whatever industry your business is part of, positive online reviews give you a lot of benefits. Once you go through all the advantages that these comments can give you, you will be ready to do anything you can to get as many positive online reviews as you can.
Your business will be more visible online
A successful business is a business you can easily find online. If somebody types a keyword on Bing or Google, the most successful business will pop up first. The most common way search engines sort the websites is according to positive and most importantly, fresh comments. If your business receives positive comments all the time, algorithms will love you and put you in the first place. The potential customers will find you easily and consider you more reliable and professionals if your company’s name pops up first.
Your products will sell more
Positive online reviews benefit your business because are one of the main reasons why somebody chooses to buy a product. The more positive comments your business has, the more purchases will be made by the customers. Simple as that. The reason for that is 88% of people trusts other customers and their 5-star review as much as a personal recommendation.
Online reviews can improve communication between you and your customers
Online reviews can significantly improve customer service and general communication between you and your customers. As they give you fresh information about customers’ experiences and opinions, you can easily use that information to improve your business and answer your customers’ needs even better. Consumers like when companies contact them personally and answer their questions or worries. They feel much closer to you and therefore consider you more trustworthy to buy from.
They help with the decision making
Both positive and negative online reviews benefit your business because they are a great factor in decision-making with consumers. They help them decide whether to buy or avoid a product or service, especially if there are a lot of fresh comments.
How to encourage more people to leave online reviews
The truth about online reviews is that so many people read them, while a small percent of them actually writes them. That’s why you need to come up with a way to encourage your customers to write more about their experience with your product or service. Here are some of the ways to do that:
- Add relevant links to your website – add links to the websites (Yelp, for example) where your customers can write comments about your business.
- Add “Find us on Yelp” (or any other review website) on your menus, receipts, fliers, etc.
- Make posts on social networks about the places where customers can find you and leave online reviews.
Is a negative review so important for your business?
Yes. Almost 94% percent of people say that a negative review made them give up the product or service. With such a high percentage, you need to think about how online reviews benefit your business. Consider them an important factor in your brand development strategy.
What to do with the negative online reviews?
Negative comments are a common thing, and they happen every now and then. The most important thing is to stay calm and positive about it and do some of the following things:
- don’t ignore it – be sure to answer a negative comment as quickly as possible. This way the customers will see you as professional and caring for their needs.
- admit if you are wrong – denying the truth can only bring you more negative comments.
- do it right – try to correct the mistake and ‘turn’ that negative experience into a positive one. Promptly resolve the problem of your customer and show that you respect your customers and value their opinion.
- show your strengths – don’t forget to stress what is positive about your business while saying sorry and correcting the mistake. Reminding your customers about the positive side is never a bad thing.
- handle the fake comments – learn about fake review management and how to deal with those kinds of reviews, too.
Find other ways to promote your business
Positive online reviews will not come to you just like that. You need to learn about other ways to advertise your business and make the most out of it. There are so many ways to reach to your potential clients and assure them that your business is the way to go.
As you could see, the online world can give you much more than you can imagine. Most importantly, online reviews benefit your business because they get you closer to your customers. This way you can find out about their opinions and needs, and therefore use that information to improve your services. Negative comments are not the end of the world. Reacting to them positively can show that you care about your customers’ opinion and feelings. And that is pushing you one step closer to turning a negative review into a positive one. The most important thing is to use as many sources to promote your review pages and encourage the customers to write them.