In this day and age when customers hold unprecedented power to dictate who they want to do business with and how, the reviews your business receives are more important than ever before.
91% of people go online to read extensively about what people are saying about your business and the way it operates. And 84% of people trust these reviews as much as they do the reports they get from trusted friends.
So suffice it to say that you cannot afford to be disinterested about what people are saying about your business online.
Reviews Can Be a Mixed Bag
As a local business trying to build your reputation online, you probably know that reviews can go either way. On the good days, you get glowing reviews from satisfied customer who can’t stop singing your praises, while on the bad days one mistake at the counter might be all that is required to trigger a scathing tirade on Yelp.
Don’t get discouraged by all this. Know now that negative reviews here and there are inevitable, and would also have no effect if the overwhelming majority of reviews are positive.
Advantages of Getting Reviews
Apart from the huge dopamine rush you get when you realize that people are speaking well of your business online, there are a few other reasons why getting reviews about your business is important:
Reviews Are Great for Building Credibility
We live in an era where online research is at everyone’s finger tips thanks to smartphones. The majority of consumers are conducting research online to inform every purchase, and most of this research takes place on review sites.
We have already seen that for the vast majority of people out there, online reviews are as trustworthy as recommendations from friends. So having a bevy of positive reviews about your business is one of the best ways to build credibility for your business.
Positive reviews will instill and reinforce all the right ideas like trust, authority, and thought leadership in the minds of your target customer.
Reviews Are Great for SEO
Organic traffic from search engines is a good thing for any business with an online presence, hence the need to invest in SEO.
And thus, online reviews take on an added level of importance when you realize that they are able to influence search engine rankings.
For example, Google aggregates review information from many websites when deciding where a business will rank on the results page.
Sites like Facebook and Yelp also determine the overall ranking of a business based on the number of reviews and overall rating of a business.
Reviews Are Great for Forging the Right Connections with Customers
Don’t waste a good review—not even the negative ones. Be proactive about forging relationships with your customers by taking the time to respond to customer reviews in a thoughtful, helpful manner that shows your gratitude and explains whatever outstanding issues may exist.
Doing this will not only add to your credibility in the eyes of your audience, it will also make customers more eager to leave reviews—which is what you want, given all the benefits to SEO and credibility, and your overall brand.
The thought of asking for reviews from your customers can appear daunting at first. But if you do your best to deliver a great experience, your customers would be only too happy to talk about how they enjoyed the time they spent with your business. So get to it. And don’t forget to leave a thoughtful response to those customers who comply.