The Importance of Online Reviews for Your Business
May 15, 2019
Online reviews have become one of the most important customer influencers in the past few years for several key industries. When searching for local businesses, consumers are looking at reviews more and more before pulling the trigger on where to visit or who to hire.
90% percent of your potential customers read online reviews before making a buying decision [Hubspot]. And due to Google and Facebook’s efforts in the past year to make reviews legitimate, people are relying on their authenticity increasingly often.
What About Bad Reviews?
This is a common question I hear from clients all the time. “I have a lot of 5-star reviews but one or two bad reviews which are pulling my rating down. What do I do?” The first thing to remember is that there is very little you can do to remove bad reviews. Unless the review violates terms of service (profanity, irrelevance, threatening, etc.), Google and Facebook don’t get themselves involved in determining who is right or wrong.
The good news is that there is a silver lining in having bad reviews. Firstly, potential customers are more likely to trust a business with a more realistic rating (say 4.6 out of 5) than a perfect 5 out of 5. Also, it gives you as the business owner a chance to publicly respond to a bad review. Never antagonize, always be polite. Remember, your potential customers are watching how you react. Ask questions and offer to make things right for the reviewer. This will show that you value customer service and go the extra mile to make things rights.
How Do I Get Reviews and Where Do I Start?
First, you need to make sure you’ve claimed your business profiles on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. You or your digital marketing consultant can do this. Second, you need a strategy. There are surefire ways to get positive reviews from your current or past customers, and there are ways to make sure you’re getting them from new clients too. An experienced digital marketing consultant knows the best ways to help your business get better reviews and, in turn, get more potential customers choosing you over your competition.