The feedback that your customers leave online can significantly affect your bottom line. People trust online reviews. So what people write about your business matters — a lot.
It doesn’t take many reviews to influence potential customers one way or the other since 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business.
There was a time that we just asked our friends who they recommend but statistics show that now 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Reviews Influence the Visibility of Your Business Online
Reviews influence how visible your business is on the web. Search engines and review sites use reviews as a parameter for ranking.
These factors are:
- The number of reviews
- How often reviews are posted
- The spacing out of reviews over time
- How current the latest reviews are
- What sites the reviews appear on
- The percentage of positive reviews or stars
Google places review sites on the first page of the search results. Therefore, the chances are good that someone will find a review about your business.
You Can Increase the Number of Good Reviews by Asking for Them
Business owners who realize the importance of good reviews ask satisfied customers to leave a review online. In fact, 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.
Some businesses offer an incentive, such as a discount on a subsequent purchase, to those who leave a positive review. If you feel that these reviews are not entirely genuine and impartial, just give out the instructions for leaving a review and you’ll get them.
Star ratings are also important to shoppers; 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important.
The chief incentive for leaving a positive review should always be outstanding service. A customer who appreciates the personal attention they received when doing business with your company will more likely be willing to tell others about it in a review.
What Can Be Done About a Negative Review?
Negative reviews do happen. Some customers are difficult to please. Thankfully, there is something that can mitigate the effects of a negative review.
First, if there is a means of responding to the negative review, do so as soon as possible. Offer to correct the problem by giving a full exchange or refund. People who read this response will see that you are making every effort to make this customer happy.
Second, get more positive reviews. 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews. Offset the negative review with dozens of positive ones because 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Not only will this help your SEO ranking, consumers will clearly see that many more people love your company than do not.
Third, older reviews do not carry as much weight as current one. Seventy-three percent of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant. So don’t be discouraged by an unfair bad review. Just keep giving good service to your existing customers and pointing out to them where they can leave a positive review about your business.