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Reviews, Reputation, Results

Posted by: Eva Prada      March 22, 2018

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In our constantly connected world, reviews matter to your business more than ever. When people search for businesses like yours, they want to find people who they can trust. A healthy amount of positive reviews can help you win their business. 

How reviews help your business.

Reviews on your own website, as well as review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook, can have positive impacts in several ways. First of all, they help provide social proof. When people see that other consumers have had a good experience, they are more likely to feel safe doing business with your company.

Reviews can help improve your position in the search engine results page (SERP). A review profile on Yelp, for instance, provides a high value backlink, which can help your standing. Google also gives a mobile boost to businesses who have review pages on their site.

Finally, reviews, even bad ones, give you a chance to showcase your customer service. If someone leaves a bad review, take a moment to respond with an apology and an offer to make it up to them. This doesn't just give you a chance to rescue your relationship with that customer. It also allows you to demonstrate for others that you care. When people see that your business is responsive when things go wrong, it goes a long way toward winning their trust.

Nobody's perfect, and no one trusts perfect reviews.

Many business owners are afraid of reviews because they are afraid of the harm that bad reviews could do to their brand. However, before you ditch reviews altogether or wonder how to eliminate the negative ones, consider what researchers have learned.

Recently, researchers at Northwester University's Spiegel Research Center found that a moderate number of bad reviews can actually help your sales. In fact, they found that a product with 4.2 to 4.5 stars would sell better than one with a five star review.

The reason is this: when people see an unending list of five star reviews, they think that the rating is too good to be true. Nobody is perfect all the time. No product or service can satisfy every single customer. 

If you get an occasional bad review, accept it as an inevitable cost of doing business. Do what you can to make things right with the customer, and then move on. 

Whatever you do, do not retaliate against a customer who leaves a negative review. Negative comments in response to a bad review can actually make the situation worse. Rather than sympathizing with you, readers may decide that you are not a good company to do business with. Instead, respond positively or not at all.

How to get more reviews.

Once you understand the value of reviews, you will want to have more of them. But, how can you encourage your customers to leave the feedback that can help you succeed?

Most platforms do not allow you to ask for positive reviews. However, it is fine to let them know you appreciate their feedback. A few ways to communicate this:

  • put a sign encouraging honest reviews in your business.
  • add a request for reviews to your email signature.
  • mention in your next e-newsletter that you want to hear about your customers' experience.

These efforts, taken together, can encourage your customers to share their impressions with you and with potential future customers.

By regularly encouraging reviews and checking regularly to see how you are rated, you can boost your profile online and enhance your business's reputation. This, in turn, helps with visibility and sales to repeat and new first time customers. 

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