10 Ways Online Reviews Can Help Your Business Grow
Fiona Adler is the founder of Australia’s number one, award-winning customer review website WOMO. With a background in strategic consulting and customer marketing, here are her insights on how businesses can grow by generating online reviews.
Customer Reviews Build Trust
Hands down, reviews are the best way to build customers trust. As one business owner said; “If I say it, it’s bragging, but when my customers say it, it’s proof.” Reviews are the ‘evidence’ customers are looking for. A recent Nielsen survey found that online reviews build trust more than a television ad, a newspaper article and any other form of media. And guess what? Customers will only buy from businesses they trust.
Customer Reviews Shortcut Your Sales Process
Once customers see positive reviews for your business, you’ll spend less time and energy selling—leaving more time to actually provide the service. Many businesses instruct every customer to read their reviews before they even start any serious discussions. The reviews themselves do the selling and once they get to you, they’re ready to purchase.
Customer Reviews Safeguard You From Poor Feedback
Even the best businesses have some unhappy customers and it’s true that you might get a negative review. However, while one negative review on its own can have an adverse effect on business, one negative review amongst several positive ones won’t have much impact at all. Building a bank of positive reviews is the best way to offset any unfavourable feedback that comes through in the future (whether it’s from a review, comments on Facebook or Twitter or somewhere else). It’s about building a positive online reputation before you have a problem to deal with.
Customer Reviews Attract The Best Kinds Of Clients
When you promote your business using steep discounts, you get price-shoppers, but marketing with customer reviews gets you quality-shoppers. This type is often the type of customer that values quality and service above price (meaning they’re more profitable), plus they’re also more loyal customers that will stay with you for longer. Why spend money attracting tyre-kickers when you could be attracting quality customers?
Customer Reviews Impress Your Current Customers
People enjoy a bottle of wine even more when they know it was expensive or has won prestigious awards. Likewise, customers appreciate your business more when they realise how popular it is by seeing feedback from fellow customers. Plus, the mere act of asking your clients for feedback shows them that you value their opinions which increase their satisfaction.
Customer Reviews Tell You How To Improve
Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t that interested in improving and consequently, miss significant opportunities. The insights gained from both positive and negative reviews can help shape the direction of your business (and it’s a lot easier and cheaper to do than commissioning market research).
Customer Reviews Help Save Disgruntled Clients
Did you know that most unhappy customers won’t even let you know they aren’t satisfied? They just don’t come back. By asking customers for a review, you give them an opportunity to communicate and the business gets an opportunity to respond. No business is perfect, but the sign of a good business lies in what happens when things go wrong. We’ve seen hundreds of examples where businesses have turned unhappy patrons into loyal customers simply by communicating and resolving the situation. Without the review, they would never have had this opportunity.
Customer Reviews Create A Strong Customer Service Culture
What better tool is there to manage your team than through direct feedback from customers? By focusing your attention on customer satisfaction, you automatically align everyone’s interests. Make a big fuss whenever you get positive reviews and treat any negative feedback seriously. You don’t need to be an HR guru to do this!
Customer Reviews Get You Found In Google
Any SEO expert will tell you to get listings on local online directory sites and create original content about your business. Customer reviews cover both bases and are naturally SEO gold. Google likes fresh information so each time you get a new review, your page is given a little more weight. What’s more is that your customers describe your business using highly relevant words and phrases—usually a close match to the phrases potential customers are searching for. Even if you already have a strong web presence, your reviews will contain different words and phrases and get you found by more people (remember, it’s not just about being found when people search for your business name).
Customer Reviews Make it Fun!
Have you forgotten why you went into business in the first place? Wasn’t it something to do with serving customers and creating an awesome customer experience? It’s easy to lose motivation in the day-to-day grind of keeping on top of it all! Many business owners tell us they use customer reviews as their personal source of motivation—you’ll be amazed at the lovely things people will say about you! It’s a great way to keep focused and remember why you bother with all the blood, sweat and tears.