The Importance of Reviews and How to Encourage Them

Technology is becoming increasingly more important to small businesses every year. Today’s consumers are extremely dependent on online search results and reviews to make shopping decisions. In fact, anyone who tries to search for a small business will find that Google and Yelp reviews often rank first in the search result lineup.

Most small business owners know that online reviews can truly impact their business. However, many don’t know exactly how important they really are to overall sales. According the BrightLocal’s recent consumer survey report, 84 % of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Why do reviews matter so much to your customers?

Reviews tend to prove that you are a credible business and that other customers are happy with your services. 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. People want to know that your store offers valuable benefits and they want reasons to choose you over competition.

How can you attract more reviews to your business?

The easiest way to attract more reviews is to send a feedback email to your customers. Mention that customer feedback, both positive and negative, is valuable.  Make sure not to include anyone who has already reviewed you in the send queue. Additionally, try to steer your customers to post detailed reviews on Google My Business, Facebook or  Yelp. These will help search engines to analyze your relevant keywords and rank you well. These will also help to get you reviews in a local area.

Another method to increase reviews would be to set up a review landing page that makes it easy for your customer to quickly select a rating for you. Customers are often too busy to leave reviews, so this would allow them to give you a bit of feedback without using too much of their time. You could also include this information in your email signature so that anyone you email will view this link as well.

Finally, a great method to get more reviews would be to give more reviews to local businesses. Building relationships is one of the most important factors to contribute to company success.

How do you maintain relationships with people who write reviews?

Always engage with your reviewers. Thank those who give you positive feedback and message negative reviewers with an apology to try to mend their bad experience. However, if a negative reviewer isn’t letting you change their mind, don’t stress over it- everybody makes mistakes. The only thing you can do is apologize.

Overall, reviews are extremely important when it comes to customer service.  They will allow you to know your strengths and weaknesses in business and help you to make the customer experience better in the future!

By Phoebe Mcgee

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