Did you know that 82 percent of consumers actively look for reviews about a local business before transacting with it? This is especially true for the 18- to 54-year-old demographic, which is the largest and most powerful segment in e-commerce.
This could only mean one thing: It matters what people are saying about you.
Reviews are an important aspect of the customer journey—and positive ones positively impact the buying decision of consumers, the success of your SEO campaign, and your overall brand authority.
Why are reviews so important?
Here’s a fact: Most buyers don’t want to be the first to try something new.
No one want to be the guinea pig, so to speak. They want to see other people buy and try a product or service first before they themselves pay for it.
In fact, most consumers look for at least 10 reviews before trusting a business. This means that you need at least 10 positive reviews to encourage savvy shoppers to hand you their money.
Reviews are clearly important in the world of online marketing. Brands with lots of positive reviews often gets the most attention and the highest trust rating. Conversely, bad reviews can instantly turn people off. They can make potential customers change their minds about transacting with you. One-star feedback can make you lose business while your competitors—who have better ratings—reap the rewards and leave you in the dust.
What’s more, reviews also have a direct effect on your Google rankings.
Why? Because good reviews often lead to better clickthrough rates—and Google looks at clickthrough rates as a ranking factor.
Therefore, the more good reviews you amass, the more trustworthy you are in the eyes of this search engine, and the higher you’ll rank.
How can you gain more positive reviews?
When it comes to building a solid online reputation, being proactive is the key.
You see, most customers only leave reviews after a bad experience. They won’t hesitate to talk harshly about your brand when they are unsatisfied about your product or service.
Happy customers, on the other hand, quickly forget about the encounter. They don’t bother to leave 5 stars. You have to remind them to do so.
So make it a point to encourage satisfied customers to leave you a review by emailing them and asking them nicely. You can even provide incentives—like discounts on their next purchase—if you wish.
It’s also important to start paying attention to reviews as they come in so you know what your customers are saying about you.
Failing to regularly monitor customer feedback is risky because you might already have negative reviews and not even know it. Left to fester, they can negatively impact your reputation online.
What should you do about a bad review?
Relax—it’s not the end of the world.
You can counter bad feedback by gaining more positive reviews. Encourage your happy customers to give you 5 stars. Connect with them and simplify the feedback mechanism so that they don’t have to jump through hoops to give you praises.
It’s also important to respond to the negative review. After all, 94 percent of conventional readers will actually read your response.
But remember: Don’t pick a fight with the customer! This will just diminish your brand’s authority even more. Stay professional and polite. Take the higher ground and apologize or at least respond with class. You want to resolve their issue, not worsen it. Responding politely shows that you care and that you are engaging and willing to build a connection and gain their trust.