Have you recently enjoyed a meal at a new restaurant? Or did you receive spa services for the first time? If you did, what was the deciding factor that influenced you to purchase their goods and services? Many individuals rely on their friends and family for recommendations on the latest spots in town. Others are spontaneous and prefer to walk into a new establishment without a prior recommendation. Although these mechanisms to get the word out are still in place, there has been one mechanism that has revolutionized how businesses received more customers: online reviews. Online reviews offer an opportunity for companies to have a greater reach. Now more than ever, people go to websites such as Yelp, to influence decision making when obtaining services for the first time.
How Online Reviews Help Your Business
There are many ways in which online reviews can help your business obtain new clientele. What makes online reviews so important is that they have a significant influence on SEO practices. With on-site SEO, companies can display reviews from their customers and clients on their websites to show social proof. When you add a review widget or review landing page to your website, it activates the page and allows the search bugs to crawl your page, which has a direct impact on SEO, such as page ranking. The content given by consumers gives reviews or recommendations to their peers about their experience with your brand, both positive and negative. Regarding off-site SEO practices, the quality of links, relevance, authority, and trustworthiness are significant factors. To better increase off-site SEO efforts, ensure that your organization meets NAP standards, which means you need to confirm your business name, address, and phone.
Once you figured out your NAP standards, make it a mission to claim business listings on search engines and directories such as Yelp and Yellow Pages, and claim your business on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Lastly, online reviews help your business thanks to word-of-mouth. Online reviews can strengthen word-of-mouth campaigns. These campaigns are based on word-of-mouth marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing can be boiled down to two types: Organic word-of-mouth and amplified word-of-mouth marketing. Organic word-of-mouth refers to the traditional way of spreading the word about a business, such as sharing positive reviews with friends and family. Amplified word-of-mouth refers to carefully crafted strategies that marketing professionals create and enforce through campaigns to increase word-of-mouth in established audiences, as well as creating campaigns to reach new audiences. Just how useful is word-of-mouth marketing? According to Hubspot, 90% of individuals trust the recommendations of friends and family, and 91% of consumers say that reading a positive review makes them more likely to use a business.
Why Online Reviews are Important
Online reviews can have a significant impact on your bottom line. The most important aspect that business leaders should know is that the power of online reviews comes from consumers. They serve as personal endorsements of the business. There is a significant amount of psychology behind this topic. Implicit egotism is the term that you should familiarize yourself with. This term states that human beings tend to gravitate towards people, places, and things that closely resemble themselves. Business leaders can use this psychology to include reviews that best resemble the individuals they are trying to reach, which will ultimately sway your target audience. Business leaders need to recognize that online reviews can have a powerful influence on your business. Now more than ever, online reviews make a difference in whether a customer will purchase a good or service.
Did you know that 95% of customers will read online reviews before making a purchase? Why is this the case?
People want to ensure that the money they invest in a business will have a positive outcome. For these reasons, companies need to be transparent and accessible. When reviews are available for consumers to see, they can understand more about a particular business. Understanding means that they are becoming knowledgeable about an enterprise, which ultimately builds trust. Trust is the single most crucial factor that will determine if a consumer will purchase a good or service. They want to have confidence in knowing they will not have a negative experience when they interact with a business. They rely on the advice of real people, friends, and family, and in many cases, influencers such as bloggers. When these individuals provide reviews of the goods and services of a business, consumers have comfort. They feel at ease knowing another person has validated their positive experience with a company they are thinking about making a future interaction with.
How to Get Online Reviews For Your Business
The purchasing experience has become personal. Therefore, a business must create measures to ensure they are providing the best products, services, and customer experience to receive positive reviews. There are ways in which you can obtain reviews from customers, as long as you follow specific guidelines. For example, Yelp prohibits businesses from asking customers to leave reviews. Although this may be the case, there are ways to circumvent certain rules. Instead of asking a customer directly to leave a review on Yelp, you can tell customers to check you out on Yelp and place Yelp signs in your place of business. You simply have to think creatively. You can create a drip review marketing campaign to increase the number of reviews you have with a mixture of email campaigns and social media.
On Facebook, Yelp, and other review platforms, you can provide a discount, coupon, or free products, such as an appetizer or if you’re a medical facility, an ice pack to customers who wrote a review of their visit. You can collaborate with influencers by partnering with someone who has a large following of your target audience to showcase your products and services. There is so much trust that their audiences place on these individuals, therefore it can be advantageous to promote your business through them. Lastly, you never want to make your customers feel as if they have to leave a review. Share positive reviews on your social media platforms and websites to inspire customers to speak positively about your business on their terms.
Best Practices for Reputation Management
There will not always be a positive review. You will have a customer who will leave a negative recommendation or review, even if you know you have gone above and beyond to provide an exceptional customer experience. Although negative comments can be unfortunate, it is the perfect time to create a reputation management plan. One way to manage reviews is to monitor comments, both positive and negative by setting up Google Alerts to know when someone mentions your business or by using a review reputation management platform.
When you encounter a negative comment, you probably feel a sense of embarrassment or even anger. The worst thing you can do is respond to customers or clients in a sarcastic or even an angry tone. You need to pause before responding to control your emotions and respond to the review as fast as possible by validating their feelings while pushing future correspondence offline. Your response needs to have certain elements. First, you have to ease the situation. Later, offer an incentive to make up for the troubles that the customer may have experienced.
The positive aspect of negative comments is the opportunity to learn. Perhaps the customer made a legitimate claim in his or her negative response. Gather your negative and positive reviews, and meet with your team members to discuss which measures your organization should take. You may need to improve your customer service or your products. Online customer reviews ultimately help your business determine its strengths and weakness. As a business leader, it is your responsibility to analyze which strategies you should enforce to maintain or improve the image of your company.
Embrace the Criticism Whether It’s Good or Bad
There is so much information that you can gather about online consumer reviews. We understand that for business leaders, the opinions of your customers/clients can be intimidating. Business leaders may be concerned about receiving negative reviews. You might be the best of the best in your market, but there will be a time where you will receive a negative review. Many appear to avoid the discussion of reviews, but in today’s age, many consumers won’t purchase goods or services from a business if there are hardly any reviews. The average consumer will read 10 online reviews before trusting a local business. For this compelling reason, business leaders should welcome online reviews.
To make a final point, understand that reviews can be a learning experience. You can improve the essential elements of your business because of reviews. Product/Service improvements and customer service improvements are just some elements that you can consider when you are enforcing a reputation management plan. Ultimately, online reviews are here to help your business obtain the success you are diligently searching for.
If you are searching for ways to communicate with your customers and improve your business, consider analyzing your online reviews. B.ID is here to create and implement an effective reputation management plan that will serve the needs of your business.
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