Online reviews are now a pivotal point in assuring customers weather or not a company and its products or services are worth a customer’s hard-earned money. The internet has transformed consumer shopping habits forever. From clothing and accessories to veterinary and dental services, consumers rarely make blind purchasing decisions without doing some online research. This research often includes reading at least a small handful of online reviews.
The Power of Online Reviews
In 2016 alone, 90% of consumers  read an online review before choosing to visit a specific business. Additionally, research conducted in 2018 found that 94%  of consumers would avoid a business after reading a negative online review.
Establishing and maintaining a positive digital presence will help you to stand out from your competition for all the right reasons. Not only has encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews become a key component of a branding and SEO strategy, but the feedback contained within online reviews can also be used by your business to further optimise your customer experience.
Drive Sales with Social Proof
It’s human nature to look for support and, as such, we are more likely to commit to making a purchase if other people agree that it is the right decision. And yes, this point still stands even if those other people are complete strangers to us.
Customer reviews are an important source of social proof. By displaying reviews clearly on your website, potential customers will be more willing to invest in your brand which will drive sales and boost revenue. As reviews are inherently shareable, they can be used by your social media team to further highlight the value your products and/or services are delivering to your existing happy customers. Take a look at our review management service that can help you gain more positive reviews from your customers and tackle negative feedback in a proactive way – Netreview Reputation Management.
Enhance Online Visibility
Digital marketplaces are ultra-competitive and ensuring your business enjoys maximum visibility will have a positive impact on a variety of important metrics. Search engines use algorithms to index and deliver content to users. Every search algorithm values fresh, high-quality content and reviews are an excellent way to bolster your digital content and SEO.
Remember, websites which rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs) give consumers the confidence that you are a leading figure within your niche and are therefore trustworthy and reliable.
Encourage Conversation and Boost your Reach
When customers have a positive experience with your business, they are more likely to want to share their thoughts across different social platforms. The most common platforms for reviews are Facebook, Google, Trustpilot and Yelp. Maintaining visibility across multiple channels will encourage conversations surrounding your brand. This will ensure more people know who you are, what you do and how your products or services benefit your customers.
Additionally, as search engines collect data from these external review platforms, they help to enhance your rankings whilst also serving to increase your reach by ensuring your business is presented in the best possible light to prospective customers.
Connect with Consumers
Many review platforms provide businesses with the ability to respond to comments and feedback. In fact, consumers have now come to expect responses from brands. This space can be used to thank customers for their positive comments and offer explanations for situations where the customer journey didn’t run as smoothly as it could have.
Remember, handling negative comments correctly can transform a negative situation into a positive one. Allowing your brand to present itself as one that is eager to both apologies for and actively rectify mistakes.