Guest Post by Emma Sumner
In many ways, online customer reviews have become the modern version of word of mouth. Looking for reviews has become the almost obligatory first step in any buying process for most people.
Only when we feel that we are satisfied with the judgment other people who have bought the product have passed we will commit to purchasing.
That is why it is essential that sellers fully understand the impact customers reviews have on their business and performance of their brand.
1. Influencing the Customers’ Decision-Making Process
According to a study by Podium, 93% of all consumers have been affected by online reviews.
While we can debate the merits of trusting the words of complete strangers on the Internet, the fact that people do should be enough for any company that plans to be successful.
Ignoring this fact essentially means that you are ignoring 93% of your potential clients and that is a sure way to run your company into the ground. Instead, find a way to ensure that the effect customer reviews have on your potential users is a positive one.
2. Creating Trust
Online review sites usually inspire trust in their users, since they provide the information the users need, so it may be smart to consider advertising on them.
This is especially important if you are looking to establish a successful and trustworthy website like AskGamblers.
As more and more reviews feature your brand in a positive light, it will create a sense of familiarity and trust with customers, which is essential for success.
3. On-Site Ranking Benefits
One of the best ways to feel the positive impact of online reviews is to have them displayed on your site. It serves several functions.
By having your reviews out in the plain site, you are showing your customers that you have nothing to hide, thus increasing the trust.
Secondly, having reviews published on your site will dramatically increase your Google rank with user-generated unique content on your product.
Google will perceive you as an authority on the matter, thus displaying your site higher in search results whenever your product is googled.
4. Off-Site Ranking Benefits
Sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor can also boost your Google page rank. The more positive reviews you have on such sites, the better you will be perceived by Google, not to mention customers.
This will also boost your search ratings, making your site appear higher on Google.
Rich snippets add another layer to the search results, which can lead to a higher organic CTR.
5. Make Use of Negative Reviews
Negative reviews are the other edge of customer reviews sword. Once and a while, no matter how good your product or service is, you will get a negative review.
Think about them as a chance to display just how awesome your customer service is. Never leave a bad review unanswered.
A negative review can cause you serious damage, but when people see that you have addressed the issue, they will overlook it, especially if a vast majority of your other reviews are positive ones.
Not only that, but even the reviewer may change their mind once you reach out to them and rewrite the review to reflect your company in a more positive light.
6. Inspire People to Leave Good Reviews
The sad fact is that people are far more likely to share a bad experience than a good one. If a customer feels that they have been wronged, there is a high chance that they will leave a bad review. The opposite isn’t true for a good service.
Regardless of how good the haircut was, most customers won’t bother to leave a review praising you. But have one bad hair job and you will hear about it.
That is why it is important to encourage your satisfied customers to leave a review. There are several ways you can achieve this, by telling them how much it would mean to you or by offering a discount for anyone leaving a review.
The bottom line is that customer reviews are a very powerful tool
that can make or break a company. The potential they hold means that you shouldn’t ignore them, but rather find a way to make them work for you.
How’s your online reputation doing? I stumbled on a brilliant personal branding tool the other day. I was able to see instantly that I have no negative online reviews about my brand.
Unfortunately, it was also difficult to find positive reviews because there aren’t enough reviews out there about my brand, so clearly, there’s still more work to be done.
If you want to check out your own score, go to Brand Yourself and take their Free Risk Scan.
About the Author
Emma Sumner is a business strategist-turned blogger. She writes for various online publications. Her favourite topics include Business, Finance, Marketing, Branding and Entrepreneurship.