Say you’re looking to buy new patio furniture and you’re browsing Amazon. At first glance, both of the below seem like great options, right? They are both three-piece sets, they are priced similarly, and they look basically identical.
So, what might make you buy one over the other?
Take a closer look. See those little yellow stars next to each product? Those little stars are what may lead almost 90% of consumers to choose the second product over the first.
Online reviews. No matter your industry, whether you are selling a product or a service, whether your client base is other companies or consumers, online reviews matter. A lot.
So, how do you get them?
Getting online reviews: Building your online reputation
There are a couple different ways you can (and should!) go about getting reviews.
First off, Google uses reviews in its search engine results page (SERP) ranking algorithm to determine where a local business appears. The more reviews you can capture via Google my Business and the more positive those reviews are, the higher your business will organically rank against competitors if all else is relatively equal.
Ranking aside, those Google reviews are highly trusted by consumers. Nearly 88% of people of consumers have read reviews before purchasing products or services, and 72% of customers say positive reviews make them trust a business that they may not have otherwise.
Secondly, if you sell products directly on your website, you can also collect reviews on those specific products.
Furthermore, you can also collect reviews on social platforms, such as Facebook.
Responding to online reviews: Maintaining your online reputation
When companies respond to online reviews, they are showing they genuinely care about the customers they serve. Responding to a positive review gives your company a chance to say thank you for the customer’s support. Responding to a negative review gives you an opportunity to extend an apology, issue a coupon or refund, and explain publicly how the customer’s issue will be handled. This type of communication illustrates transparency and demonstrates a company’s commitment to their patrons.
Getting started: It’s easier than you think
Begin collecting online reviews in a few simple steps:
- Set up a Google My Business page and a Facebook page with the “reviews” tab enabled.
- If applicable, work to add the review functionality to your website next to individual products.
- Consider investing in a third-party program that will simplify the review solicitation, collection, and management process.
- Assign someone to actively monitor and respond to reviews.
- Watch your online reputation grow and prosper!