Understanding the power of customer reviews is essential for all marketers and business owners alike. Consequently, managing, collecting, and reading reviews should be integral to your customer journey. 75% of consumers do not scroll past the first page of the search results, giving your business profile a great time to shine, but also challenging you to keep your information up to date. If your business profile is not in good shape and your reviews are not answered, you could lose potential customers.
Customers will look for you online before making a purchase decision in the physical world. Google is currently the fastest-growing review platform, and therefore reviews on Google have become more critical than ever. Reviews directly impact the local SEO ranking and are an important part of a local search marketing strategy. At the same time, it is a powerful tool to convince a customer to purchase your product or service.
When answering reviews, you keep the lines open between the business and the customer, signaling to Google that your profile is active, and resulting in a better ranking for your business profile in Google. Having more reviews in your profile also signals credibility and trust, two things which are important when Google is evaluating your business profile relevance in local searches.
By reading reviews, a customer gets a better understanding of what the business is doing right, and perhaps what has gone wrong in the past. A positive review works as a good convincer to your potential future customers, and having answered a negative review that explains a mishap or a issue that a customer has experienced, you reassure the potential customer that the issue is being addressed, bestowing trust from the beginning of the customer journey.
With that knowledge, you should put your gloves on and start working on managing your business listings right away.
The fact is that customers today expect to see reviews of the things they search for on Google. They want to hear good experiences and wrongdoings of a business to evaluate their decision to purchase. The process of convincing has become a more prominent part of the buying journey, a journey that can be well managed through having a great strategy for answering your reviews.
Customer reviews work as testimonials for your company and build trust and credibility. According to a study by Bright Local, an average consumer reads about ten reviews about a company before they feel like they can trust the business. Since reviews impact the customer’s purchase decision and are a powerful tool to affect a customer, try to look for a way to highlight them in your marketing.
The effectiveness of your review strategy directly reflects your ranking on Google. The more Google reviews you have, the better you rank among your competitors on Google. Getting reviews and being active by answering them will boost your local search rankings. The more reviews you have, the more Google will reward you. A higher count of reviews can also make you more credible to the customer online. By having a higher amount of reviews on your business profile, a customer might choose you over a competitor.
Reviews are a good source for optimizing your customer experience. By receiving and regularly reading reviews from customers, you'll be updated about how customers are feeling about your company, what they thought of certain processes and what they think went exceptionally well. You’ll likely also hear where improvements could be made on your part to better the experience.
When it comes to negative reviews, make sure you turn them into positive ones for both parties. You can’t undo the shortcomings of the customer experience, but you can and should always take responsibility and make the reviewer aware of this. It is essential to answer negative reviews politely, apologize if the situation requires it and try your best to resolve the issue.
This is your opportunity to excel when it comes to customer service. By acknowledging the reviewer and their concern, you’re signaling to them that the matter is taken seriously at your company and that you will try to solve it so that the mistake does not repeat. Of course you can not only mention this in your review and go on about your day, after answering the reviewer you should actively seek opportunities to improve based on the feedback. Occasionally, if possible, you could also update the reviewer on the progress of the improvement.
As mentioned, positive reviews make customers trust your business more. Reviews of your business build trust and credibility among potential customers; they are empowering and directly affect your business by giving your customers a platform to openly discuss their experience with you. A study by Bright Local revealed that about 82% of customers read reviews before they make a purchase decision and that 52 % of 18 – 54-year-olds always read reviews.
After reading a positive review, customers continue to visit the web page, search for more reviews, contact the business, or visit the actual location. To mention, 76% trust online reviews as recommendations from family and friends, which certainly positively influences purchase decisions. Now also with the customer getting to know your business and making the purchase decision through reading reviews, they are more likely to also leave a review after they’ve made their own purchase. This further develops a positive circle of feedback.
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Let’s look at the world now, where everyone is gathering reviews and customers are being contacted before, during and after a purchase, getting customers to write reviews is not always to easiest. Reviews have grown into a big part of many businesses, rightfully so, we argue that reviews are going to grow into a bigger market than it is today, and for that reason gathering reviews are essential now and in the future.
With customers being essentially bombarded with requests to give feedback and leave reviews, they might grow a negative connotation to giving it because of the constant contact they have with multiple businesses. We’re not saying stop sending out the requests, but thinking about how the request is presented and improving the customer experience in a way that promotes feedback can make a huge difference in how you receive reviews.
This goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, stay away from buying or collecting fake reviews. Collecting fake reviews or gathering reviews for compensation goes against Google’s guidelines, and when found the reviews will get removed and your profile could get suspended. Customers will also simply spot a fake review nowadays and that is certainly not adding any good credibility or trust to your business.
Proactively manage your customer reviews by engaging in conversations when you have customers visiting. If they express something positive about their experience and you can truly feel that they are genuine, make sure to also ask them to leave a review online for you. Since shops can be busy at times and you might not have the time to discuss feedback with every customer, you can keep in contact with them after their visit.
You can do this by sending your customers an email or text message after a purchase, adding a link to easily leave a review on your web page, or encouraging them to leave review through targeted ads for customers who have visited and purchased from your business.
Just make sure that the process of leaving a review is as easy as possible. This is also part of designing a smooth customer journey, and as we all know, a smooth customer journey is a definite competitive advantage in today’s digital world.
Download our review guide to get the best tips for getting more reviews on Google.
Transform all the reviews and feedback you get into valuable, actionable insights that fuel growth. Online review management software enables companies to monitor customers' online reviews and promote a positive experience across all touch points online. Mobal enables businesses to centralize and automate their online review management from one dashboard.
With Mobal, you can manage all your businesses reviews from one place, effortlessly. In our platform, you get a sleek and easy design that guides you through every step of the process. With reviews specifically, you are able to use our ready-made templates, tailored and sorted by rating, to further effectivize the use of your time, giving you more time and opportunity to actualize and take in all of the reviews to make headway for improvements on your business operations.
You are also able to create and edit your own templates to your liking. Have a specific slogan or saying that you’d like to use in your review replies? No problem, just add them into your template and have them ready for future answers, ready to be edited and customized to the specific review and situation.
Manage all your profiles in a single sleek dashboard and easily update multiple locations with a few clicks.
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