How important are those online reviews for your business?
Let me ask you a question. When you are looking for a product to purchase on Amazon, how often do you read the reviews or look at the review rating? I know that every time I purchase something on Amazon I look at how many stars the product has received. A large part of my decision to purchase, or not, is based on these reviews. And I'm not alone.
87% Use Reviews to Determine Quality of Business
Based on a survey performed by Brightlocal, in 2020 87% of people looking for a local business used reviews to determine the quality of the business. That means almost 9 out of 10 people looking for your business are going to reference online reviews before they make a decision to buy your products or use your services. That's big!
85% of Consumers Read up to 10 Reviews
And that's not all. Most of your prospective customers are going to read more than 1 review. In fact, based on data in the same survey, most customers read multiple reviews before they make a decision...85% read up to 10 reviews. This means getting just a few reviews on Google+, Yelp or Facebook aren't going to do much good, especially if your competitor has 30, 40 or 100 reviews. If you were looking for a reliable business, are you going to give your money to the business that has 2 - 5 star reviews, or 40 - 5 star reviews. I know where my money is going. This also means you should have a minimum of 10 reviews online. The more the better.
Just 1 Review Can Increase Sales 10%
In a study conducted by bazaarvoice.com, just having 1 review increased sales 10% and 50 reviews showed a 30% lift in sales. It doesn't stop, the more reviews the more sales. There is definitely a strong correlation between reviews and customer acquisition.
What if your business doesn't have at least 10 reviews online? How do I get more online reviews?
Online reviews aren't easy to come by. For some businesses it takes a concerted long term effort to get those reviews online. People are more apt to leave a bad review online than a good review. According to a survey by marketingcharts.com that asked consumers who they told about their experience, 35% left bad online reviews compared to 23% leaving good reviews.
There are many ways to get online reviews, but it takes some effort. The thing you don't want to do is to incentivize people by giving them a discount, cash, or some other form of value for leaving reviews. Most online services have strict rules around incentivizing people for leaving a review, these sites include Yelp, Google+ and TripAdvisor to name a few. Your reviews can be removed and your account could be closed. There is also the possibility that you can be fined by the FTC, it's not worth the risk.
The best way to get reviews for your business is to ask the customer if they wouldn't mind posting a review online. Depending on your business it is also advisable to give them a hand-out with instructions on how to leave a review. On some sites it isn't straight forward, for example Google+. We can provide a free hand-out customized for your business, just let us know. You can also send a follow-up email to customers and ask for a review of your service. We offer our Kinetiks Reputation Service that will do this for you, automatically, at a very reasonable cost.
What are some of the advantages of online reviews?
Beside the obvious boost it will give your business because more people will buy your products or service as a result of your great customer service or product, more people will find you online. More positive reviews mean you rise to the top of the pack. No matter if the customer is searching on Google or on a review site. When you do a search on Google for a local business you will see something like the screenshot below.
As you can see, the first two results have review ratings with stars attached to the search result listing. These reviews come from Google+ and the stars only display once a business has at least 5 reviews. I'm more likely to use the business that has all the 5 star reviews rather than the business in the third position that has no reviews.
Here is another example:
You can see the first two results have less than 5 reviews on Google+ and as a result the "stars" do not display. The stars make the third review stand out. A study by moz.com using heat maps indicates that search results with reviews get more clicks than those without. "Notice that there was a very clear distribution of clicks between the two listings that had review stars when compared with the listing that didn't have any review stars".
As you can see below, the review "stars" also display in the regular search results which makes the listing stand out and more likely to be clicked. In this result you can see reviews from Yelp and Facebook, two of these results are the same business.
Getting good online reviews is imperative in the competitive online landscape, but to get good reviews you need to provide outstanding service and make your customers or clients happy, you want lots of promoters and very few detractors. Our low cost, proven, Kinetiks Reputation Service can make the task of getting online reviews simple.
The "review funnel" our service provides is just that—we focus your customer on one task: completing their online review. We pick out the optimal review site for your business (such as a site that lets them login without go through the hassle of creating a new account) and give them enough education on how to do create the review, dramatically increasing the chances that your business will receive a positive online review. If the customer is not happy with your service or product, we send them down a different path that reduces your chances of receiving a bad online review, but still gives you the opportunity to "fix" the issue with your customer or client.