5 Things Businesses Miss Out on by Not Collecting Reviews
Have you ever thought about how many people are online? Before you continue reading, try to guess.
From 1.5 billion users in 2008, internet usage has grown to over 4 billion today. This means that over half the world’s population is online, writing down and sharing their thoughts and opinions. The phrase “opinions matter” got taken to a whole new level with the widespread adoption of the internet.
Forward-thinking companies have been leveraging social proof to convert browsers into buyers, and buyers into brand advocates for years now. But others are still catching up and have yet to experience the increasing power of consumer feedback.
Aleksandra Chumachenko, Marketing Manager from eKomi Ltd., explains what these businesses are missing out on by not leveraging online reviews.
1. Generating Trust
No trust – no sales, no profit, no business. A simple yet poignant truth. Every brand on the market (that isn’t a monopoly) should be ready to work hard to build trust among its customers. This means keeping them loyal and make them come back again and again.
Today customer reviews are trusted nearly 12 times more than manufacturers’ product descriptions and ads. Over 50% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews even more than they trust their family and friends’ opinions.
Your customers love your business? You provide amazing quality goods and services? Show it to the world! By not collecting feedback from your happy clients you miss on an opportunity to instill trust and facilitate decision making among both existing and potential clients.
2. Boosting Sales Volumes
Customer reviews affect the purchasing decisions of almost 90% of online shoppers. Shoppers are also six times more likely to buy a product if the page includes consumer-generated photos, for instance, from social media. Seeing positive feedback from other customers affects the purchase decision. “If others liked it, I probably will too!” they think.
Just because a business does not proactively solicit reviews, it doesn’t mean that there are not opinions about said business already published online. With many open platforms and easily accessible social networks, unhappy clients lose no time when it comes to sharing negative experiences with a crowd. Studies have shown that one negative review can cost up to 30 customers!
You might be wondering, “Won’t I be poking the bear by soliciting reviews? Don’t I risk receiving even more negative feedback?” No need to panic.
First, by proactively asking your customers for reviews you will be able to unlock the silent satisfied majority: all those people that are very happy with your offer but have never thought of going out of their way to leave you a review online. Imagine what would happen if all these satisfied clients gave your business high ratings today.
Second, even if you receive some negative feedback, these reviews represent a silver lining. They’re a great source of information regarding what you might improve in your processes to increase satisfaction. But more importantly, when a business works with negative feedback (i.e., replies to it and tries to solve the problem or at least soothe the aftereffect), nearly a fifth of previously unhappy clients become loyal customers and make another purchase.
3. Increasing Organic Search Visibility
Today everyone is fighting for a place in the sun – the first page of Google organic search. According to a 2014 study by Advanced Web Ranking, over 70% of all searches on Google result in the user clicking on a page-one result. How can reviews help you achieve better visibility on Google?
Optimize your organic search. Reviews provide your business with valuable insights. They tell you how your business is performing and what your clients are feeling. You can use this information to learn “the language” of your customers and pinpoint keywords relevant to your SEO. Then, adapt texts on your website to make it more relevant for Google.
Generate fresh content for your website. Customer feedback provides you with an endless stream of fresh content, too. In turn, this can have an impact on the click-through rate (CTR) of your website. This also works in reverse: If your website has a higher CTR, it indicates to Google that you’ve updated content on your page recently. Although not everybody agrees that fresh content has a direct impact on organic search rankings, according to various sources, displaying ratings and reviews on your webpage is one key factor Google uses to rank your site!
Spruce up your rich snippets to drive traffic. Rich snippets are one of the best ways to make your website stand out in organic search results. In simple terms, rich snippets provide a brief summary or an extra bit of information about a search result. In the case of customer reviews, they show a star rating and the number of reviews you’ve collected.
And just look at these yellow shiny stars that reflect how amazing your offer is! While rich snippets don’t directly influence organic ranking, they make your webpage more visible and thus more likely to be clicked on.
4. Controlling Their Online Reputation
You cannot stop people from sharing their opinions about your company online. This is simply a fact. Often reviews that appear on public platforms contain inaccurate or malicious information. Additionally, reviews also can be bought by competitors. (Companies can buy both good reviews about their offers and bad ones about their competitors).
However, it is possible to take control of your online reputation by managing reviews across all platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google Local, Trustpilot and others. Aggregate and manage all your reviews on one central platform. Answer your clients’ complaints. Resolve issues fast, and report feedback that violates legal regulations. This way you can be sure your online reputation is safe.
5. Draw Local Customers
Many local businesses are missing out on an opportunity to attract more clients in their area by not effectively leveraging customer feedback. Imagine you want to book a hairdresser appointment in a new city. Where do you go? To Google to search for a hairdresser nearby.
Which one of the following examples would you choose? The one with no ratings, the one with a 2–3 star rating, or the one with a 4-star rating or above? The one with a higher rating is more trustworthy. The same goes for all types of businesses, like car dealers, bakeries, flower shops, insurance brokers, cafes, bars, shoe repairs, banks … you name it!
As mentioned in the blog linked above, in one case, Google My Business listings with at least a 3-star rating took 41 out of 47 clicks! According to this logic, how many clicks do you think you can get with 5 stars? Reviews are especially important for local businesses as they can influence up to 10% of the ranking.
You still acquire your clients through word-of-mouth? Good. Just add a digital word-of-mouth campaign to your marketing activities to ensure sustainable presence and trust-building online and offline.
In Sum …
Customer-centricity is becoming a number-one factor for success across all industries. If businesses do not treasure their customers, they’re making themselves even more vulnerable. Being in control of your online reputation and creating more promoters than detractors are crucial techniques for securing your position on the market. If you haven’t thought about how to proactively collect customer reviews yet – it is time! Stop missing out on trust, sales, outstanding organic search results and all the local customers that pass by! Use the power of social proof to strengthen your business.