Do you remember the first letter of recommendation you got from your former employer? Then, you might also remember the excitement when you read “I have been impressed with his attitude, productivity, and willingness to help other employees accomplish their tasks […] He is a great employee, bright and highly motivated…” and other nice words your ex-employer wrote about you.
Today, you have your own business and probably think that you’ll never feel that bit of excitement again. But you’re wrong. Just like a letter of recommendation, a great online review from a happy customer can make you feel good about yourself and your business. An important aspect is that positive online reviews go far beyond personal satisfaction, helping you attract more customers and increase sales. Read on to discover five important reasons why customer reviews are considered a critical factor to business success.
Five Reasons Why Reviews Matter to Your Business
In addition to social media, Google+ Local, email marketing and other tools you can use to boost your web presence, customer reviews are essential elements you MUST have in your marketing toolbox. The “why” question echoing in the corners of your mind right now leads us to the next five points.
- Exposure – To be found online, you need one thing: exposure. This is where Google comes into play. Google has recently updated its map search layout to make customer reviews more prominent. Though many marketers will tell you that Google ignores reviews in its search algorithm, we have good reasons to believe the opposite. As an example, Google Maps returns the highest-rated businesses when people look for local companies over the Internet.
- Trust – Trust is one of the most important things when it comes to turning a business into a resounding success. Why? Simply put, trust can help a business attract more customers. Since people tend to listen to what others say about different companies, the positive comments about your products and services are actually a form of free publicity that spreads the word about your business and builds trust among potential customers.
- Feedback – Reading reviews about your business can help you find out what customers are looking for, what they think about your products and services, and what they expect from you. If many people complain about the same thing, you can work toward correcting the problem. Additionally, you can communicate with the customers who left negative reviews and try to turn their bad experiences into good ones. Providing valuable feedback, reviews not only indicate the business areas you need to improve but also can help you understand how to serve customers better.
- Customer engagement – Online reviews attract many people who want to see what others say about a specific business or to leave comments about the products or services they use. This means that reviews provide a dynamic, two-way communication stream, which allows customers to communicate with each other and businesses to engage with their customers online. This can create a great social community that you can use to develop great relationships with your customers.
- Sales – Offering additional information that most people need to make a truly informed decision about the products or services they intend to purchase, positive reviews can help a business increase its revenue. That’s simply because most people are more likely to purchase a product or a service that has been recommended by others.
Undoubtedly, online reviews are crucial for any business owner who wants to boost his company’s presence online and understand what exactly he needs to do to make his business more profitable.