Online reviews are important to any business that wants to keep control of its online reputation. Reviewing has changed online marketing because of easy access to internet. It allows businesses to have active, as well as positive feedback from consumers. It also gives consumers a good foundation so as to create good relationship with those businesses, so you need to control it.
1. Build the Consumer’s Confidence and Trust in Your Business
If you just started a new business, reviews will make customers take the first step through your door. For instance, if there is a visitor in a new town and need to find a dentist for himself and his family. Because it’s a small town, he got only three result when he searched online. The first one has 20 reviews, which falls within 4 and 5 star category. The second one has only 10 reviews and the third one has none. From where did you think he will buy? According to Bright Local’s 2016 Online review survey, 74% of customers say they trust a local business with positive reviews. The same survey showed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews just like personal recommendations.
This means the consumer reviews play a major role in determining the general opinion about your business….. Before they decide to purchase your product or services! Having these statistics in mind, I think he will definitely choose the first dentist. If the third dentist is the best, he wouldn’t know and such individual would be losing potential customers because he or she didn’t have any reviews.
2. Score Some Free Advertising and Marketing
The traditional form of advertising are very expensive and using it would be difficult for small business. (For instance, the cost of setting up a TV commercial or a billboard would be high.)However, if the business owners can’t advertise the product and services, they won’t be able to compete with the other brands. Fortunately, with online reviews you can generate advertisement for your business with minimal effort.
Once you set up an easy way for your customers to leave reviews, your customers will market your product for you. Each review can be considered as an advertisement that will help to promote your business for customers. This will make them choose you over your competitors.
3. Find Your Unique Value Proposition
Most time, business owner think they know what customers want. For instance, the person that owns a Christmas tree farm may think all his customers want is a tree in their living room.
But customers may not think about that alone when they come to his farm to buy a tree. There is tendency for them to think a bit more. Maybe a customer imagine the family bonding he expect to occur while decorating the tree; maybe another visualize the tree with the feeling of comfort from her childhood Christmas traditions.
You see the different between the thought of the owner and the consumer about the product. The different between the two is an example of a unique selling proposition versus unique value proposition.
It is essential to know your unique value proposition so that you will be able to communicate with customers and generate sales.
When you look at customers reviews, you’ll see why customers love your business. In some cases, it might be what you did not expect. When you know this, you can then create a unique value proposition that resonate with your customers. Definitely, nothing else can resonate with customers than their own perceptions and words.
4. Increase Your Revenue
This benefit is very simple: More positive reviews= more customers=more revenue
But what is the increase in revenue? According to Harvard Business School, an increase of one star rating would lead to 5-9% increase in revenue.
This is great because it favors small business at the expense of large ones. In their study, they observe this increase only happen with small restaurants; chain restaurant did not experience the same growth.
5. Enhance Customer Satisfaction
Recent research conducted shows that 78% of customers who checked before buying were either “very satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with their purchase. Have it in mind that satisfied customers will likely leave positive reviews.
For instance, imagine you are in a market for a laptop. You are browsing and come across a good one for an amazing price. You take a look at the reviews and see positive feedback with a rating of 4.5 stars.
There is one thing that will attract you, though many reviews have mentioned that the screen blacks out occasionally. After some consideration, you decide to buy because it’s only a small issue. You’ll be annoyed if you encounter such problem but would not be surprised. Despite this small setback, you will still leave a positive review.
What if you didn’t check the review before? Once your computer arrive and you come across this blackout. There is high tendency you’ll be dissatisfied with the product…….and might leave a negative feedback.
The major difference between the two cases is expectation.
In the first case, your impression of the product is positive because you are expecting a small flaw. In the second case, you are not expecting any flaws so your impression of the product was negative.
6. Improve Your Online Visibility
One of the most important advantage of online reviews is that they boost SEO.
Whether you like it or not, the first business to be seen on search engine would be dictated by SEO. And consumer reviews accounted for 8.4 of what search engine use as a ranking factor.
It’s important to enhance your review because of SEO. For example, if I searched for “Lawyers in Texas.” The first three result would be visible and would be clicked so as to see the site. To see beyond these three, you’ll have to click again whereas most people won’t.
It is either the first 3 results has a high number of reviews or a perfect star rating. Most customer won’t scroll beyond the first page, so they may never come across your business if it’s not at the top. It is important to increase your reviews so as to improve your business SEO and ensure customers see your business first.