Before making any significant purchasing decisions, we’re willing to bet that you do some extensive online research. That includes browsing websites, images, and social media accounts, but most importantly, it means you’re reading reviews.
With that said, the power of reviews should never be underestimated. There will never be a better marketer for your company than your satisfied clients and consumers. Sharing real experiences helps deliver on your brand’s promise, but positive reviews also bring what other marketing efforts just can’t.
However, reviews can easily make or break a brand. How can you encourage satisfied clients and customers to share their positive experiences online for the world to view?
Ravishing Review Statistics
HubSpot said it best; customer trust in businesses is fading. HubSpot Research found that customers trust recommendations from friends and family over any type of online marketing and advertising. We can’t argue with those facts.
However, in the absence of trusted recommendations, according to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews are much as personal recommendations - the single most trustworthy and credible source of "advertising" out there. To help reiterate the importance of positive reviews, here are a few more head-turning statistics:
- A customer is likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviews
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 88% of people read reviews to determine the quality of a business
- Reliability (27%), expertise (21%) & professionalism (18%) are the most important reputation traits for a local business
Reading an insightful and authentic review builds trust and creates credibility in your product and services. In addition, the more positive reviews you obtain, the better your traffic! People will take the time to read reviews, whether it’s on your website, in your e-mail newsletters, or in print materials.
4 Ways to Promote Positive Reviews
1. Ask for Reviews
Half of the battle is just asking for reviews. You don’t want to beg for attention or feedback, but you want to approach clients or customers at the right time. This comes into play during the consumer journey and can be used in several ways:
- Use social media likes and mentions to your advantage. If the customer or current client is showing a positive response to your brand, ask for a written review on your website
- Ask that when certain milestones are met, reviews are left
- Ask after a referral
- Ask after a positive interaction or meeting
2. Make it Easy for Clients and Customers to Leave Reviews
Now that you know appropriate times to ask, make it easy for your clients or customers to review you. Show them where and how to review you. Even people who have the intention of sharing feedback tend to give up if it’s too difficult. Here are some tips to make it as easy as possible:
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly so that clients and customers conducting research can easily access and leave review on the go.
- Use streamlined templates for e-mail and mobile review requests to make the experience a pleasure.
- Select one or two of your most relevant review sites and point customers to them via email.
- If you want reviews on your Facebook page, send your request via Messenger.
- If you’re a business with products that can be purchased from the website, have a follow-up plan after a customer purchases a product.
3. Have Different Avenues for Reviews
Do you have profiles on all relevant review sites such as Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and Amazon reviews? People should be able to learn about you and your brand from many online sources, even if they haven’t visited your website. This is where third-party review sites can be of great benefit.
4. Respond to All Reviews – Even Negative Ones
It is important that your reviewers know they are heard. Harvard Business Review discovered that when businesses respond to all reviews, even negative ones, their overall ratings improve. You’re human; the company you work for is run by humans; mistakes can and will happen. If those mistakes go viral, it’s your chance to deal with the issue in an empathetic way and potentially have an upset client or customer become one of your strongest brand advocates.
Displaying reviews for your business helps build trust among current and potential clients and customers. Additionally, reviews also make your business easier to find online and more credible to anyone wanting to make a purchase or find a service. The way you market your brand is important, but having people talk about you is the best way to enhance your message.