As a business owner in the digital age, online reviews are one of the most effective ways to ensure your online presence is strong and up-to-date. Leveraging online reviews or customer feedback through popular third-party websites such as Google or Facebook is an excellent way to give your brand credibility and prospective customers confidence.
Receiving Online Reviews
Research suggests customers are much more likely to trust an online reviewer than a general advertising message; at Viewpoint, we often use the example with our clients, “you can tell me how good you are, but if somebody else tells me how good you are, I am more likely to believe them”, so receiving these validations can positively impact sales and customer loyalty.
Sharing Online Reviews
So, you have a library of online reviews, awesome! While they are great for brand visibility, SEO and consumer confidence, they also provide excellent social media content. Including positive reviews from your customers as part of your social media schedule is an excellent marketing tool. Market research shows that:
- 40% of consumers use social media to research new brands or products
- 92% use social media reviews to guide their purchase decisions
- 53% view social media reviews as the most important factor in the online shopping experience
This explains why customer reviews are often more effective than paid advertising, promotional content, and traditional sales messages.
What about bad reviews?
Regardless of the quality and value your business offers, it’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time. Receiving a negative review or two along the way is inevitable. While they may not feel very nice, they can actually help improve customer trust in your brand.
Research from Edelman found that 81% of consumers won’t buy from a brand they don’t trust. A further 70% indicating trusting a brand is more important than ever before.
By displaying negative and positive feedback and responding, brands can demonstrate their commitment to transparency. In turn, earning consumer confidence!
The importance of replying to Online Reviews
Showing appreciation goes a long way with customers, and responding to positive reviews is a great opportunity to express gratitude and engage with them. Try phrases like “thank you so much!” or “we’re delighted you had such a great experience”. Show your audience how happy they make you and keep the conversation going it will be appreciated!
What about negative reviews?
Negative reviews can be difficult to hear, but maintaining a professional and courteous demeanour when responding is paramount. No lashing out allowed! (You will not win points with anyone!)
Here are some tips for how to handle your reply:
- Understand the customer’s experience before replying, take ownership of mistakes made, and present steps taken or that will be taken to remedy the situation.
- Apologise when appropriate but don’t take responsibility for things that weren’t your fault, maintaining your sense of empathy for customers.
- If needed, offer an opportunity to talk further in private as well if a formal resolution would benefit both parties involved.
Online reviews have a major impact on the success of businesses, so it is important to actively seek and encourage customer reviews. Although bad reviews might seem scary at first, the most important thing is to reply in the appropriate manner and show potential customers that you are open to feedback and willing to make changes. Reviews are a major factor in the success of businesses, so why not take your chance to jump online and shine a light on a business you appreciate?
Unsure of how to best utilise your online reviews?
If you need advice or guidance on what to do with reviews or any of your digital marketing requirements, contact the digital marketing wizards at Viewpoint Digital Media. We have a range of retainer service package options on offer that can take care of all your business needs.