Do Customer Reviews Really Matter?
Yes. You already know this, but why? Customer reviews are a virtual representation of your business’ reputation and act as the online version of word-of-mouth and recommendations. Positive customer reviews can help to create a good impression of your business that you can constantly build on.
Online research has become a massive part of the buying journey whether we’re looking to purchase something small like a pair of wireless headphones, or something big like a car. Indeed, nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. Customer reviews help us to form an opinion about whether a product or service is any good without actually experiencing it for ourselves.
If you can build up a repository of positive reviews, consumers are more likely to trust your brand, especially if they’re new. In fact, reviews are proven to produce an average increase in sales of 18%because it acts as a vote of confidence for the product or service you’re providing.
It’s important to continue to use advertising and other traditional forms of marketing to generate fresh leads. Nevertheless, having a range of 5* reviews on your website, and independent sites, helps to give substance to your brand when potential customers inevitably search for who you are and decide whether to give you their business or not.
Do Customer Reviews Help SEO?
Yes, according to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to make up 10% of how Google decides to rank search results. Although Google’s algorithms are a complete mystery, it’s widely agreed that search engines favour online reviews because it’s what consumers want to see.
Positive customer reviews on independent sites and pages (e.g. Google) are social proof that your business is legitimate, trustworthy and credible. 84% of shopperseven admitted that they trusted online business reviews from a stranger as much as a personal recommendation from someone they knew.
In addition to improving your SEO, customer reviews can influence the click-through rate (CTR) from Google to your site. By simply adding a review or product rating to a page’s meta description, CTRs can increase by as much as 20%, helping to build trust and convince a prospect that your product or service is better than the competition’s.
How To Respond To Reviews – Positive & Negative
One of the biggest fears when it comes to customer reviews is getting a bad one. It’s enough to put some business owners off from using this tool, despite all the amazing benefits it brings.
Let’s get one thing straight – you’re going to get a negative review at some point. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, and unfortunately, customers are more likely to leave a review if they’ve had a bad experience.
However, getting a negative review can actually be a really good thing. It proves that you’re not perfect and that the reviews about your business are genuine. It also gives you the opportunity to respond and demonstrate the extra level of customer service you provide to unhappy customers.
Constructing a good response to negative reviews relies on a few key elements:
- Acknowledging the issue– let them know you’ve read the review and you understand what their problem is
- Apologise– even if there’s nothing you can do, you can at least apologise for the bad experience they feel they’ve had
- Provide an alternative form of contact– you want to take the conversation offline so that not everyone can see the entire communication. Give them a phone number or email address of someone they can contact if they want to pursue the matter further
By publicly responding to criticism, you demonstrate your willingness to solve problems to potential customers. If you don’t respond, it looks as though you don’t care about your customers once you’ve got their money.
Don’t forget to respond to positive reviews thanking the customer for taking the time to publicise their positive experience and heaping praise on your business. It will make them feel valued and even more likely to return to you in the future.
How Do I Get More Reviews?
There are a number of different strategies for gathering customer reviews, but you have to be proactive – not many customers will a leave a review off their own back.
You could try incorporating asking for a review into the sales process either in person, or in an email. If you can see that a customer has had a positive experience, why not ask them to leave you a review? The worst thing that will happen is they won’t do it.
One of the easiest things you can do is make sure that you have links to your review sites clearly placed on your website. Prospects can then easily find your existing reviews and it makes it simple for you to direct any customers to where they can leave a new review.
When using SnapCell in your dealership, sending a thank you video not only completes your customer service satisfaction experience in the buying journey rewarding you with word of mouth free advertising. BUT you can now encourage a customer to leave you a review from here just by a click of a button.