Why Online Reviews Matter (And How To Get More) ↘

why online reviews matter - and how to get more
Weston Nunemaker
Strategy

Your business’ reputation means everything, and one of the first things people see when they search for your company is the online reviews. 

With everyone connected through smart phones and computers, having a positive online reputation could be the difference between a successful business and a failure. Online reviews are the cornerstone of how your business is perceived by the masses.

As a brand solutions company, we want to ensure everyone know just how important online review matter.

Why Online Reviews Matter

Yelp alone has over 170 million reviews. Add that to Facebook, Google, and Amazon and potential customers could see ratings of your business on most of the main sites they use everyday.

With each interaction you have with a customer, whether that’s online or in person, there’s a possibility it will cause them to go home and write a review of your business. 

According to a Zendesk survey, 90% of participants claimed that positive online reviews influence their buying decision, and 86% said their decision was influenced by negative reviews.

Unfortunately, it takes roughly 12-40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review. 

How Online Reviews Affect The Customer Journey

Awareness 

Seldom do potential customers go directly to your website and look at the content you’ve created. They either search for your business name on a search engine, or search for keywords related to your business.

If you’re competing with other businesses in a local area that all provide similar services or products, one of the key components to outrank your competition is online reviews—which are also one of the key components of Google’s local search algorithm.

Positive online reviews could increase your rankings in these local searches, and negative reviews could send you down to the bottom of the search engine result pages. If potential customers find a suitable business that provides the services or goods they need higher up the results page, your business is losing out on the entire first step out the customer journey.

Consideration

Once a potential customer has found your business online, your ratings and content really start to matter. Low star ratings or an overall low number of reviews could be a deterrent and end the customer journey right then and there.

On the other hand, numerous high star ratings could be the factor that separates you from your competition. 

How To Get More Online Reviews

With that knowledge, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to increase the number of positive review you receive. 

  1. Just Ask
    The easiest way to increase the number of positive reviews for your business is to just ask. Your customers will understand that one positive review from them will go a long way, and if you’re already providing a great experience, they shouldn’t be annoyed at the request.

    The next time a customer compliments you on your service or product, encourage them to go online and post a review on whichever site they like. 
  2. Make It Easy To Review
    When you do ask for reviews, or if someone asks how they can leave you one, make sure you know right away where you want them to go. Facebook, Google, and Yelp are the big three when it comes to online reviews that matter most to potential customers.

    Try sending out an email once a month to encourage your customers to leave a review. Include the link to at least one desired review location. If they’re happy with the services you provide, this shouldn’t be a problem.
  3. Give An Incentive
    Sometimes your customers, no matter how satisfied, will need some encouragement to leave you a review. Show your appreciation to them by offering a small incentive.

    Monthly giveaways (choosing reviewers at random) are great ways to encourage your members to leave a review. Incentives can range from discounts on future purchases to a swag bag. Get creative and ask yourself what your customers value.
  4. Let Your Team Know The Importance
    Make sure your whole team knows the importance of positive reviews, and consider giving rewards for reviews that reference a team member’s name. They spend the most time with your customers and are more in tune with what’s going on.

Review The Reviews

Regardless of the review’s rating or outcome, responding to those reviews is almost as important as getting them in the first place. Here are three steps to take after receiving a review: 

  1. Say Thanks
    Showing your appreciation to reviewers will go a long way in the ongoing relationship you now have. If it was a positive review, thank them for their kind words and show your appreciation. This can be short and sweet, there’s no need to write out a full paragraph of praise. Customers love to be recognized and will remember the interaction when considering similar purchases in the future.
  2. Share the Review
    This is also a great time to find the negative reviews and respond back. See if there’s anything you could do to rectify the situation. Regardless of whether it makes the situation better or not, anyone reviewing your ratings will see that you’re actively trying to take care of your customers. Spin the conversation into a learning experience, not a negative experience.
  3. Share the Review
    Looking for extra motivation for your team? Trying to encourage potential customers to purchase something on social? Share the best reviews both internally and externally. Social proof is just as important as creating your own great content.
  4. Use What You Learn
    Each online review should be a learning moment for your business. If the review was positive, reinforce that behavior. If the review was negative, see how you could improve that aspect of your business to make sure the issue doesn’t happen again. These are your customers talking directly to you—use that info!

Just Do Your Best

There’s going to be 5-star reviews and there’s going to be 1-star reviews, and that’s just how it is. Don’t stress over one bad review to the point you start making mistakes in other aspects of your business. If you’re trying your best to give the customers what they want in a pleasant way, the good ratings will come. 

Keep your head up. Even the great Walt Disney World Resort has over 180 1-star ratings on Yelp.