In business, your online reputation is increasingly important. Studies show that consumers doing research trust reviews nearly as much as a recommendation from friends. Fortunately, or possibly unfortunately, Google and other sites have given us a wide array of places and mechanisms to leave reviews.

Some businesses embrace this, others shun the reviews. We encourage all businesses to get reviews – doing so will only improve your business.   We look at a couple of factors when analyzing the opportunity of gaining more reviews – quantity and frequency both play a part.  Here are some ways that reviews can help your business out.

Increase Trust

Prospects tend to look at reviews as a way of vetting your business.  One statistic stated that 65% of consumers won’t do business with a company that has less than a 4.0 out of 5 stars.  Compelling evidence!  Even if you have poor reviews, you can improve the trust level by showing prospects how you handle problems, treat current customers, and how responsive you are to general questions.

Good reviews can also help your business when it comes to hiring – potential employees who research your company want to see what your overall business practices look like.

Increase Conversion Rates

This is really a by-product of increased trust.  Reviews will help you reel in better leads, and help close them more efficiently.  This is especially true when you have plenty of them to go on.  How many times have you looked at reviews only to find the business to have 1 or 2?  They may have a 5 star rating but that doesn’t mean much if there are only 2!

A conversion might look like foot traffic, leads through your online form, or sales through your ecommerce platform.  Figure out what more of those actions would mean for your business – most business owners wouldn’t turn sales away!

Increase Visibility In Search Engines

Better reviews, more frequent reviews and more descriptive reviews not only help the consumer, but they help Google and other search engines in their ability to identify and rank your site.  If you are in a competitive business locally (roofers, chiropractors, and lawyers come to mind), considering reviews and actively gaining them should be an important part of your marketing.

I personally have seen sites listed in the 3 pack (the Google Map component of local search) as a result of gaining just a handful of quality reviews.

Responding To Poor Reviews

One of the biggest concerns I find that business owners have is that they will get poor reviews.  While this is an entirely realistic expectation – you *will* get a bad review from time to time, the opportunities far outweigh the concerns. 
Use these reviews to your advantage:

  • Use a poor review as an opportunity to educate other prospective customers about your business practices, ie. return policies.
  • Use a poor review as an opportunity to show prospects quality customer service when something inevitably goes wrong.
  • Use poor reviews to help train employees and correct customer service issues within your business.
  • Use reviews in all cases to learn about your customers in order to help you spot opportunities.

Reviews don’t always come easy for a business – if you suspect your business is suffering from a low number or low quality of reviews, let Big Picture Productions help you with a strategy to improve this aspect of your business.  We can run a report that will show you where you stand on major review sites and put tools in your hand that has the potential to change the course of your business.