93% of customers or clients utilize reviews as their initial step in selecting a company, product, service, or professional organization.
Online reviews are trusted by 91% of customers or clients as much as personal recommendations since it has been dubbed that the new “word of mouth” is online reviews.
87% of customers or clients will not consider doing business with a company that has poor and low online ratings
It should come as no surprise that a legal consumer’s decision to hire you is influenced by their web reputation. According to research, by 2021, 97 percent of individuals will have viewed internet reviews as part of their purchasing process, and 85 percent will trust them more than recommendations from relatives and friends. It’s a digital world, where complete strangers help each other find a business, and where people believe a company with a big list of great reviews.
Word-of-mouth referrals are still powerful, but only for a small group of people who have a close relationship with previous clients. As a result, word of mouth is no longer sufficient to maintain a competitive edge in a saturated economy. Indeed, “online reviews are the new word of mouth.”
Online reviews help to broaden the reach of your reputation by giving more people access to the opinions of past customers, distinguishing you from the competition down the road. So, let’s look at where to get reviews and how to ask previous clients to rate your company.
Where and how do you get your reviews?
The short answer? Everywhere. While this may appear to be a worrying fact, it is correct. Reviews from different web platforms will reach your prospects regardless of where they are looking for a business. However, if you want to cut it down, concentrate on Google and Facebook, the two businesses that dominate digital advertising and where the majority of consumers end up after conducting a search.
Google has built a reputation as the go-to destination for anything by consistently displaying the best relevant content for any search. And reviews have a significant impact on the results a consumer sees when searching for, say, a security system and alarm company in Denver, Colorado.
It is indeed safe to presume that there are several businesses in and around Denver. This is when customer reviews come into play. If everything else is equal between businesses A and B, a large number of favorable online reviews will most likely be the deciding factor when Google determines who to prioritize in a search.
Google understands that consumers are significantly impacted by ratings, and they want to work with a company that has a good online image. Because Google prioritizes Search Engine Results Pages, the more good reviews your company gets, the easier it is for local people to find your business online.
It is also worth noting that Facebook and Google perform various functions for your future client. If consumers search for a business on Google, Facebook provides information about the business they’ve found. The majority of Facebook users are conducting a “branded search,” which implies they are aware of who you are, have done some research, and are now looking at your social media profiles for further information.
Facebook provides the proof people require before contacting your business, and that validation is frequently provided in the form of ratings. Your Facebook presence may be great in terms of postings, photographs, and videos, but it isn’t complete unless you have extensive feedback from previous clients.
Ratings on social media are extremely effective since they are so personal. Unlike anonymous evaluations on search engines, Facebook places a name (and a face) behind a person’s opinion of you. In terms of how reviews are collected, Facebook differs slightly from Google. Instead of a five-star rating scale, they simply ask if they would suggest your company with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. From there, a customer can fill in the blanks with information about their interaction with your company.
Whatever method you use to collect reviews, keep in mind that they have an impact on your web reputation and are significant for legal consumers. People want to know about previous clients’ experiences, and they’re willing to trust the opinions of people they’ve never met.
Aside from Google and Facebook reviews, customer ratings also play a crucial role in businesses. Customer ratings (CR) are among the most accurate quantitative measurements of customer satisfaction available. Customer evaluations have remained one of the most important elements that marketers use when assessing the performance of their initiatives. One of the measures included in basic statistics is the Satisfaction Rate. It calculates an overall percentage of how satisfied your respondents are with your products and services.
2022 Guide: The Importance of Online Reviews for Business
Welcome to 2022, when our purchasing decisions are dictated by the stars. Where a five-star rating is as valuable as a personal recommendation from an old friend, and anything less than three stars isn’t worth a second glance. Whether we like it or not, we are now living in the consumer-driven world of internet reviews. When researching a product or service, we almost always conduct an online search first. We click on whatever the search results bring up for us. We read reviews, we count the stars, and 90% of us base our purchasing decisions on what the reviews say.
Consumers trust internet reviews as much as they would a personal suggestion from a friend, according to 72%. Online reviews can be a tremendously beneficial tool for your company. Aside from the psychological impact they have on consumers’ purchasing decisions, they can also help enhance your local SEO results so that your business appears first when people search for a business in their region.
However, some business owners may be hesitant to ask their customers for online reviews because they fear that one negative comment may tarnish their online reputation. They prefer to have no reviews at all because they are afraid of straying from the specific picture they hope to project online.
What a blunder this is? Consider your online reputation to be a credit score. Bad credit is synonymous with a lack of established credit. No review is the same as a negative review. Consumers want to read internet evaluations for a burrito or a business, whether it’s for a burrito or a business.
Prospective customers want comfort regarding a company, so they look for business reviews before making a selection.
A Google Business Profile Is Key
In a recent survey, legal consumers were asked what they did after searching for a business on Google. Almost 30% indicated they would google a business review and read the reviews on a company’s Google profile, while little under 20% said they would read a review on another website. This demonstrates that Google is one of the most significant sites to have internet reviews for your business.
Although there are other review websites where customers go to make purchasing selections, Google should be a business’s first priority. Setting up a Google business profile is free, and it may be an excellent tool for generating leads.
How Google Reviews Benefit Your Business
Increased Online Visibility
Google monitors your company’s ratings and will increase your visibility based on the number of ratings you have. If you can amass enough ratings, you can propel your company to the top of Google search results, which display the first three businesses in the area that match a user’s search query. This is referred to as Google local pack because it is derived directly from the Google My Business database. Another reason why your company should have a Google business profile.
People Trust Google
A positive Google review has the capacity to persuade even the most doubtful buyers. A positive Google review, according to 74% of consumers, makes them more likely to trust a firm. Simply put, people rely on Google to be their one-stop internet concierge, advising them on what’s hot and what’s not.
Google Customer Interaction = More Leads
Google ranks your search results based on how much you interact with user reviews. So, before you assume you only need to answer to negative reviews, remember that you should also respond to positive ones. Google is watching and identifying active reactions.
Make it a practice to check your Google business profile every day and respond to every single review. Apologize when required and express gratitude when appropriate. Consider your Google profile to be a garden; in order for it to develop into a lead magnet, you must water it every day.
Increased Click-Through Rates
People will automatically flock towards your website if they check your business profile and see a good rating. As a result, your click-through rate will improve, allowing you to reach your target audience even more effectively.
Why Are Online Reviews of All Kinds Necessary?
Although Google is the optimal location for the majority of your internet reviews, other review sites can be useful as well. Whether your customers rate you on Google or Yelp, here are the reasons why online reviews are vital for your business.
People are more likely to choose a company if they can discover a review that says it’s a smart investment. Social proof has a significant impact on sales and can be the deciding factor between choosing your company or a competitor. If a lead sees your company featured as a five-star review, they’ll feel it’s worth the hype. The more feedback you can get from previous clients, the more likely it is that others will want to deal with you as well.
Regardless of which review site you’re on, each has its own method of indexing information. The more customer reviews you have, the higher your business will rank on the platform. When you have a large number of positive reviews, algorithms favor your website as the authority, giving your business more visibility.
Trust is one of the most crucial qualities that customers look for in a business. People want someone to handle their case that they know they can rely on to do it well. Each time you receive a positive review, you boost your trustworthiness and appear more trustworthy. If your company has a plethora of positive evaluations, it will considerably improve people’s belief in you that you are the ideal person for their case.
Encouraging your customers to leave you a review will enhance the amount of time they spend talking about your company. If your consumers are talking about you online, you will increase your online presence and, as a result, your ranking. Encourage your customers to share their positive experiences on as many different review sites as possible, thereby expanding your brand’s impact across many channels.
Many clients will not purchase a service or product from a brand about which they are unfamiliar. Approximately two-thirds of shoppers rely their final purchase choice on online reviews. So, for those customers who need to examine online reviews before making a final selection, you must ensure that your company appears first by providing a consistent supply of online evaluations.
Boost of Sales
There is a lot of data out there that shows that online reviews have a substantial impact on your bottom line. According to a Harvard study, boosting your star rating can result in a 5 to 9 percent increase in sales, demonstrating that even a minor improvement in your rating can have a significant influence on your revenue.
Customer/Client Relationships are Enhanced
Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that they only need to reply to bad reviews, which is simply not the case. Reviews are an excellent method to develop your customer relationships by reacting to both positive and negative criticism. Reviews allow you to reinforce excellent experiences by thanking your past clients and keeping an open channel of communication open, while also acknowledging where you have the potential to grow.
Giving individualized responses to comments means you’re putting a human face on your company. It’s appealing to potential clients if you have an open-to-feedback demeanor. A pleasant online demeanor in response to both positive and negative evaluations can do wonders for your reputation.
Any wise company understands that there is always room for growth and improvement. Observing your consumers’ positive and negative online experiences might provide you with a deeper understanding of what they genuinely desire. If you only get one or two reviews addressing a certain issue, it’s generally not a significant deal. If, on the other hand, you notice the same issues cropping up multiple times in succession, you know it’s time to make a change.
You may make improvements where appropriate by using your customers’ experiences as information, and each review can be used as a stepping stone towards becoming the best you can be.
How to Handle Criticism
One of the most prevalent reasons why businesses are cautious to encourage internet evaluations is because they don’t want negative feedback circulating online and perhaps ruining their reputation. And, while your initial thought when you discover a poor review of your company would be, to take it down or file a defamation suit, that isn’t always the best solution. A review that contains outright inaccurate material may be considered defamation, but the question is a legal battle worth it?
Take a deep breath and try the following if you receive a bad and poor review.
Nothing seems more unprofessional than a company responding aggressively and defensively to a negative online review. Worse yet, not answering at all. Instead, respond professionally and politely, inviting the dissatisfied consumer to contact you individually, taking the conversation away from the public glare.
When answering, always make an appropriate apology if necessary, and make it clear that your primary purpose is to find a settlement. Above all, make certain that a client’s matter is kept private. If your company fails to maintain confidentiality in its response, it may cause more problems than just your online reputation.
Encourage More Positive Feedback
Since you can’t delete negative remarks, the next best thing is to drown them out. After professionally responding to a bad review, wash it away by transforming it into a minor part of a larger whole. You accomplish this by promoting more and more reviews.
If the bulk of your internet reviews are positive and there are only one or two unfavorable reviews, the negative reviews will normally be ignored. So, don’t be scared to get positive feedback from your satisfied customers in order to mitigate the unfavorable ones.
It’s as simple as sending an email to your customer at the end of their case. If they had a good experience, chances are they’ll be happy to give you one or more favorable evaluations online. It doesn’t take much persuasion for a satisfied customer to spread the word about their positive experience. You might even want to consider establishing a review landing page on your website to make it easier for clients to leave reviews.
It is crucial to note, however, that several review services, such as Yelp, explicitly say that businesses should not directly urge customers to leave reviews. So, before requesting a client to review you on a specific site, be sure you’re conversant with the legalities.
Online Reviews: A Critical Part of Clients Decision Making Process
As we approach 2022, it is clearer than ever why online reviews are so vital for businesses. Reviews will continue to be vital for clients looking for a business, therefore it’s time to prioritize online reviews as part of your organization’s marketing plan. To establish a five-star reputation for your company, you must provide your consumers and clients a cause to post a positive review.
One of the most effective methods to accomplish this is to use legal software to automate your operations. Drip marketing for businesses, two-way SMS text messaging for businesses, and automated appointment scheduling all give each client the sense that they are your only client. Another option is to incentivize your workers, who interact with customers more than you do with clients, to solicit positive feedback from them whenever they speak with them.
A common misconception among businesses, particularly professional services organizations, is that you only earn a great review when you generate a huge win with a big check. That is not correct! Excellent feedback on your employees, communication, promptness, thoroughness, quality of service, how kind your staff is to them, how they feel handled, does our staff regard them as important, how else did we help them? Are our product and experience excellent?
At the end of the day, it is important to keep in mind the importance of customer feedback, whether it is a Facebook or Google review, whatever content put out online via customers can affect the reputation of a business. Analyzing client reviews helps your organization understand overall customer satisfaction because they can provide your firm with input on what your customers genuinely desire.