Online Customer Reviews: Essential for Small Businesses
The globalization of the Internet during the 1990s forever changed the way we perceive the world, and marketing was no exception. In recent years, we have gone from considering websites as exclusive tools for brands to transforming them into spaces where consumers can interact with each other and give their opinion about their favorite – and not so favorite – products or services.
Today, online review sites are an essential for people and businesses. Leaving our reviews on Google, Facebook, Amazon, or Yelp is as common as chatting with our friends. How does this affect small businesses?
Online customer reviews increase conversion rates
New consumers have all kinds of information at their fingertips when making a purchase: reviews, recommendations, complaints, suggestions, and more. They no longer need to base their decisions on personal experience – now, they can read it all directly from previous consumers.
For you, this means the single most important thing that you can do right now to improve your marketing and attract new customers is to take control of online reviews.
In the past, traditional ads had two objectives:
- Convince your potential customer to acquire your product or service.
- Create an urgency to do it as soon as possible.
Why? Because in the traditional model, potential customers were not actively looking for what you offer, so it was more difficult to connect with them. You needed to generate urgency for them to consume before they got distracted by other things. Nowadays, when a potential customer looks online for a product or service, there is already a decision, need, or urgency behind their search. And thanks to how easy it is to access the internet from any mobile device these days, searching for recommendations online and negative reviews is the new normal.
90% of consumers consider positive reviews to be essential when making a purchase decision.
Businesses that allow customers to review products or services, and display those reviews next to their products, can increase their conversion rates because customers will feel more confident to spend their money.
Online reviews are an excellent customer service tool
Since Yelp added an option to respond to reviews in 2009, reviews have become an opportunity to establish meaningful relationships between brands and consumers. It has been proven that potential customers not only look at positive reviews but that they increasingly check the negative feedback too.
As a cardinal rule, don’t respond to negative reviews. Instead, try to completely remove them. On the other hand, respond to the positive reviews and let the public know that you’re there, that you listen to what they say, and build your business around them.
Take control of your online customer reviews
Today, “word of mouth” is online – even if you don’t participate in the conversation. The key to success in this digital age is learning to listen to and manage customer reviews to stay one step ahead of changing consumer trends and competition. However, just like online reviews, life can be unfair sometimes. The weight of reviews on a business’ reputation makes them the weapon of choice for unscrupulous competitors, resentful ex-employees, and even internet trolls.
In many cases, the only defense against these attackers and the fake reviews they enter is to delete their comments. Not only will it help you keep your reputation intact, but it will also improve your average score on those platforms that use a 5-star review system.
Don’t let negative feedback affect your business!
Need help? We at RemoveBadReviews.com are ready to remove those comments that negatively affect your business, and we’re ready to do it quickly, safely, and in a completely legal fashion. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you take control of the situation. It’s as easy as clicking here.