Since the beginning of speech (and probably before that), people have relied on the experiences of others to help them make decisions. Before the age of the internet, people would find doctors, gardeners and dressmakers based on recommendations from friends and family.
In 2017, not much has changed – we just voice our opinions online as well as face to face. For any business with an online presence, reviews can help you to stand out – provided you know what to do to get good ones. If you aren’t sure how to do this, keep reading.
Online Advertisers Brightlocal recently released the results of their 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey. According to their findings, most consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. They also found that positive reviews (and a business’s overall star rating) make them trust a business more. Importantly, most consumers think that reviews over three months of age are less relevant and pay less attention to them.
So what does this mean for your business? It means that you need to be constantly working at getting positive reviews and that the process doesn’t end when you get one. You need to be able to maintain your reputation. This might sound like quite a challenge, but it’s also good news for new and struggling businesses as it means that they have a chance to change the way they’re perceived by customers. Better still, Brightlocal’s finding established that 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.
If you’re a business that wants positive reviews, the answer to getting them is simple. Deliver on what you promise, in the time you promise it and at the quality your clients expect. It also means keeping tabs on your business’s presence on social media/google and proactively monitoring your mentions for any bad reviews that need to be managed. Most customers just want to be heard and many will retract a bad review if they feel that their problem has been dealt with and that you are listening to them.
So to recap, in order to get good reviews, you need to deliver on your promises – and you need to manage your online presence to make sure you’re on top of the conversation at all times.