You most likely purchase products or services from a favorite brand you trust on a regular basis. It may be your favorite brand of potato chips, a certain brand of shoes, or maybe even a brand of coffee that you just can’t get enough of. But what if you decide to purchase a new product or a brand that you’re not familiar with? You will most likely do some research and look at some customer reviews online before you make your decision. Other customers’ opinions and experiences will affect your decision to make a purchase, just as they affect other customers in the process of making the same decision.
Importance of Reviews
Google support states: “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.” *
Customer reviews are critically important for online visibility, customer engagement and building a reputation for your brand online. In 2019, 97% of consumers used online reviews to choose which local businesses they bought their products and services from, and trends over the previous year’s indicate this percentage may grow even larger in 2020. What customers are saying about your products or services online is important to capture new sales and grow your business. Frequent positive reviews will reinforce your brand’s image and encourage customers to make a purchase.
Replying to Customer Reviews
Responding to your customer reviews is a must. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business, product, or service. Regardless if the review is positive or negative, a timely response will vastly boost your customer engagement. Responding to your negative reviews shows customers that you are invested in their interests and are willing to address their concerns. A ReveiwTrackers study from 2018 shows that 53% of customers expect a reply within 7 days of their post, so be sure to keep up with your replies.
Unfortunately, customers are more likely to leave a review after a negative experience with your business than with a positive one. However, the fear of negative reviews should not keep you from building your online reputation. Negative reviews are not necessarily a sign of bad business practices. A customer could have a misunderstanding regarding your product or service. You can mitigate the negative impact on your business from negative reviews by responding to them. Showing concern in the customer’s complaints and finding a solution to their problem will improve your business’s reputation and draw in more customers. You may remember the reinvention of Dominos’ Pizza in 2010. This was a campaign sparked by numerous negative customer reviews claiming that their pizza “tastes like cardboard” and was largely successful for the brand’s image due to Dominos’ response to the reviews.
Customer reviews are one of the most important factors in building your visibility and reputation online and is growing in importance. A business or brand with no, or very little, reputation will see a loss of customers and sales. Be sure to pay close attention to your customer reviews and respond to each review including positive ones, and mitigate the negative ones.