It’s probably not news that reviews are a critical component of your digital marketing strategy. But, in case you need a reminder:
- 97 percent of people look at online reviews
- 12 percent of people look at online reviews every day
- 54 percent of people look for a local business online at least once a month
Put simply – reviews matter. Even if you don’t read them regularly as a consumer, they certainly influence our buying decisions. Ordering a pizza? Are you more likely to order from the restaurant with a two-star rating or a four-star rating? Looking for a new lawn service? The grass is likely greener with the higher rated vendor.
It’s clear that positive and negative reviews influence your sales, but why?
The Expectation of Excellence
Customer service is the primary part of your business that people evaluate. If a customer is unhappy, they’re not afraid to let it be known. In fact, 35 percent of people leave businesses negative reviews if they received poor service. People are much more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one, unfortunately, particularly when they perceive customer service to be poor.
On the flip side, this is also why positive reviews are so important. Positive reviews help your business stand out in terms of customer service as well as quiet any negative reviews customers have posted. ReputationManagement.com says it takes 12 positive reviews to undo the impact of a single negative review.
Other customers are looking to reviews to avoid the same issues and to experience the same exceptional service that positive reviews reveal.
So, ask your clients who express their satisfaction with your service to post a positive review.
Reviews Establish Trust
It may sound odd, but we tend to trust reviews from strangers just as we would trust recommendations from our family and friends. Studies show that as many as 85 percent of people choose a business based on that trust. Reviews have become an online version of “word of mouth” advertising.
Customers want to trust the companies where they choose to do business with, so it only makes sense that they put so much stock in reviews. In fact, nearly nine out of ten consumers read reviews before making a purchase.
According to BrightLocal, your business needs an average of ten reviews before a customer can trust you. If you haven’t started asking your customers to leave reviews (especially when you know they’re positive), you need to start.
The Avoidance Factor
People will go to great lengths to avoid disappointment. Naturally, customers will be frustrated when they feel their money has been wasted because the product or service wasn’t as expected. By thoroughly researching the products and services you offer, customers are choosing to avoid any inconvenience to make sure that they’ll be completely satisfied with their purchase.
People are becoming savvier in their search for businesses, too. According to RevLocal, more people are searching for the phrases “to avoid” and “is __ worth it?” on Google and sharing that information in their reviews, helping them gather decision-making information, especially about businesses to avoid.
Customer reviews are here to stay. It’s in your business’ best interest to understand why (and how) customers are using reviews to find businesses and the impact that every review has on your performance and sales.
This post is courtesy of MMC Account Manager Jennifer Kardian