In the age of big data, marketing has shifted from brand-centric to a more customer-focused perspective and for good reason. For any business to thrive, the focus should be on providing the best customer service experience possible.
In return, a loyal following can churn out positive reviews and testimonials as a form of social proof that can attract more buyers. In short, it’s the best kind of free marketing.
The impact is significant. 82% of people regularly check reviews, and on average people need to read more than ten before they will trust a business. This statistic is an excellent motivator for why your brand should encourage customers to leave meaningful comments on your product pages, social media, and websites.
Customer reviews can also build a communication portal between you and your audience. They can list all the things they admire about your brand and simultaneously make you aware of your weaknesses, encouraging you to improve your product or service on a continual basis.
- Reviews are more important to customers than ever before. 95% of customers read reviews before they consider making a purchase.
- Don’t just trust that reviews will fall into your lap. Optimize your CTA for reviews, verify your business, offer customer incentives and be sure to continue to follow-up for good reviews. The more reviews your business has, the more likely a customer is to chose you over the competition.
- Use your reviews wisely. Display them prominently on your website, social media and your newsletters. Even a bad review can help build social proof.
Proof That Reviews Drive Business Growth
Buyers don’t immediately trust brands, and consumers don’t go on blind faith when they purchase products or services. According to G2 Crowd, 95% of consumers read reviews before they make a purchase, and about 40% form an opinion after reading up to three customer reviews.
Those star ratings beside your brand name also make an impact, as only 57% of consumers would choose a service with a 3-star rating while a whopping 94% would go for brands with a 4-star rating.
Besides high ratings, you’ll want a lot of authentic reviews. When comparing two products with similar ratings, consumers are more likely to pick the item with more reviews. Conversion rates can increase by up to 4.6% when prospective buyers see that a product has more than 50 reviews. Consumers also factor in how recent the reviews are.
The high quantity of positive reviews acts as an indicator to search engines so that they rank your website higher. Online reviews are even estimated to make up for 10% of the criteria for how Google displays search results.
Essentially, reading online reviews functions the same way as asking a friend for their recommendation. So, it’s not surprising that 88% of people trust reviews as much as their peers. Consumers want to feel that they’re getting the best value for their money. And who else to turn to for advice than people who have experienced the product or service themselves?
Where to Get Reviews
There are plenty of general review websites that people check or see when they type your the name of your business into a search engine. Three of the most popular online review platforms are Facebook, G2 Crowd, and Google Reviews.
Here’s what you can expect on those platforms, along with a few others:
- Yelp – Yelp is one of the most popular general review sites online, along with TripAdvisor and Foursquare. The website offers a vast of services that you can review, ranging from beauty and cosmetics to doctors and healthcare. Forbes reported that every one-star increase on Yelp results to a 5-9% increase in the service’s revenue.
- TripAdvisor – Most people who research travel itineraries or activities read reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s also a convenient place to book hotels and restaurants, as well as compare prices.
- Foursquare – Location-based insights fuel Foursquare. With the ability to check-in almost anywhere and rate the places you’ve been to, the app acts as a reliable source of reviews for activities, restaurants, and the like.
- Facebook – Facebook currently has 3.51 billion monthly active users. As such, most brands choose to have visibility there via Facebook Pages. Anyone can see the ratings and reviews but only registered Facebook users can leave reviews on your page.
- Amazon – Amazon customer reviews give buyers the ability to upload photos so other people can see products in a true-to-life setting. Their reviews section also labels buyers who had a verified purchase, meaning they acquired of the product through Amazon. Buyers usually skim through the most helpful positive review and most critical review.
- G2 Crowd – This is a business solutions review website read by more than 1.5 million buyers each month. It changed the game in the B2B industry by providing reliable user reviews that help companies select the right business software. Users sign in with their LinkedIn profiles to help reduce fraud.
- Google My Business – Google reviews make a significant impact on your business, as a star rating appears beside your brand name when a buyer performs a search. Studies claim that 6/10 consumers now look to Google for reviews, so this should be one of the first channels to consider.
- Angie’s List – Angie’s List is another platform dedicated entirely to reviews covering the following categories: house, auto, health, pets, and some professional services.
- Glassdoor – Glassdoor is one of the most popular jobs search and company review websites online. You’ll get to see the company overview and more specific reviews on different aspects like salary, interview processes, and benefits.
Industry-specific review sites are also important. Ideally, if you run an e-commerce platform, your buyers can leave reviews on the site. Review Trackers shares that the automotive industry has Cars.com and Edmunds.com, while the restaurant industry has the likes of Resy and Open Table. It’s worth digging for other sites related to your niche so that you can better target consumers.
Here are some of the ways you can encourage your consumers to leave reviews about your service or product after they have made a purchase:
Reviews Build Your Social Proof and Improve Your Customer Service
While gathering favorable reviews should be your primary focus, don’t be deterred by negative ones. Some consumers find it dubious when a product seems perfect or too good to be true. More than half of online consumers trust a product that has a few negative reviews.
Having people review your services is a significant investment that will pay off in the long run. Brand advocates are powerful in generating new leads. As you collect these reviews, don’t forget the real reason why you want to rise through the ranks—that is, providing valuable solutions and service to your customers.
Empower your consumers by allowing their voice to be heard and showing them that you can better your services and products to help them. That’s the true sign of excellent customer service and a great product.
Having a customer-driven strategy is basically the only option for B2B businesses in the age of the internet. Make your business even more resistible by creating valuable content that your customers can use. Check out our SEO Blog Writing Services or a schedule a free consultation to learn more and discuss your content marketing strategy.