Developing an Effective Strategy For Dealing With Reviews

According to research from Bright Local, 92% of consumers now read and trust online reviews for local businesses. Customer testimonials are an essential aspect of how prospective customers will discover you online and analyse your local business. In actual fact, customer feedback is now perceived as the most vital tools for acquiring customers online, and they are responsible for influencing customer buying behavior online. The fact of the matter is, potential customers are really not concerned about the claims you make about your business. Instead, they seek out what your previous have to say about their experience of shopping with you. Lots of positive reviews about your business is compelling social proof, and can play a key role in your prospects becoming actual buyers.

With online ratings and reviews having so much influence over customer behavior, it is advantageous to have an effective strategy for gathering lots of positive reviews. Even though it is critically important to have reviews on your site, the fact is they won’t be as influential with our potential customers due to the fact that most of your prospects will view them as biased because they can be controlled by you. Potential customers want to read unbiased testimonials from your previous customers, and they want to read those reviews on independent ratings and review sites.

Many users leverage these platforms to leave reviews, and you should make it a priority to monitor mentions of your brand on these sites. This is because many of your potential customers can read any of these negative reviews and damage your online reputation overnight.

Why are online reviews so critically important for your business? According to Moz, 67% of consumers have made purchasing decisions based on the online reviews they read about local businesses. In addition, a 2016 local customer review survey by Bright Local found that:

. 84% of consumers regard customer online reviews in the same way as a personal recommendation

. 54% of consumers have visited a website after reading positive reviews.

. 73% of customers view online customer testimonials that were made more than 3 months as irrelevant.

. According to 74% of consumers, positive reviews increase the trust they have for a business.

This survey indicates how important customer testimonials are for small businesses and why a reviews strategy needs to be in place.

There are various methods of collecting reviews from your customers. It is known that 7 out of 10 customers would leave reviews if asked. For example, if you have a bricks and mortar business, you can use customer comment cards to ask questions about their experience of your services. You can also include links on your website to your profiles on customer review sites. It is important to understand your customers so that you can implement an effective system of collecting reviews. For example, you would need to route those customers who are most likely to give a positive review to the most influential ratings and review sites, and those that are likely to give a less than positive review can be routed to your site where they can leave their reviews.

Tips For Creating An Effective Review Strategy

How Is Your Current Reviews Process?

You need to analyse what you’re currently doing to collect reviews for your business. How effective is your current system? Are you able to get a lot of positive reviews in the process? Are you collecting all of the reviews on your site rather than on multiple sites? Do you know where most of the reviews of your business are located? You can use the following search operator to find out reviews about your business:

[your brand keyword] + reviews search

What Are The Key Review Websites That You Should Be On?

You need to know which review sites that are most important to your niche market. These are the sites your customers and prospects are most likely to use on a more or less regular basis.

To facilitate this process, perform a search on Google for your [industry keyword] feedback. So if you’re in the computer repair niche, you’ll typically type “computer repair reviews”. This type of search will show the top review sites in your industry at the top of the search engine results page in order of importance. Essentially, these are sites that you should be the focal point of your reviews strategy.

Your Own Website

Your website should be the first place for you to collect reviews. Customer testimonials offer powerful social proof anywhere they can be seen by consumers, and displaying lots of positive customer reviews on your site using schematic markup will attract customers to your business. Using schema to markup reviews on your site means those reviews will show up in the SERP, and this will increase your click through rate to your site.

What Sites Should You Focus On?

The ratings and review sites you should focus on will depend on where your customers are. If you see that your competitors are being reviewed on review sites that you’ve never heard of, you need to register your details on that site because it means that your customers are there. The reason this is important is because you want to make it as easy as possible to your customers to provide a solid review of your business. Customers generally can’t be bothered to leave positive reviews. This is why you need to make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review about their experience with you.

Create a business profile on each review site

After you’ve made a list of the sites you should be collecting customer testimonials from, it is important to setup a professional profile on each platform. This will enable your customers to provide feedback about your business. Create a solid image on these sites, and include photos, audio, videos and your social links.

Add Reviews from 3rd Party Sites to Your Website

If you have been able to collect a lot of positive online reviews on 3rd party sites, post them on to your site. Many of these sites can provide a widget that will allow you to integrate reviews from these sites on to your site. This is powerful social proof for your customers and it will save them from having to leave your site to check you out.

Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business. Here are a few tips:

. Let your customers know from the offset that you treat reviews very seriously. Customers are more likely to leave a review if you make it clear early on in the process that reviews are very important to you. There’s no need to try to force the issue. Subtle mentions of the how important reviews are to your business will have a strong effect.

. Once you have finished serving the customer, ask for a review. A survey revealed that 7 out of 10 customers are happy to leave a review if asked to do so.

. Consider how you’re going to collect reviews on a consistent basis, and follow through on this because it is essential for local businesses.

. Give customers a choice of platforms to add a review. Don’t ask the customer to add a review on more than one platform though. This is because customers will just not leave a review if they are faced with having to make a choice. Direct some of your customers to leave a review on your site. You can direct others to other review sites by sending a link to your profile on such sites.

No matter what type of business you run, it is important to make the process of leaving a review as simple as possible. The fact of the matter is, customers sometimes need to be pushed to leave positive reviews and make the process as simple as possible will increase the chances of your customers leaving reviews. .

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