No matter what business type you have, a strong online presence is crucial for its continued success. With the explosion of the digital age came a huge shift from traditional marketing towards digital marketing (i.e. marketing for the web) where the Internet allowed for convenient and ongoing communication between customers and businesses. Online reviews are now the primary way for potential buyers in the market to view actual consumer opinions regarding their purchases and experiences. Review sites don’t only benefit consumers though; they also provide plenty of advantages for the businesses themselves.
Increase Your Sales
Probably the biggest incentive for making your business available for online reviews is that it will increase your sales in the long run. Customers trust other consumer opinions and generally will use review sites to aide them in their shopping experience and ultimate buying decision. People are always more willing to purchase a product or service when it has been endorsed or recommended by others.
Improve SEO and Keyword Rankings
Increased content directly contributes to increased rankings. Outsider content contribution will add to search engine rankings within browsers because the more that is written about your business, the more value and relevance your name will hold. Keywords will play a big part in this ranking since they will most likely be discussed within the reviews themselves.
Help Nurture Consumer Loyalty
As a business, you should strive to inspire your consumers to be engaged. A great way to support customer engagement is through online review platforms, where customers can leave feedback and comments to share their opinions on how you’re doing. Be sure to reward those special customers leaving rave reviews with an appropriate and personalized thank you reply. Some businesses even offer incentives for their customers to leave reviews such as crediting accounts or giving a certain percentage off of their next purchase.
Negative Reviews Can Breed Positive Outcomes
Don’t fear the possibility of a negative review. Chances are your business isn’t spot-on 100% of the time and you haven’t reached every customer’s expectations. Negative reviews do not mean you have failed. In fact, studies have shown that businesses with a mix of both positive and negative online reviews actually do quite well compared to businesses with only positive reviews. In fact, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad ratings, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative opinions on the page. Researchers also found that negative reviews with polite criticism or tone did not show a negative effect for sales.
Offers an Opportunity to Better Your Business
Perhaps the most beneficial outcome of a negative review is the opportunity to fix problems and enhance the customer experience. If listening to customer opinions is something your organization values or finds important, reviews can be a great tool for doing so. By taking action and changing the way you do business based on the responses you collect, you would be turning the negatives into useful positives. Be sure to always respond to customer complaints in a professional, courteous, and timely manner. Doing so will show that your company cares enough to take the time to reach out and respond to problems addressed.
The more people are commenting on your product or service and mentioning your name, the greater the chance other shoppers will look into what your business has to offer. Review sites host a social community for buyers looking for the option best suited to their needs. In a way, online reviews are a marketing campaign with minimal work on your part.