Not too long ago, when potential customers wanted to know about the quality of your product or service, they relied on the opinions of friends and family. Word-of-mouth is still alive in today’s connected world—it’s just become exponentially amplified with the use of online reviews. 90 per cent of consumers are influenced by reviews they read online, but in a study of 300 small and medium sized business owners, a quarter said they aren’t tuned-in to online reviews, and only half considered them important.
Why are online reviews so important to small businesses?
According to research by MarketingLand, 90 per cent of customers are influenced by positive reviews and 86 per cent are influenced by negative ones. And an overwhelming 80 per cent of consumers look for products online every single week. So why aren’t small- and medium- sized businesses paying attention?
Online reviews can take a lot of time and it can be challenging to create a strategy to monitor them. Online Reputation tools can help ensure that your presence online is impactful, bringing you new customers, and helping you to stay in tune with what customers are saying about you.
“Staying connected to your clients and audience through social media has become easier with the latest mobile devices and solutions,” says Carrie Shaw, Head of Marketing at OutRank by Rogers. “It will make sure you are always engaged and responsive, even when you’re on-the-go.”
Turn online reviews into a marketing strategy.
Online reviews not only give you valuable feedback about your business, but, when managed properly, can:
- Keep your customers engaged and curious to read more about you and your business
- Increase traffic to your website
- Give you testimonials to show off on your website or in your advertising
- Improve your search engine optimization
- Help you build customer confidence, trust and retention
If you are able to highlight great reviews on your site, you can help customers decide whether to call you or the other guys. Online Reputation tools can help you retain the clients you already have and increase the amount of referrals you get by making it simple to collect reviews and make them visible.
Negative reviews: they’re not as bad as you think.
So what if you get a bad review? Just remember: no matter how excellent your customer service might be, negative reviews are just a reality in the world of small business. In fact, 68 per cent of customers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad results.
Instead of panicking, have an action plan! We suggest the following:
- Show you’re listening by responding thoughtfully
- Apologize if necessary
- Empathize with the customer
- Offer a way to make it up to them
Customers appreciate being responded to and understood, and might even turn into repeat customers and submit a positive review later on.
Don’t leave your online reputation to chance. Take charge of online reviews by reviewing what people are saying about you, interacting with customers, and taking the time to ask a new customer for their feedback.
For more information on complete solutions from OutRank, visit rogersoutrank.com.