Why reviews and testimonials matter
Cast your mind back to a time when you were thinking about purchasing something of value. Did you purchase your item without any prior research or analysis? Or, did you search Google for hours on end, scrolling through reviews and looking for testimonials? Market research on consumer behaviour has identified that majority of customers will undertake considerable research before making significant purchases.
According to PWC, 90% of customers read online reviews before they visit a business, and 88% of consumers trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations. What does this tell us? Well, quite simply, all businesses need to be actively encouraging their clients to leave reviews and/or post testimonials. This consumer feedback is worth its weight in gold. Businesses large and small can’t afford to sit idle any longer, they must be actively monitoring customer feedback, reviews and testimonials to maintain competitive advantage.
Interestingly, as technology has evolved and so too has the ease at which information can be sourced, consumers are more likely to shop local if reviews are positive. According to PWC, 92% of consumers will buy locally if a business has at least a 4-star rating. In addition to this, 72% of consumers will only take action and consider making a purchase from a business after reading a positive review.
For those that run small businesses, this is brilliant news. It means small businesses can become quite successful through the use of online positive reviews alone. This kind of promotion is free, fast and effective. This reinforces just how important it is to encourage clients to leave positive feedback across social media platforms, on different review platforms, and for all businesses to develop a page on their website dedicated solely to testimonials.
Conversely, 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. Negative reviews can very quickly tarnish the image of a business, so it’s critical that all reviews, positive and negative, are responded to quickly. One negative review can cost a business 30 customers.
What can you do if you receive negative feedback? Dealing with negative feedback can be complex and upsetting, especially for small businesses. It’s advisable to always try and rectify the issue and offer a resolution, if possible. Always respond to negative feedback so that potential clients can see your response. If necessary, reach out to the customer offline and find a resolution. To counteract any negative reviews, work at trying to increase your positive reviews from loyal consumers or new clients.
Online reviews not only help to promote your business, they will also significantly improve your organic SEO. The more online reviews your business has, the more your business name will appear when people use Google search. This is a great way to improve your search rankings organically and improve visibility.
Use customer feedback and reviews to guide your business goals. Through careful analysis you can identify areas of improvement and make necessary changes to ensure these areas of your business are improved. You should also use your positive testimonials to promote and showcase the strengths of your business. Highlight these strengths across your social media platforms and dedicate space for reviews and testimonials on your website.
Businesses can’t afford to shy away from actively sourcing testimonials and reviews. In fact, make it your business objective to focus on including these in your marketing efforts. Encourage your clients to leave reviews and actively work at responding to these, positive or negative. An engaged business owner, who is responsive to online reviews, will be perceived far more positively than a business owner who is unresponsive.
If you’d like help showcasing your reviews and writing your customer testimonials, send me an email and I’ll be happy to help. And, once you get a feel for how it’s done and feel confident in asking people for reviews, you’ll be smashing those business goals in no time at all.