Think back to the last time you chose to make a purchase, whether it was for goods or services, and the deciding factor that influenced you to follow through with that purchase. Most likely, your decision was influenced by a recommendation from a friend or a review you found online. We often choose services, businesses, and products based on referrals, recommendations, and positive reviews. If your business is lacking reviews, that is a problem. Not only are customers more likely to go with a business that has a larger amount of glowing reviews, but negative reviews tend to stand out more in cases where recommendations are sparse. Reviews and recommendations play a role in the success of your business, whether you’re aware of it or not.
If you doubt their importance, here are the top reasons you shouldn’t:
- When someone is looking for a particular product or service, they often turn to their friends and family, who immediately provide them the names of companies they have had good experiences with to assist them in making an informed decision.
- Bad online reviews sway customers from choosing your business.
- Particularly for small business owners, positive reviews and recommendations can carry more weight with potential customers than the messages in marketing campaigns. Make sure you encourage reviews in various places – your website, social media, Google – as people turn to a variety of platforms to get their information.
- People view reviews as relatively unbiased opinions that can provide them with honest feedback about the quality of the goods/services being offered and the experience of the customer.
- Word-of-mouth marketing is not a thing of the past. Rather, it has been amplified by the internet. So, use this to your advantage.
- If you receive bad reviews and have a strategy in place to address customers’ concerns by responding to them, it allows potential customers to see that you care about their experience. This builds trust and helps them feel more comfortable with your business.
In the end, you don’t have control over what people are saying about your business or the reviews they leave; however, you do have control over the quality of your service, product, and interactions with your customers to earn positive reviews. As you run your business, facing new and old situations, think to yourself, “If this individual left a review, would I be proud of what they had to say?” If the answer is “no,” it’s time to make adjustments.