Ecommerce has overwhelmed the traditional brick and mortar store. When it comes to buying something, receiving a service, or even selling something, everyone can agree that it’s a lot nicer when you can sit in your PJs rather than going to an actual place of business.
The problem comes when we realize that, just as it’s easy to shop online, it’s easy to create your own online marketplace. Online competition is outrageous, and businesses need a way to stay ahead of their rivals. How is this done? In many ways – but none more important than customer reviews. No business can thrive without them, and every business with multiply in size and success with them. Why?
Here are four reasons:
1. They Get Your Name Out There
Billboards and Facebook ads get a lot done, sure, but that’s neither the beginning nor the end for online businesses. It’s important that customers know you exist and know you’re not just a spam bot, and reviews help you achieve this.
- They’re Packed with SEO Potential
With Google ruling the playground, it’s more important than ever to show up high on the search engine results. If your business is on the second page of listings, you’re up against staggering odds saying no one will see you at all, and you’ll be left with static websites and spam bots. Reviews, however, generate activity and they generate it in relation to your website. If several reviewing sites start listing your name because customers are giving their opinions, Google will pay attention and move you up on the list.
2. People Trust Them
An impressive nine out of ten people won’t buy a product without checking or being pleased with its reviews. Even before ecommerce was on the scene, many people would ask friends, colleagues, or even acquaintances for a recommendation before trying a place out. That makes it clear that consumer opinion matters – as much to consumers as it does to you.
- They Give Insights Even Your Marketing Team May Neglect
When someone writes a review, they’re giving their perspective, and their perspective may be different than yours. Your marketing team may focus on how great your product is, how impressive your prices are, or how visionary your mission is. However, a random customer may instead point out how pleased they were with your timely and kind customer service. This not only gives another customer who values customer service a reason to try you out, but it also gives you feedback on where you should focus your efforts. If your customer service really is exceptional, maybe you should bring that up in your campaigns to catch more attention.
- They’re Not Always Nice
Reviews can usually be done anonymously, and there’s no reason for them to be nice. Consumers know this and they trust the unbiased opinion of what other people are saying. This makes your nice reviews hold more water, because if they had the option to hate on you and instead sang your praises, you must be pretty freaking awesome.
3. Bad Reviews Are Good Too
You might be slamming your foot on the break right now, but hold up. It’s true. Bad reviews, in very small and controlled amounts, can actually benefit your business more than a perfect streak of good reviews. In fact, if you have too many nice reviews, you may want to consider asking a friend to write you a bad one just to level things out.
- It Shows Honesty
It’s increasingly popular for businesses to in fact hire reviewers to give them positive reviews. They get the value of a review, but in doing so, they forget the purpose of it. People trust reviews because they’re unbiased, and if you’re buying a bias, why should they trust it? By having a bad review in your list of good ones, it shows that you do in fact have a healthy – or at least tolerable – balance of honest opinions. Who would buy a bad review? With this in mind, your good reviews have greater punch.
- It Shows Reality
No one is perfect, and neither is any business. If your business was perfect, then it wouldn’t need reviews at all and would instead be struggling to hold the customers flooding your doors. By getting a bad review – even one in a list of fifty – it shows people that you are indeed a real business that’s struggling to do your best, and that shows humanity. Everyone messes up now and then, but forty-nine people think you are absolutely killer. Now, if you have ten bad ones out of fifty, you might want to worry, because this gives the impression that you mess up regularly – and that’s not good.
4. They Keep You Fresh In Customer Minds
As great as bringing in new customers is, every business can agree that keeping your current ones is even more important – and reviews can play a huge role in this.
- Doing Business Does Not Mean Remembering
Walking through someone’s door is easily forgotten. However, most people will have your business cemented in their head if they take the time to pull up a website, type in their email and a username, and then offer their opinion or at least a star. You’ve become more prominent in their attention span, and that increases their likelihood of remembering you.
- They Feel Involved
Everyone wants to feel important, and consumers know how valuable reviews are to a business. By encouraging them to give you a review, you’re essentially asking them to contribute to the growth and success of your business, and this makes them feel important. If they can make a real difference with you, why go elsewhere? Reviews can create very loyal customers.
Reviews are more than an assessment of your business – they’re deciding factors on how your business grows, competes, and even functions. Having a healthy collection will boost your sales as the best marketing technique around.