Customer Reviews and Your Small Business
Customer reviews have become one of the most important digital marketing strategies you can implement as a business person. Many businesses still think they can ignore online reviews — and are secretly hoping that reviews don’t matter or that they’ll quietly go away. Many business owners have been burned by a customer who left a bad review online and it has tainted their view of the importance of online reviews. To them, reviews are just grumpy people complaining, but when you are building a business or brand, the comments of your customers are vital to your company becoming better as well as your customer base growing.
Online Customer Reviews Have Become Very Important
Over the years there has been a steady increase in the number of rating and review websites. Additionally, almost every online business directory – from Yelp to Facebook – allows almost anyone to say virtually anything about a business to everyone on the Internet – regardless of whether what they’re saying is true or not. These review rating websites even show up in search engine results for all the world to see.
Reviews and star ratings matter because they can influence future customers.
Customer Reviews Impact Buying Decisions
Think about when you want to purchase a product or service, what do you do first? Chances are you do online research and look at what other people are saying about the product or service you’re interested in buying. Yes, you probably even read online reviews! Actually, it’s hard to avoid reviews because those stars show up front-and-center in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when people search on Google – reviews even appear in the ads!
The Consumer Stats Tell The Story
If your business has avoided reputation management or taking an intentional strategy to capture customer reviews, here are some statistics, you need to know.
90% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews
88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
90% of participants said positive online reviews influenced their buying decision and 86% said their decision was influenced by negative reviews (Zendesk)