Maybe you’ve seen small boxes on the wall or counter at a local business? Once, phone calls to a customer service line or one of these comment card boxes were the primary way businesses received feedback from customers.
As our online world continues to expand, customer reviews are easier to publish and growing in importance. The Local Consumer Review Survey, a study of online business reviews, reports that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, up from 81% in 2019. And, 72% of US consumers have written a review for a local business. Only 66% of consumers did in 2019. Those statistics show that people are reading and writing reviews more than ever!
More and more people are turning to customer reviews before they invest in a product or service. As a business owner, you want to make sure that you are taking advantage of this powerful (free) marketing tool.
Customer reviews are another way to build relationships with potential customers and strengthen your brand. Practically, when you receive feedback you can use the information to better understand what your customers want and how well you are doing at giving to them. If there are issues or problems, you can resolve them quickly. This, in turn, creates customer loyalty.
As more and more people review your business, your credibility grows. People want to know as much as possible about a product or service before they invest. Customer reviews give them the information and insight they need.
Search Engine Journal reported that “reviews appear to be the most prominent ranking factor in local search.” So, customer reviews can improve your SEO and bring more potential clients your way.
Finally, customer reviews are important because your clients are providing free marketing for your business. Without creating a big campaign or push, each customer review goes a long way in reaching out to other potential customers. And, the more reviews you have, the more likely that other people will leave one too. More reviews means more inquiries, discovery calls, and, ultimately, business.
Customer reviews often lead to more reviews, which turn into more leads for your business and more customers.
Customer reviews help in so many ways—from online visibility (SEO) to displaying what your products and services provide. We know that we need them, but where do we need to ask customers to leave the reviews?
#1 People can use Google Maps to review local businesses. They can leave a star rating, write a review, answer auto-generated questions, and even add photos. Google allows you to manage your reviews, including finding and sharing what people have contributed.
#2 Once you enable the feature, you can allow customer reviews on your Facebook Page, which also shows up on Google. This is an easy platform for most people to work with because they already have a Facebook account. Once a review is on Facebook, all of your followers can see it. Make sure that your Reviews section is visible when people first visit your Facebook page by changing the order of the sections on your page.
#3 Instagram Highlights are the first thing people see on your Instagram account, so you can use it like a commercial for your business. A customer review on your Instagram Highlights will grab someone’s attention as soon as they visit your Instagram.
#4 Using Screenshots of reviews on your sales pages is an easy way to capture reviews in whatever form you receive them—text, email, or google form—and share them. You can also create a testimonial page or sidebar on your website. This way, your positive reviews will be visible to anyone who visits.
#5 Digital Lead Magnets are something that you offer a potential customer or client in exchange for information from them. Consider giving your customer base something unique (think webinar, template, or coupon) in exchange for a review. This way, both you and the customer receive something of value.
Customer reviews are powerful. They measure how you are doing and give you useful feedback. In addition to helping you build relationships with customers and clients, they attract new clients. And, they increase your SEO and online visibility. If you haven’t made customer reviews part of your business process, get started today!