We no longer need to ask our friends or colleagues how good the new local restaurant is or if a particular wine is any good or if a brand of shoes is comfortable. We go online. In fact, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation* and 77% of us will read online reviews before making a purchase or a booking*
Reviews are GOLD. When someone is searching for your business, (good) reviews build trust and credibility, with consumers trust reviews more than a businesses own description of their service or product, and increase sales/bookings. A good example is Hotel reviews – given equal pricing, guests are 3.9 time more likely to choose hotels with higher ratings and reviews than lower ratings**.
Are you asking your customers to leave reviews? Because 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked***. We talk with so many clients who are not doing this or who do not do this on a regular basis. It can be incredibly easy and the rewards immense. Firstly, you need to choose your review platform or platforms of choice. For example, if you are a restaurant, Trip Advisor, Zomato, Facebook and Google are all options. Take into consideration to leave reviews, your customers will often have to have an account with the platform, for example, you need a Facebook account to leave a Facebook review and a gmail account to leave a Google review. This is often a good reason to choose a few platforms as this allows your customer to choose where to review you.
Asking for reviews via an email or through the “Thank You” page on your website are both easy options and the best option for you will depend on your product or service and your customers. You may wish to only ask customers who have had a good experience with your company.
Just remember to ask. People are generally more than willing to leave a review, particularly when prompted and these good reviews are not only great for new business but also create brand loyalty and they give you feedback to grow and evolve your business. Win win!
*Business.com, February 2017
** smallbiztrends.com – The Importance Of Online Reviews April 2017.
** Bright Local Consumer Survey 2017