Can Online Reviews Really Make or Break Your Business?
For better or for worse, the answer is yes. The sooner businesses embrace that fact, the better off they will be. Businesses can no longer afford to be lackadaisical when it comes to online reviews, or pretend that an online reputation doesn’t matter. Doing so will only hurt your company, in a major way.
Rich Gorman, a Reputation Changer Blogger said, ”Positive reviews can make a brand, but negative reviews can break it. The effects of negative online reviews are as bleak as the effects of positive reviews are exciting.” It’s time to step up and start taking your online reputation seriously, and we are here to help you every step of the way.
The Make or Break Facts:
- According to Reevoo, ”Consumer reviews can lead up to an 18% increase in sales.”
- According to iPerceptions, “63% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews.”
- According to Search Engine Land, “Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
- According to Search Engine Land, “52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.”
- NPD Group found that “the average consumer looks at up to 10 reviews before visiting a local business.”
- According to Search Engine Land, “76% of consumers regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use.”
- BazaarVoice found that “consumers are 178% more likely to purchase your service if they trust your reviews.”
- According to Bazaarvoice, ”51% of people actually found user-generated content more important than the opinions of their friends and family.”
- Michael Luca at Harvard Business School recently discovered that “a one star increase in your online ratings could increase your revenue by 9%.”
- Forrester Research found that “81% of consumers search out reviews before making a purchase.“
- According to eMarketer, “Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufactures.”
- Other research has shown that 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision and 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews.
Rich Gorman, a Reputation Changer Blogger said ”Positive reviews can really lift up a brand, establishing it as reputable and desirable in the minds of consumers — establishing it as the brand of choice. When businesses attract these positive reviews, they also attract new customers, and make great strides toward retaining their current customers. Positive reviews can lead to increased sales, to fewer refund requests, and more.”
He went on to say, “However, because so many consumers place their trust in online reviews sites, even one bad review can do immense damage to a brand’s reputation, and ultimately to its success. Negative online reviews will lose customers and cause revenues to decline. These negative reviews will also lead to increases in chargebacks and refund requests.”
How You Can Make It, Not Break It:
1. Start To Care and Be Aware
When you simply start caring about your online reputation and are fully aware of everything that is being said about you online, you have a huge leg up because you can monitor, respond and adjust. I recommend setting up Google Alerts so you can monitor what is being said about you. Once you know what’s being said about you, then you can respond and adjust.
2. Ask Your Customers to Leave a Review
If you ask, you shall receive, right? So simply ask. And make sure you ask all of your customers to leave a review, not just the happy ones. Asking everyone will show both your happy and unhappy customers that you care and that you are listening. That’s the core of great customer service. Having plenty of online reviews also gives potential customers a healthy sample size to consider and aids the impression that the reviews are genuine and legitimate. It seems obvious, but some businesses need reminding: looking genuine and legitimate is so much easier when you ARE genuine and legitimate.
You can ask your customers to leave a review in a few different ways. You can send out individual emails asking a customer to leave a review. You can verbally ask your customers to go home and leave a review from their computer, or you can provide your customers tools to collect reviews at your place of business. One tool could be cards, table tents or posters that feature a unique QR code which, when scanned, could link directly to various review sites.
3. Make It Easy for Them
We at Terillion also have two review services that can help you in your quest to collect real reviews, Quickrate and ReviewKiosk. When you sign up for Quickrate, we send you signage that features NFC tap technology, a unique QR code, and a texting application. Once the signage is received, simply display this signage in a visible place and have your customers tap the poster with their NFC-enabled phone or scan the QR code or text the number to leave a quick review. This is a quick, simple, easy and free way for customers to leave real reviews!
When you sign up for ReviewKiosk, we send you an iPad with our app all set up and ready to go, a Kiosk for displaying the iPad, and an attached stylus. Simply display the kiosk at the point of sale or service and ask your customers to leave a quick review. For your customer, the whole process takes about 30 seconds. He or she can even choose to hand-write the review with the stylus. When handwritten reviews are posted and viewed online, customer engagement increases by 7-10 times the national average. This is because people trust that the review they’re reading is actually real.
What are your experiences with online reviews? Have you been scathed or saved by them? We’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions and questions in the comments below.
- 4 online reputation management insights from the McKremie survey (raventools.com)
- The Dos and Don’ts of Collecting Online Reviews
- The 7 Benefits of Online Reviews
- Key Objectives in Responding to Negative Reviews
- Your Business is Continually Creating Tipping Points for Your Consumers