In the age of big data, marketing has shifted from brand-centric to a more customer-focused perspective and for good reason. For any business to thrive, the focus should be on providing the best customer service experience possible. In return, a loyal following can churn out positive reviews and testimonials as a form of social proof that can attract more buyers. In short, it’s the best kind of free marketing.
The impact is significant, with over 56% of people selecting a business with good reviews on Google over those with none. This statistic is an excellent motivator for why your brand should encourage customers to leave meaningful comments on your product pages, social media, and websites.
Customer reviews can also build a communication portal between you and your audience. They can list all the things they admire about your brand and simultaneously make you aware of your weaknesses, encouraging you to improve your product or service on a continual basis.
Proof That Positive Reviews Drive Business Growth
Buyers don’t immediately trust brands, and consumers don’t go on blind faith when they purchase products or services. According to G2 Crowd, 95% of consumers read reviews before they make a purchase, and about 40% form an opinion after reading up to three customer reviews. Those star ratings beside your brand name also make an impact, as only 57% of consumers would choose a service with a 3-star rating while a whopping 94% would go for brands with a 4-star rating.
Besides high ratings, you’ll want a lot of authentic reviews. Research shows that when comparing two products with similar ratings, consumers are more likely to pick the item with more reviews. Consumers also factor in how recent the reviews are.
Conversion rates can increase by up to 4.6% when prospective buyers see that a product has more than 50 reviews. As a bonus, the high quantity of positive reviews acts as an indicator to search engines so that they rank your website higher.
Essentially, reading online reviews functions the same way as asking a friend for their recommendation. So, it’s not surprising that 88% of people trust reviews as much as their peers. Consumers want to feel that they’re getting the best value for their money. And who else to turn to for advice than people who have experienced the product or service themselves?
Where to Get Reviews
There are plenty of general review websites that people check or see when they type your the name of your business into a search engine. Three of the most popular online review platforms are Facebook, G2 Crowd, and Google Reviews.
Here’s what you can expect on those platforms, along with a few others:
- Yelp – Yelp is one of the most popular general review sites online, along with TripAdvisor and Foursquare. The website offers a vast of services that you can review, ranging from beauty and cosmetics to doctors and healthcare. Forbes reported that every one-star increase on Yelp results to a 5-9% increase in the service’s revenue.
- TripAdvisor – Most people who research travel itineraries or activities read reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s also a convenient place to book hotels and restaurants, as well as compare prices.
- Foursquare – Location-based insights fuel Foursquare. With the ability to check-in almost anywhere and rate the places you’ve been to, the app acts as a reliable source of reviews for activities, restaurants, and the like.
- Facebook – Facebook currently has 2.2 billion monthly active users. As such, most brands choose to have visibility there via Facebook Pages. Anyone can see the ratings and reviews but only registered Facebook users can leave reviews on your page.
- Amazon – Amazon customer reviews give buyers the ability to upload photos so other people can see products in a true-to-life setting. Their reviews section also labels buyers who had a verified purchase, meaning they acquired of the product through Amazon. Buyers usually skim through the most helpful positive review and most critical review.
- G2 Crowd – This is a business solutions review website read by more than 1.5 million buyers each month. It changed the game in the B2B industry by providing reliable user reviews that help companies select the right business software. Users sign in with their LinkedIn profiles to help reduce fraud.
- Google My Business – Google reviews make a significant impact on your business, as a star rating appears beside your brand name when a buyer performs a search. Studies claim that 6/10 consumers now look to Google for reviews, so this should be one of the first channels to consider.
- Angie’s List – Angie’s List is another platform dedicated entirely to reviews covering the following categories: house, auto, health, pets, and some professional services.
- Glassdoor – Glassdoor is one of the most popular jobs search and company review websites online. You’ll get to see the company overview and more specific reviews on different aspects like salary, interview processes, and benefits.
Industry-specific review sites are also important. Ideally, if you run an e-commerce platform, your buyers can leave reviews on the site. Review Trackers shares that the automotive industry has Cars.com and Edmunds.com, while the restaurant industry has the likes of Zomato and Open Table. It’s worth digging for other sites related to your niche so that you can better target consumers.
Here are some of the ways you can encourage your consumers to leave reviews about your service or product after they have made a purchase:
While gathering favorable reviews should be your primary focus, don’t be deterred by negative ones. Some consumers find it dubious when a product seems perfect or too good to be true. Capterra reports that more than half of online consumers trust a product that has a few negative reviews.
Having people review your services is a significant investment that will pay off in the long run. As you collect these reviews, don’t forget the real reason why you want to rise through the ranks—that is, providing valuable solutions and service to your customers.
Empower your consumers by allowing their voice to be heard and showing them that you can better your services and products to help them. That’s the true sign of excellent customer service and a great product.
Customer reviews are great for referral marketing. But to drive things home, check out our whitepaper on Conversational Demand Generation to learn how you can further enhance your digital marketing initiatives!