Importance of customer reviews for small businesses

April 22, 2022

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It’s no secret that in today’s highly digitized world, most customers shopping for products and services begin their journey online. According to Transaction Agency, 81% of customers search for products online before making purchases. This essentially means that for your business to compete favorably in the marketplace, your brand needs to enjoy high visibility online

But that’s not all. A study conducted by Spiegel Research Center has found that online reviews play a major role when it comes to sales and digital marketing. The truth is, that over 97% of online shoppers factor customer reviews into their purchase decisions. In other words, customers want to hear what their peers have to say when deciding whether or not to engage with a business, purchase a product, visit a restaurant or hire a company. 

As you can probably gauge from these statistics, customer reviews are a pretty big deal for online businesses. In fact, most shoppers trust the reviews of other customers just as much as the word of their friends. If you operate a business online, therefore, the input from your customers through their reviews is something you simply can’t ignore or take lightly. 

How Can Customer Reviews Benefit Your Business?

What your reviews say about your business matters a lot. This is because potential customers not only look at your overall ratings but also dig deeper into the reviews to evaluate the quality of experience your business offers. 

They Make Your Business Appear Trustworthy

Let’s face it, most customers tend to be very skeptical about what businesses say about themselves. This isn’t surprising at all considering the fact that businesses are profit-making enterprises whose primary objective is to sell. By contrast, consumers are more likely to trust the opinions of other customers (even strangers) about your business or the products you are selling, since they are believed to be impartial.

So, while building consumer trust can be difficult to do, particularly if you’re running a startup, consistently garnering positive reviews can help improve your trustworthiness in the eyes of your target customers.

They Improve The Visibility Of Your Business

The easier it is for customers to find your business, the better your chances of making sales. When deciding what to buy, most customers usually search for products on search engines such as Bing, Google, and even Facebook. While each of these has its own distinct methods of indexing and presenting content, they all put a premium on unique and up-to-date content.

Customer reviews can significantly increase the amount of information about your business on search engines thus ensuring your brand is consistently favored by algorithms.

They Directly Impact Sales

As previously highlighted, positive reviews help build customer trust and confidence while also enhancing brand visibility. The cumulative effect of these factors can go a long way in generating sales and increasing revenue for your business. To put it another way, the more customers express their satisfaction with your business, the more traffic you are likely to receive on your online store or website, which ultimately increases your conversion rates and boosts your sales and revenue. 

They Foster Customer Loyalty

When customers take the time to leave a review for your business, they are more inclined to feel a sense of loyalty to your brand. This increases their chances of purchasing from you or hiring your services again in the future. While the act of leaving a review might seem trivial, it actually helps solidify the relationship between consumers and your business.

Reviews also allow your customers to feel like their opinions matter even behind a mobile, tablet, or desktop screen. Consequently, they are able to provide you with positive and meaningful feedback that can help your business perform even better.

They Help Improve Customer Engagement

Online reviews are one of the main avenues through which businesses engage with their customers. When your customers leave reviews about their experience with your business, they provide valuable insights that you can leverage to enhance various aspects of your business including customer service, shipping, and more. As a result, you are able to provide a better experience to your customers which in turn increases brand loyalty and sales. 

How To Get More Customer Reviews

Now that you understand how crucial online reviews are to the success of your business online, you might be wondering how to garner more positive reviews in order to reap the benefits highlighted above. Well, the truth is that getting many positive customer reviews is easier to achieve if you have a reliable product or service that consumers find useful. Having a good reputation also increases the number of positive reviews you are likely to receive from customers. 

However, if you run a startup that is still trying to establish itself in the market, you can’t simply depend on every single customer to leave a review. Instead, you’ll need to be more proactive in seeking reviews from your customers. 

Two ways you can get more customer reviews:

Ask Your Customers To Leave A Review

Most customers typically don’t always leave reviews on every online purchase that they make. So, rather than wait for your customers to volunteer a review by themselves, you can ask them to leave a review on a site of your choosing whether that’s Google, Facebook, or Yelp. You can even go a step further and use automation tools that allow your customers to leave a review at the point of purchase or via personalized email campaigns.

Make The Process Brief

When requesting reviews, you should avoid asking lots of questions or including a lot of information as this can put off your customers. As a rule of thumb, the easier it is for a customer to leave a review, the more inclined they will be to do so.

Conclusion

Consistent positive reviews can go a long way when it comes to enhancing your business’ presence online, boosting sales, and increasing web traffic. For this reason, you should never leave anything to chance. Remind your customers to leave reviews about your business and always remember to reply to them whenever you can as this will significantly boost your customer engagement and customer loyalty. 

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