In the 21st century, the internet has become the largest and most diverse marketplace this world has ever seen. From local stores to large multinational corporations, every business entity has potential for immense profitability and reach on the World Wide Web, giving us a truly global agora.

Availability of every product online has made it easier for customers to shop, eliminating the barriers of location and time of shopping. But at the same time, it means that the customers have choices spanning across boundaries and business types for any and all products they want to purchase.

Amidst hundreds of alternatives for every product, picking the right one can be difficult for online shoppers. Since they cannot physically touch or see the product, they rely on suggestions, recommendations, and reviews of other shoppers to make their purchase decisions.

Comprehensive yet cumulatively descriptive nature of customer reviews has made them popular in all the industries and sectors. Whether it is a restaurant or laundry service, or a heavy duty product, people consider the reviews and experiences of other customers before making a purchase or availing a service. Many service and product aggregating platforms now lay special emphasis on customer reviews as a parameter of listing and recommending businesses to users.

Thus, from a business perspective, it becomes essential to include customer reviews in the overall business strategy. Especially for businesses dealing in eCommerce or online services, reviews play an even important role as they form the first level of reference and validity for potential customers. This is why digital marketing agencies make promotion and managing of reviews an integral part of their campaigns when working on a brand’s online presence.

Do customer reviews really help?

Of course they do. In fact, they hold the capability to turn your business into a brand. More importantly, they make your product gain the trust of your target customers before they’ve even tried it. A cumulative report based on multiple studies about customer reviews found out that:

  • Close to 90% users read customer reviews about a business before considering visiting their store

  • 4 out of 5 customers consider online reviews to be as trustworthy as personal recommendations

  • More than 30% online shoppers do not mind paying extra on products from businesses with “excellent” reviews
  • Local businesses seem to benefit the most from excellent reviews and ratings as the customers trust them more
  • 3 out of 5 customers said they consider buying a product after reading at least 1 good review about it online
  • 1 positive review or excellent rating brings 10 potential customers to a brand’s store or website
  • More than 80% consumers will avoid buying a product if they come across a negative review or if the business or product has low ratings from other customers

What makes customer reviews so powerful?

Simply put, a customer review is the first hand testimonial about your product or service from someone who has tried your product. Thus, every review is an extension of the experience your product or service is likely to offer to the customers who will purchase from your business. So a review helps your potential customers evaluate the expected utility or satisfaction from your product, which helps them make a purchase decision.

A positive review acts as word of mouth publicity for your business, bringing in more customers to your brick and mortar store or website. This means that every positive review helps build a sense of trust and authenticity around your brand. Similarly, a negative review or low rating dissuades users from considering investing in your offerings. Needless to say, managing ratings and publicizing positive reviews becomes a matter or essence in order to attract more customers.

Okay so positive reviews are good for my business. But how do I get them?

If you are a new business or have never efficiently managed your reviews, chances are you will not have many to begin with. In this case, it is a good idea to ask your customers for their reviews and testimonials about your services or products. Happy customers will not mind sharing their recommendations and reviews on your preferred platform.

Even if some clients or customers are not completely happy, seeking reviews will help you understand the limitations in your offerings that are restricting your customers from fully enjoying your products. The point of seeking reviews is to build a better brand after all.

What are some platforms to gather reviews for my business?

Where should I showcase my positive reviews and excellent ratings?

Anywhere you can.

Every positive review will bring 10 new potential customers to your business. This is why businesses never shy away from showcasing their happy clientele. But with a strategic targeting and positioning, you can get your reviews boost your online presence and profitability easily. Your reviews on Google are automatically visible to your potential clientele, giving you better visibility. Some other places where you must feature your positive reviews are:

How do I get rid of the negative reviews online?

No matter how good your service offerings are, no business is perfect. It is only real to have some negative reviews online because not 100% of your clientele will be completely satisfied. So stop focusing on how to get rid of a negative comment, because no matter how hard you try, that comment is staying online until the user deletes it.

Instead of finding ways to cover up the negative review, engage with the user to find out what can you do better to offer them a more satisfactory service. If you or your staff made a mistake that led to a bad review, be brave enough to accept it and assure them that you are working towards improving your practices. Be consistent with your messaging, and avoid getting into any arguments with a user who left a negative comment about your business online. Even if you feel that a negative review is unjustified, let it be. Focus on getting more positive reviews than erasing a single negative one.

Now that you know the importance of customer reviews and how they can help your business grow, talk to your digital marketing agency to get a better understanding of how you can use them to build a more trusted brand online.