I think most small businesses understand the importance of customer reviews and why they need to get them for their business, but I don’t think they realize how effective online reviews are and that potential customers are seeking out reviews before they make a decision. Recent research by Dimensional Research shows that 90 percent of those surveyed claimed that positive online reviews influenced their purchase decision. 86 percent said that negative reviews influence their purchase decisions.
Based on your own experiences, I imagine you are not surprised with these numbers. The question you need to ask is why have you not started using online customer reviews for your business. Below I will outline four reasons why you need to begin and continue to use online customer reviews.
Four reasons why online customer reviews are important.
Improve search ranking and visibility
Online customer reviews are both search engine and customer friendly. Google and the other major search engines are constantly looking for new and relevant information to index so that their results are as relevant as possible to the customer. Online reviews provide a large volume of this content to search engines. The more relevant information you have indexed the better your organic search results. This leads to my next point.
Decrease costs with online customer reviews
If your organic search results are bolstered by many online customer reviews you will need to spend less on pay-per-click advertising and other online advertising techniques. We have seen that customers trust organic results over most ads and there is not anything much better than organic search results with four or five big yellow stars next to them.
As more reviews are added and your rankings improve more prospective customers will see your organization which could lead to new customers and more revenue for your organization. Online customer reviews is a volume-based initiative. The more online reviews the easier it will be for customers to make a decision regarding your products and services.
Improve customer’s confidence in your organization
People love to hear other customers’ perspectives on their experience. The more perspectives, the more real your organization becomes and the more confidence is placed in your organization. This takes us back to number three.
As you can see there are many benefits to online customer reviews. The more positive, the better but not everyone is going to be five-star happy every time. That is the reality of business. With that said, a fear of not receiving only five-stars should not keep you from having online reviews. You want your organization to be as transparent and real as possible to current and future customers. Customers know that businesses make mistakes and should learn from mistakes just like people do. In the future we will write a post on the benefit of online customer reviews for you and your employees.