Like anyone travelling to a new city, destination or a new part of town, chances are you researched local businesses in the area and read their reviews. Google reviews have become the “go-to” research tool for most people when looking for a local business. In today’s digital world, anyone with internet access can buy a product or try a service and then leave a public review. Reviews might not seem like something important for your company, your consumer’s opinions can influence your profits and reputation.
Like it or not, reviews will impact your business. Positive reviews equals’ positive business, negative reviews equals’ negative business. We’re going to look at both sides and the impact they can have on your brand.
According to Podium, consumers rely on a company’s transparency to make a purchase decision. This means people will obtain as much online information as they can about your company before establishing a relationship with your business.
In-depth, honest reviews from your customers will improve your business credibility. However, this isn’t the only benefit positive reviews bring. According to Search Engine Land, fifty-two percent of potential customers are more likely to purchase your products/services if they read positive experiences and stories.
Your reviews can turn into a powerful marketing strategy, having an impact on the local search of your business. For instance, if your business is amongst the Local 3 Pack on Google, one of the first things people will see is your rating and how many reviews you have. A study by Podium states that if you obtain a good balance on your reviews, it will allow you to climb local rankings faster than just using traditional SEO techniques.
As a business owner, it’s tough to watch your employees continually, so reviews are a great way to see who goes above and beyond. With most companies, you’ll see that a customer loved the person helping them, so they will “name-drop” the individual and write a review about their experience. Same goes the other way with negative reviews (which we’ll get into in a second). When you get one, which yes, will happen at some point, you can quickly determine which parts of your business you can improve.
With Google My Business, the platform allows you to reply to every entry, and this will speak volumes on how you, as a company, handle positive/negative situations.
When you’re reading a review, you may not realize it, but it’s selling you on why you should shop, eat, use, or go to this business. As an owner, that’s where your value is because that one review could be viewed by hundreds/thousands of people over time, which in turn makes that review worth thousands. It’s an easy equation; more good reviews = more good sales.
Now let’s be honest, no business is perfect, and consumers know that. So believe it or not, and it may sound weird, but sometimes some negative reviews can benefit your business. You will, at some point, encounter at least one bad review about your business. If it is not handled correctly or addressed, it “could” damage your brand in some way. So it’s important to put on your “problem-solving skills” hat and address each review and find the best resolution for it.
Having said that, if you have too many bad reviews, here are two points on how that can affect your business.
Not replying to a bad review shows that you’re unwilling to fix a bad customer experience, which to a new customer looking into your business will ultimately attest to your “customer service.” While that may not be the case, it’s the impression you leave when you don’t reply to negative reviews. Always respond to your reviews and show how vital your customers are for your business, and that you care, as it’s a key element to your company’s success.
According to Moz.com, a business, on average, will lose twenty-two percent of customers that have one negative review about its products/services. Crazy, right? Luckily, Google My Business lets you reply to your reviews so you can give context to the situation.
So yes; reviews are very important. They’re what separate your business from the competitor down the road. The first step towards getting good reviews is asking as many customers as possible to post an honest opinion about your products/services. Another alternative is sending email campaigns that highlight your Google rating, or even post your most current Google reviews on your website.
Here at Your Listing Expert, we understand how important Google reviews are, that’s why we’ll continuously be coaching you to get more for your business, as it will make you more money!
For more business tips that will help your business succeed in today’s digital era, click here.