When was the last time you visited a restaurant without a recommendation?
Nearly everyone you know is naturally inclined to seek opinions before trying something new. Unless your friend says they love that sushi bar down the road, you have no idea if the food is any good. Recommendations carry a lot of weight for the consumer. In fact, 97% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. And about half of those will only accept 4 stars and above. So it’s pretty important that you pay attention to your business’ reviews.
But getting a 5-star review doesn’t just happen. And the problem is that many businesses think it’s out of their control – that it’s up to your customer to decide their opinion of your business.
According to Harvard Business Review, getting just 1 negative review can drop your sales by 5 to 8%. Meanwhile, collecting positive reviews will increase the loyalty of your customers by 18%. This study found that consumers will spend 31% more money on a business with ‘excellent’ reviews. That’s a significant avenue for your business. And shows that bad reviews will negatively affect your business and online performance.
Online reviews will win new business no matter what industry you’re in. In the process of running your business, it might be difficult to keep up with everything you need to do. But not prioritising your online reviews costs more than you realise.
Prioritise reviews on Google and Facebook, and take time to make sure your business is set up online so that your customers can easily add reviews. Once you’ve done this, do as much as you can to gain more positive reviews. Get out there and chat with your customers. Find opportunity in negative reviews. Use what social media power you have to drive more positive reviews. And make sure your team is board as well.
You won’t gain successful reviews in one night. Think of it as just another business process. Being in the top percentage of anything takes work, but once you get there, you’ll start seeing the customers roll in from it.