The real importance of customer reviews

How important are customer reviews, and how can you increase the number of online reviews for your business?

When do you normally write customer reviews? We bet you tend to write them when you’re asked.

In a digitally dominated world, customers have access to more information and knowledge sharing than ever before. Reviews are fast becoming one of the most powerful tools of conversion thanks to their authenticity. Where consumers are turned off by influencers (who we all know are being paid to pedal products), reviews show a real insight into what it’s like to interact with a business.

Consumer trust in major organisations and news outlets is decreasing. We’re turning to our friends and family for recommendations. Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing is ever increasing and, more importantly, so is the effect it has on purchase decisions.

Quick stats about online reviews

  • 95% of customers read online reviews before purchase
  • 88% trust what they read about organisations in reviews
  • 72% of users don’t act until they’ve read a review
  • Displaying reviews can increase conversion by 270%
  • 40% make purchase decisions based on as little as 1 to 3 opinions
  • Customers spend 31% more with excellently reviewed businesses
  • Only 14% of customers would consider working in a business with 1 or 2 star reviews

How to get reviews from customers

If you don’t ask you don’t get.

It may sound obvious, but you should take the time to ask your customers about their experience. 7 out of 10 consumers said that they would leave a review for a business if asked to. Let customers know you value their feedback. It’s also been found that customers are more likely to recall their experiences in greater, more accurate detail within 3 to 7 days of purchase.

Incentivise your customers

You can use charm and manners to persuade people to leave your business more reviews, but if you don’t give customers a good experience from start to finish then it may be a lost cause.

Customers like to feel valued, and the best way to do this is to demonstrate how much their feedback matters. For example, following up with a discount code or free gift will immediately catch your customer’s attention. They’re more likely to leave you a review if they feel you’ll take their feedback onboard.

Promote your presence

Shout out about your presence on review sites, especially if you’ve bagged some badges and awards. Publicise your review page at every touch point: flyers, social media channels and your website.

Respond to reviews

Show customers you appreciate them taking the time to leave reviews, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. It might seem tempting to ignore negative feedback, but always reply. It’s courteous, for a start, and it also shows you proactively rectify issues.

Keep an eye on your competitors

Monitoring what your competitors are doing is vital to ensuring you don’t get left behind. What are the businesses with the highest review site ratings doing? What do people praise your competitors for in their reviews? Follow them closely so that you can start to imitate their best qualities or conjure up ways to become better than them.

Using these top tips, Booking Protect increased our number of online reviews by over 70%.

Do you have any other top tips? We’d love to hear them! Head over to LinkedIn and say hello.

*Source: Forbes and Crowd Learning Hub


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