Why We Love Online Reviews (And You Should, Too)

Online ReviewsWhy Do I Need Online Reviews?

Word-of-mouth recommendations by your existing customers are great for increasing the traffic you see at your business. Amplify recommendations with online reviews to put your business on the map and serve as an evaluation for your potential customers—and your customer service.

A 2012 Local Consumer Review Survey found that 52 percent of consumers said positive customer reviews “make them more likely to use a local business” compared to the mere 28 percent who make their selection “based on other factors like location and price.”

Another plus for local businesses? Fifty-two percent of consumers “trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations — provided they look authentic, of course.”

Online reviews placed on websites like Google Places, Yelp, Angie’s List, or on your company’s Facebook page can put your business ahead of your competitors and help potential customers find and choose your business.

When a customer or client posts an online review about your business, it boosts your brand awareness. Your online reputation is important for marketing and if your business is missing in the online sphere, your potential customers will move on to the next business.

It’s not only a personal triumph to see those 4- or 5-star ratings and positive feedback for your business, but these reviews also help consumers zero in on where their loyalty goes. After all, 76 percent of consumers “regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use.” Check out a few “dos and don’ts” when it comes to online feedback.

Dos and Don’ts

DO recruit frequent customers to post honest reviews about your business. Your online reputation is key for marketing, so contact some people who are willing to give a review and talk about your customer service. Consider adding a “Leave us a review!” suggestion in your email signature. Customers can detect phony, glittering reviews—so be sure your reviewers are honest.

DON’T panic if there are a few not-so-great reviews. Take them as potential improvement strategies. These can also give you an opportunity to respond individually and see if there’s an issue that can be resolved. If you respond publicly to your comments, customers can see how professionally you handle situations and make the effort to rebuild relationships with your clients.

DO make your online presence known on search engines like Google Places and sites like Yelp and Facebook. The more online reviews your business has, the more likely new customers or clients will give your company a shot.

Have you reviewed your online presence and reviews of your business? Need a professional opinion? Contact AdMix Social for a free evaluation of your online reputation.

By Emily Lierle

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