Your Business and Online Reviews

There are many strategies you can employ to boost your business growth. While measuring the success of your enterprise may come in many different forms, you can increase your profitability with one simple and yet commonly overlooked tactic: asking your customers for reviews.

Building your online reputation is just as important as your business’s greater product sales or service income. They’re a powerful tool in your marketing toolkit and an important research tool for your customers. Unfortunately, they are often under-utilized to the detriment of many businesses. Many customers don’t trust a business with a rating below 4 stars which could cut deeply into your bottom line.

 

Asking Your Customers for Online Reviews

An easy solution to this problem is to simply ask for customers to review your business after making use of your services. Much like credit, having no reviews could be just as bad as negative reviews. Requesting reviews solves this problem and can even prevent it from happening. Thus, if you want an edge over your competitors, proactively petitioning reviews instead of passively waiting for them is a sound business practice.

Develop a review request program with your team, identifying the review sites where your company is located. Carefully review each site’s content guidelines and terms of use. Some sites may prohibit businesses from petitioning their customers for reviews. Making sure your efforts are in compliance with your various platforms will benefit your business in the long run.

 

But Why Are Online Reviews So Important?

You may be asking yourself why online reviews are so important. Shouldn’t your business stand for itself? While your business practices certainly matter, consumers absolutely utilize reviews as a part of their brand comparisons when making the right choice for their needs.

Here are just a few reasons why reviews matter so much in our new digital age:

 

Greater SEO Ranking

Positive reviews have the ability to increase your online visibility and search engine performance. This is essential to attracting more customers. The greater number of positive reviews your business has, the more likely your business is to show up in local search results.

Conversely, a higher number of negative reviews or a lack of reviews at all will drive your business down in search results.

 

Higher Ratings

Reviews produced by review requests typically rate higher than unprompted reviews. It’s an unfortunate fact that customers who have had a bad experience with a company are more likely to leave negative reviews than customers who have had a positive experience. However, by prompting your customers, you are opening a dialogue between yourself and your client base—especially after a positive experience with your company.

 

Instant Outreach

Strengthen your customer relationships by engaging them. When you take the time to ask your customers to review your services, you’re demonstrating that you care about their opinions and values when it comes to their needs. A happy customer won’t just return to you time and time again, they’re more likely to refer your services.

Additionally, if you have a situation where a customer’s experience wasn’t as positive as they hoped, you have this last opportunity to change their opinion of you. This can turn a negative review into a positive one, where their review clearly demonstrates their original problem and what you did to fix it. This demonstrates not only to your dissatisfied customer but to all other potential clients that you are willing to take criticism in stride and do your part to make it right.

 

Utilizing Online Reviews for Your Business

Your business will receive customer feedback—online or offline. Take advantage of this important facet of running your business and use it to strengthen your online presence. Engage your client base early. Engage your client base often. Doing this keeps your finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction and signals to potential clients that your business prides itself on putting their needs first, so they know they can rely on you. By proactively requesting reviews and encouraging them to share feedback, you have a hand in directly shaping your brand, understanding your customers’ experience, and improving your bottom line.

 

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