The ultimate goal for every business is to turn customers into brand evangelists who will sing the praises of the company to anyone willing to hear. But short of that, each business should be looking to convert satisfied customers to be online reviewers.
Every business wants people to say good things about their brand, but the importance of online reviews can’t be overstated. There’s an online review for just about any product, service or business where you can see what others had to say. The opinion of others is highly influential.
According to Invesp Conversion Optimization, 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. Also, 86 percent of people will hesitate to purchase from a business with negative reviews, while 72 percent of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review. And these numbers shouldn’t be surprising. Just think about the last time you were searching for a business or product. One of the first things you probably did was look at their review score.
The takeaway here is that reviews are crucial to consumers’ decision-making process, and therefore are highly influential on your business.
If positive reviews can buoy sales and negative ones can sink revenues, how do you get more of the former while mitigating the latter? There are a number of ways to do this, but one of the easiest ones that people overlook is to simply ask. If you have a positive interaction with a customer, ask them to review you on whatever platform is most relevant to your company (whether that’s Google, Amazon, Yelp, Facebook, etc.).
Beyond simply asking in the heat of the moment, creating protocols and processes for capturing reviews is a great way to increase your online customer scores. Make it a part of the sales process that an email goes out to customers encouraging them to leave reviews. If you have a rewards program that includes electronic communication, that’s an excellent tactic to solicit reviews.
Regardless of how it’s done, online reviews are crucial to businesses. Word-of-mouth praise from your brand evangelists is valuable, but having them sing that praise on the internet can be priceless.