More and more clients are turning to us, looking for help with online reviews. We decided to make a two-part series about reviews and how to make them work for your business.
The online realm is constantly evolving, with tons of new trends coming and going. In order to stay relevant in this sphere, you have to be caught up on everything, especially in this digital age. Audiences expect customer testimonials built into your website design. Having a modern and strategic website is a great place to start, an updated social media presence is a must for many industries, but how have you been tending to your reviews?
Reviews are the online version of word of mouth marketing – which is the holy grail. Generating positive word of mouth buzz is everything that us marketers are trying to achieve on a daily basis. If your reviews are not coming in and are not (for the most part) positive, then you are essentially off the grid and will have a hard time earning the trust of your target market.
It doesn’t matter how good / cool / engaging the content on your site and social is, it is not really going to be trusted because it was written for your company, by people with a vested interest in getting the audience to make a purchase. Reviews are the best way business’ have to build trust and legitimize their products or services.
More than any other site, Google reigns supreme. 63% of consumers will actively search (and read through) Google reviews before choosing a vendor, this is especially true for services like moving companies, construction companies, and anyone in the wedding industry. Use of Google reviews increases year over year, more than any other platform.
User reviews and recommendations are a way that Facebook has been able to remain relevant. Right behind Google, Facebook is the second location that a potential client will actively search for customer satisfaction and grievances.
All of the other online platforms have seen a drop off in engagement year after year, but not Facebook and Google. Both of these platforms are the most trusted source for this version of word-of-mouth marketing because they are linked with visible, personal pages. This is also a bonus for businesses thinking about becoming more active about cultivating their online reviews.
What About the Negatives?
Often times, companies are leery of online reviews because negative ones can adversely affect their business. While this is true, it has been shown that activity has shifted, meaning that people are more likely to post glowing reviews of positive experiences than airing their grievances online.
The digital market is savvy enough to understand that a few negative experiences out of many are to be expected. Users will still trust a business with a four-star rating, a negative review here or there may actually help build trust because it seems more realistic to get a few negative reviews.
For potential clients, it’s less about having the negative review, and more about how the business responds to them. Over 55% of audiences expect that a negative review is publicly addressed by the business in under 7 days. Of course, we have all seen how company responses can go horribly awry, that is why having a general negative review policy in place, kind of like a standard template, will go a long way to being seen as a proactive, transparent, and trustworthy business.
Curious as to what that template for negative reviews is? Stay tuned on the blog with us to see it in our next post! Don’t want to wait? Get in touch and we can help get you on the path to building a great online review presence!