Companies will happily spend a pretty penny on their social media content, influencer and partnership opportunities, search, display banners and all the like, in order to master the beast that is digital marketing. But not enough attention is given to the space where customers look more than anywhere else: reviews.
In 2017, BrightLocal found that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and that 91% of consumers aged 18-34 years old trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With these numbers, it’s fair to say consumers when looking a business up online, they don’t skip the review section. In fact, in most cases, they’ll spend the most amount of their time there.
So, let’s say someone is looking for a Thai restaurant for dinner. The first thing they’ll do is Google places in their area and avert their eyes to the review ratings to start to weigh up their options. Then, they’ll pick the ones at the top or look the best and take a read of what people have s aid about their experiences. From here, they’ll choose a place and be waltzing through their doors for some Pad Thai.
Alternatively, maybe a customer has seen a few restaurants popping on their social media channels and have had their interest piqued. The first thing a customer will do in this case is Google the business and from there, be influenced by the review rating. If the stars and comments are looking good, they’ll likely be tempted to try the eatery out, but if they’re bad, they’ll simply look elsewhere – especially in the cut-throat market of restaurant. Social media pages and online content are undeniably important for companies to build brand awareness and customer loyalty, but if the brand’s online reputations through review are looking a bit shabby, they’re likely lose their potential consumers.
So, What Can Businesses Do to Build up Their Online Reputation When It Comes to Reviews?
More than most think.
Firstly, all reviews must be replied to: good and bad. A lot of businesses will leave negative reviews alone but this doing a disservice to them as replying can demonstrate to potential customers their customer service and crisis management when problems arise. Also, it shows the brand’s human quality, which people generally respond positively to.
Businesses also need to be asking for reviews and kick their fear of doing so. If a customer has had a positive experience with a business, chances are they’ll want to leave a good review – they just need a little nudge to do so. Plus, it helps them feel valued as a customer which helps in building brand loyalty.
Ultimately for consumers, the buck stops with reviews. It doesn’t matter how good a brand’s Facebook or YouTube is looking their online reviews are less than ideal. So, get your sweep out to clean up the bad ones with friendly and considerate replies, thank the good ones and start asking your happy customers to share their experiences online via Facebook, Google and industry related reviews sites. It’ll do your business wonders.
If you enjoyed this Marketing.com.au article, check out some of these other related Marketing.com.au online reputation articles:
- The Focal Point of Local SEO Is Online Reviews
- Local SEO Guide for Growing Your Business
- The Essentials of Hospitality Marketing
- What Is Reputation Management?