In today’s Tech News Tuesday episode we’re talking about the importance of online reviews in your business. We all read them, well almost everyone. A recent report we looked at says 98% of people at least ‘occasionally’ read online reviews for local businesses before they call or go to that business, and 77% of consumers are regularly reading reviews.
How Important are Online Reviews?
99% of consumers in the US use the internet today to find information about a local business, and as a reminder, they are primarily using their phones to do it. When asked about reviews, only 3% of people said they would consider using a business with an average rating of two stars or less. People take reviews seriously, so you’ll want to monitor yours on sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, or other sites specific to your industry.
Don’t Fake It Until You Make It with Reviews
Fake reviews are still a big problem for businesses however, with 62% of people confident in their belief that they’ve seen a fake review. The frequency of fake reviews just keeps growing because sometimes the platforms are bad at detecting them. They are consistently trying to combat fake information though.
You can’t get reviews from people who have never actually used your product or service. Sometimes we see that businesses have employees write a review and that’s not allowed. You also can’t offer incentives to reviewers that are not clearly disclosed, and you can’t stipulate the review must be positive.
Encourage Reviews from Your Customers
There are ways to encourage your customers to leave reviews. In person is best, but you can call them, email them, direct message them on social media, or put the review info on their receipt, just to name a few. Make it a regular part of following up with each new customer, because consistent reviews over time are best. A whole bunch of reviews at one time, and then nothing for months, makes it look like you bought some reviews and they may end up being hidden.
The bottom line is this: reviews are often the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business. So when you get those reviews, make sure you respond to the good ones as well as the bad ones, and always be professional.
Links in this episode: Local Consumer Review Survey 2022