Why Every Business Should Ask For Customer Reviews
Written by Stephen Scammell on Sep. 3rd 2021
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Anyone who has shopped online can attest to the value of product reviews. We utilize online reviews to learn more about a given product, see if people similar to us are happy with their purchase, and generally ease our concerns about the product's usefulness in our lives.
Yet while most of us understand the importance of online reviews from a consumer perspective, many businesses still fail to take advantage of this valuable sales tool. Maybe that's because business owners worry about how to get positive reviews or fear the potential fallout from negative ones. But here's the good news: Reviews of all types can actually increase your conversions and boost customer acquisition and loyalty. Currently Google Reviews and Facebook Reviews are very popular.
They build your brand reputation, bring a lot of credibility to your company, and provide the kind of social proof needed to influence consumer behaviour.
A recent survey in US found the following:
> 4 in 5 American consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision.
> 79 percent do so to make sure the product or service is good,
> 61 percent read reviews to make sure the product or service works, and
> 53 percent read reviews to make sure that they don’t get ripped off.
> 83 percent of shoppers discover new products every month through online customer reviews.
> 69 percent of consumers believe that only reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant.
Reviews can provide an SEO boost in a number of ways:
They offer content that search engines love. Search engines prioritize frequently updated, relevant, and uniquely worded content--and that's exactly what product reviews provide (without you having to lift a finger).
Reviews tend to contain long-tail keywords, because people writing reviews are likely to use language that's similar to how people will search (e.g., "best hiking pack for tall men"). This can improve your page's ranking for these terms.
Reviews provide rich snippets of content that can boost click-throughs from search pages.
Reviews help you rank for search terms that include "review" or "ratings".
This SEO boost means your product pages are more likely to turn up in search results. And when people who are expressly searching for a relevant product land on your site, they'll be more likely to convert.
Reviews can help Marketing
Requesting reviews can also activate your brand promoters. By encouraging them to write reviews, you can convert your happiest, most satisfied customers into vocal promoters and word-of-mouth catalysts who’ll put in a good word about your business in online review websites.
Moreover, according to an Adweek report, an increase of 1 to 8 reviews can lead to significant improvements in conversion rates. And if your review volume increases by 8 to 100 reviews, you can expect an increase in natural search traffic.
Reviews, however, have a longer shelf life than tweets and Facebook posts.
They can establish credibility.
A stream of 5-star reviews from customers helps showcase your business and creates powerful social proof for inspiring shopper confidence and driving sales.
When customers buy something online, they have to overcome the anxiety of not being able to handle a product in person. Reviews help bridge this gap by providing potential customers with social proof, or a sense of security resulting from the product (and the company that sells it) being vetted by other people like them.
Asking customers for reviews also tends to produce reviews that have a higher percentage of 5-star ratings; these are likely to remain steady over time. Unprompted reviews, on the other hand, claim a larger share of 1-star ratings; over time, the overall rating tends to drop.
This is the primary reason why it's important not to censor negative reviews. Customers are looking to reviews to confirm the product isn't a scam--and a sea of 5-star ratings is going to look fishy. In fact, customers are more likely to trust reviews overall when a few negative reviews are included in the mix--so much so that the presence of a few negative reviews can actually improve conversion rates.
Can improve product quality.
Reviews aren't just valuable to other customers. They're also packed with useful insights for merchandisers and manufacturers. For example, if reviews consistently speak to a certain shortcoming of your product or service, this can provide your team with insights into how the product or service could be improved. On the other hand if customers are always gushing about a certain product feature, that's a sign you may want to include this feature in future products.
From this perspective, it simply makes business sense to have a steady stream of more and better reviews. And when you’re already delivering experiences that customers love, they won’t hesitate to vouch for you. All you have to do is ask. Often, this is the best way to get reviews.