Asking for a review might be a little intimidating, but it’s also one of the most credible ways to advertise your business.
Think about it — if a potential customer doesn’t know your business, they will likely look for online reviews anyway. So why not encourage your satisfied customers to leave a good review? At least half of them will be glad to do so!
But why are reviews so important in the first place? What are customers looking for when they look read them? What can put them off?
We’ve done all the research.
1. It Makes Customers Trust Your Business Much Faster
The main reason people look up reviews online in the first place is to determine whether or not that business is trustworthy.
According to this research, most potential customers start trusting your business as soon as they read an average of 7 positive reviews.
Here comes the importance of asking for new reviews whenever you can. After reading a handful of them, customers are already much more willing to trust your business.
2. Customers Use Online Reviews to Determine if Your Business Is Good
The next logical step is to find out if the business is any good — there is a difference between a business being trustworthy and it being good, according to the customer.
And how often do customer use online reviews to determine if you’re good?
93% of the time.
According to BrightLocal, “93% of consumers read local reviews to decide if a business is good or not – meaning just 7% don’t.”
3. They Will Pay Very Close Attention to Engagement
“Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses."
When asked about what they paid attention to in online reviews, it turns out customers pay attention more or less to every aspect of engagement. The average star rating being the first thing they notice, but they are noticing more now (compared to last year’s research) when companies reply to reviews.
Naturally this has an even better effect on negative reviews:
We need no research to agree on the fact that a negative review with a reply from the company or contractor trying to make amends looks much better than a negative review that wasn’t addressed at all. This kind of engagement is, we must stress, more important now than ever.
4. Customers Think Old Reviews Are Not Valid
It’s no use accumulating dozens of reviews for a while and then forgetting about them later on — customers say the more recent the review is the more it will impact their decision.
According the chart above, you can safely assume reviews older than one month are considered invalid for the majority, but you can get away with reviews as old as three months. Anything older than that will probably be ignored.
5. Customers Find Online Reviews Just As Valid As Personal Recommendations
And here comes perhaps the most revealing element of all, and the main reason why reviews are so important for your business:
Most customers find online reviews just as valid as personal recommendations.
This is why they pay such close attention to the details. This is why identifying a fake review kills their trust. This is why they look up reviews in the first place. In the end, they just want to know more about you and your business.
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