Currently, a businesses reputation is shaped greatly by its consumer’s online reviews. When you take into consideration that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, it presents a strong case as to why business owners should utilize review websites in conjunction with a reviews management service.
There are dozens of review sites for individuals to research businesses with. At the moment, Yelp and Facebook are among the most trusted review sites for consumers in the United States, with Google and BBB.org trailing closely. These web sites enable millions of users to share their experiences from desktops and mobile devices with other users. As modern technology continues to advance, business models and consumer engagement evolves also.
Individuals no longer need to rely on directories or word of mouth to find a business. According to the Pew Research Center, 9 out of 10 American adults use the Internet and 77% of adults in the U.S. have a smartphone. This makes accessing information and generating real-time reviews fast and easy. It also demonstrates that businesses cannot afford to neglect their online reputation.
Because of the increase in connectivity the behavior of consumers has changed as well. In a report by BrightLocal, in 2017, 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses and 68% said that positive reviews made them more likely to use a business. Moreover, 10% of consumers now reach out to a business after viewing a positive review.
Traditional marketing media is no longer effective on its own. A consumer’s capability to access information on mobile devices makes the digital storefront essential for a businesses success.
ATTRACT INTERESTED USERS WITH USEFUL ONLINE REVIEWS
Traditional forms of advertising and marketing, like radio or television, are expensive and work to persuade a consumer to act by presenting a product or service in the hope that it may pertain to what the consumer is searching for. Unfortunately, it is never a certainty that the ad is relevant to the person. Additionally, after being exposed to these medias for a period of time its very possible that an interested user can forget about the advertisement and lose the sense of urgency to act. This is not the case with online consumer review sites. In fact, the desire or decision and the urgency to act are what motivate a consumer to seek out a business online. Online review sites help a user by providing them with relevant and reviewed options. They are also a fantastic tool for a business with a limited or no marketing budget.
STAR RATINGS ARE POWERFUL FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
It’s a common misunderstanding that online reviews are usually negative and can only harm a business. This is not true, specifically when looking at Yelp. About 67% of the reviews on Yelp are four and five star reviews. This suggests that people taking the time to make a review are doing it in support of the business. Furthermore, 54% of consumers look at the average star rating to be the most significant factor when reviewing a local business. For that reason alone, star ratings are critical for small businesses.
Improving and protecting star ratings should be on every small businesses list of things to do. The most effective way to start improving a star rating is to merely ask customers if they would be willing to post a review to one of the preferred review sites. More than half of customers asked will make a review. Supporting reviews from customers also help to diminish the effect of negative reviews on a star rating.
In the event that a business receives a poor review, BirghtLocal’s study recommends for them to reply. 30% of consumers are placing importance on businesses addressing reviews in 2017. Taking advantage of these occurrences as an opportunity to make the situation right will help your reputation. According to Inc., 56% to 70% of consumers will do business with your company again if the complaint is resolved.
Improving your online reviews and protecting your reputation is essential to retaining current customers and converting potential customers. If you are looking to strengthen your businesses reputation, make the most of todays technology with consumer review sites. JHG Media specializes in review management services. Call us today to discuss how our team can help your business become an authority.