Why Customer Reviews Are Important for Your Business
There are many reasons reviews from past customers to your business are important. Below are four of the most important reasons you should take customer reviews seriously.
1. People trust people. Not only do people trust their friends when it comes to buying something, they also trust strangers.
When someone is looking to purchase goods or services online or at a physical shop they are more likely than not to seek reassurance that they will get the product or service from a business that other people have already tested and liked. Potential customers are likely to believe and trust experiences from other people.
Have you ever had someone recommend a restaurant to you? Or told you how great a movie was that they viewed recently? The first thing people do when looking for a new dentist or doctor is ask local people how their dentist or doctor is. They seek recommendations. They also seek reviews and recommendations by searching online. Most people will give as much prominence to online reviews as to those verbally received from friends.
2. Build a Picture. You build a picture of what your business is doing right and where you could improve. Before the internet took over many people’s lives a business would rarely know how they were really doing. You might ask past customers for feedback but that is not always trustworthy. Many people don’t like complaining face to face. So they may tell you the service was good but go home and bad mouth your business to friends and family.
When customers review their buying experience online via platforms such as Google they do so with a certain amount of anonymity. Their name may show but the internet feels like a safe place to tell the truth about their experience buying from your business.
If your service was good they will be happy to share their experience with others online. If it was poor then they often feel a duty to ‘warn’ others about you.
By paying close attention to what people like about your business and what they find not so good, you can build a picture of what you are doing right as well as where you might need to improve your service.
For example, if you have one person in a hundred complaining about staff being unhelpful it could just be an off day for either the staff or possibly the customer. However get frequent complaints about staff from numerous people and you should at least look into what the issues might be. You have the opportunity to hone your business and make important improvements.
3. Opportunity. Online reviews give you the opportunity to respond. Chances are your business will receive a range of one to five star reviews. It is important for you to respond to all, good or bad.
Responding to the good reviews with a short ‘thank you for leaving such a positive review’, will encourage the customer to return next time they are looking for a service or item you provide. They probably wont even shop around.
Responding to poor reviews can be a little more tricky. Acknowledge firstly that the customer, rightly or wrongly, feels the service they received from your business was poor and did not meet their expectations. Responding to their very public grievance properly, politely and promptly could go some way to trying you out again. It will also show potential customers that you care and take seriously issues that might arise.
4. People err on the safe side. You will have done it yourself. You will have searched Google for a product or service. The search engine will show you various options that might suit your needs.
Let’s say that three businesses catch your eye. One shows mostly five star reviews, one shows a few five star but mostly 2 and 3 star reviews and one has no reviews at all.
Which business would you be more likely to spend your money at?
You may feel happy choosing the business that has no reviews. That might be a good choice. But notice the word ‘might’ – you just don’t know. It would seem a bit strange if you opted to go for the business with mostly poor reviews, unless of course the business owner had replied promptly to all the poor reviews with an answer that satisfied you that the issue was now been resolved. Most people, without too much thought would go for the business with mostly 5 star reviews. Why? Because as mentioned above, people trust people.
You as a business owner, manager or marketer have a choice. Take reviews seriously or ignore them. But one thing is for sure, people shopping for what you sell, pay a lot of attention to them