Customer Reviews – How Important Are They?
Are great customer reviews still important for your store?
With the popularity of sites like Yelp for businesses and Trip Advisor for vacation destinations you’ve no doubt heard that positive customer reviews are important for your business. One reason is that Google ranks companies higher in search results when they have positive customer reviews. But what people often forget is that potential customers also use reviews to decide where to shop and what to buy.
For instance, in a study just released by McKinzie Consulting, 61% of shoppers read reviews online before making a purchase decision. And according to online media group BrightLocal, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
What does this mean for you?
Having reviews on Yelp, Google Places and, if you’re in a tourist area, Trip Advisor, can increase your business.
But how can you get more reviews?
Ask. We suggest using a three step approach to getting more reviews.
- Personally: Email your customer list with a call to action. For example, “If you’ve enjoyed shopping at our store in the past please leave a review for us on ________” and link to your company’s page on the site .
- Broadly: Share a similar message as above on your social sites.
- In Store: When a customer mentions they’ve had a great shopping experience ask them to pay it forward by leaving a review on Yelp or another review site.
Stay legal though.
Never offer to pay shoppers or reward them for their positive reviews. This can get your page taken off Yelp and you de-listed from Google. In fact, in October 2015 Amazon announced that they are suing multiple vendors, and over 1,000 individual people, for filing fake product reviews. The press on this is full court so avoid getting caught up in your own scandal by playing above board and just asking for reviews without offering a reward.
If you haven’t already take a look at your reviews on Yelp and other review websites. See what your customers are saying about you and think honestly about any areas of your business you may need to address. Once you’ve done that start soliciting reviews from your best customers. Once you have a great rating you should start seeing more new customers coming into your store as a result!
Do you ask your customers to review your store? Have you noticed an uptick in customers after having more positive reviews? How do you handle negative reviews? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.