If you’re a follower of ours on social media, you may have already seen how a longstanding client of ours, Recycling Lives, recently managed to achieve a staggering 5000 five-star reviews on Trustpilot. It’s a huge achievement for them, and given some of their other recent successes, it does a brilliant job of demonstrating how useful customer reviews can be to a business. We’ve listed the four key advantages of customer reviews below, which should give you a good idea of why they should be such a priority for yours, too!
If customers don’t trust your business, they won’t buy from you. It’s as simple as that. That means that alongside the quality of your products and services, developing a sense of transparency should be one of your core priorities as a business. Customer reviews are an excellent way to do that. Allowing your customers to leave public feedback indicates that you have faith in the quality of products and services that you deliver, while giving customers a platform to communicate with you about any concerns they might have (we’ll come onto that in more detail in just a second).
All this gives you an invaluable level of authenticity and trustworthiness that money can’t buy, which builds customer loyalty and greatly increases the chance of repeat business from people who have bought from you before.
Another advantage to building customer trust with reviews is that it’s directly related to boosting conversion rates amongst your customers, and increasing sales. According to a recent study, review stars in search engine results can increase click-through-rate by as much as 35%. The researchers also found that in 97% of cases, websites with review stars enjoyed noticeably higher click-through-rates than sites without them.
This is all down to one central truth: basically, consumers trust each other. In many ways, this isn’t big news. After all, personal recommendations from family and friends have always been an invaluable source of new business, but in today’s digital age, recent research has shown that 85% of consumers trust online reviews at least as much as personal recommendations.
What’s more, customer reviews – whether positive or negative – tend to encourage more reviews. That means if you’re successfully keeping your customers happy, on some level they’ll do a lot of your marketing for you, attracting new customers while continuing to buy from you themselves.
Let’s be honest for a second. When someone leaves you a negative review, it can be almost impossible not to take it personally. Some managers respond to these in the heat of the moment, which is a big mistake; it can result in some hot-tempered exchanges which are there for all the world to see, and do nothing to improve public’s perception.
But remember, a negative review doesn’t necessarily have to be an attack on your business. Instead, it’s can be a fantastic opportunity to get a better understanding of your customers, helping you to make improvements in the way you operate. Customers can identify issues that you might not have been aware of, or capable of spotting yourself. By carefully listening to reviews and taking the comments on board, you can elevate the standard of your products or service still further, which can give you a brilliant edge over your competition.
Being proactive in your response has its own reward, too, as it gives you another opportunity to reinforce the value you place on your customers’ opinions. Responding directly to a customer makes them feel like they’re being listened to, and therefore cared for. In some cases, if the customer feels like their concern has been addressed, they may even come back and amend their review!
Most of the advantages we’ve mentioned so far are common knowledge to some extent, and you don’t particularly need specialist knowledge to work them out for yourself. What lots of people don’t realise, though, is that from a technical SEO perspective, customer reviews can actually boost your ranking in organic search results. (In fact, reviews are estimated to make up as much as 10% of the ranking factors on Google!)
What’s more, Google actively favours businesses with high numbers of positive reviews, interpreting it as a ‘trust signal’ from your customers that you are a legitimate, trustworthy business with a high-quality service or product. If you get enough reviews, you’ll even qualify for Google’s Seller Ratings. These display star ratings next to your paid ads in Google search results, and as we’ve mentioned above, these can have a fantastic effect on your click-through rates.
Well, that’s the million dollar question! And it’s one that our experts here at 21Digital are only too happy to help you with. If you need some advice on how to collect reviews, or some direction in deciding which review site is right for you, look no further. Our in-depth marketing expertise spans a number of disciplines, from website design to technical SEO, making us the perfect people to connect you with your target audience. Give us a call today on 01254 660 560, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll see what we can do!