Customer reviews are free and they work wonders for your brand image, reputation, sales and search engine rankings. If you don’t have customer reviews, it’s time to get some! It’s essential for every business owner to understand the importance customer reviews as it will affect your overall online reputation of your business.

Not sure where you should be putting these reviews? You can ask your loyal customers to leave feedback on your social media pages (especially Facebook or Google) and external reviewing sites like Yelp and Google Maps. You can then feature these reviews (with the reviewer’s permission of course!) in marketing collateral and the ‘testimonials’ section of your website.

Here are some of the main benefits of having customer reviews:

Reviews Increase Conversion

Conversion is the act of converting a browsing customer into a paying customer.

Did you know that an estimated 7 out of every 10 shoppers seek out consumer reviews before making a purchase? And 72% of consumers only take buying action after reading a positive review.

Consumer review platform, Reevoo, even conducted a study that suggested the sales boost from including reviews can be as much as 18%. So if you want to increase your conversion rates, and turn web browsers into customers, accumulating reviews is a great place to start.

They boost Click Through Rates & SEO

Have you ever searched for a product or service on Google and noticed that some results have star ratings next to their listings? According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to make up about 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results (you can read more about how customer reviews boost SEO here and here). Not sure how to get these star ratings? Here’s a detailed tutorial.

Customer reviews provide you with an opportunity to have regularly updated, relevant and valuable content on your site – which is something search engines are known to favour. Having star ratings also brings an increased CTR (Click Through Rate) – research from Distilled has shown that having star ratings within search results can boost your CTR by as much as 20%.

They’re Like Digital Word-of-Mouth Marketing

According to Forbes, word-of-mouth marketing has been identified as the most valuable form of marketing – the one that consumers trust the most and the one most likely to drive sales for your business. Customer reviews are basically digital word-of-mouth – 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. One thing to bear in mind is that these reviews need to be authentic – a study by Reevoo found that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect that a company has employed censorship or fake reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all. This brings us to our next point:

They’re a Chance to Show Your Commitment to Quality + Customer Service

We recommend that you pay attention to (and feature) positive, neutral and negative reviews. Although no one likes receiving complaints, they provide you with an opportunity to grow and show the world how you manage conflict. When you receive a positive review, you should thank the person for their business and encourage them to continue using your products/services. When you receive a negative review, you should respond carefully, appropriately and proactively. By ignoring or deleting any reviews that aren’t 100% positive, you are missing an opportunity to solve problems, represent your commitment to quality and continually improve as a company.

They Improve The On Hold Experience!

Another great place to feature customer reviews is in your on hold messages! When prospective customers call your business, they are at a critical point in the buying process – featuring glowing customer reviews can really set the deal. The importance customer reviews is as good as your whole business reputation.

Want to know more? Contact us to discuss customer reviews and how you can use them to boost your business.