Online customer reviews are providing more and more value to a company’s image as well as its bottom line. Google and other review sites are beginning to put an emphasis on quality business reviews with an increase in the variety of locations you can exhibit them1. This allows businesses to showcase exactly what they want potential consumers to see.
Because Google has recently increased the number of places that businesses can feature their customer reviews, it will be more important than ever for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to take full advantage of the opportunity to display quality reviews from their customers and clients. Several polls23 have shown that potential buyers value online customer reviews over any purchasing decision force, both negatively and positively. Even negative reviews can help a company’s branding strategy, poor reviews give the business an opportunity to make it up to the patron as well as prove to potential consumers they will be taken care of, whether or not they have an issue. Studies4 have also shown a connection with the income and education-level of an individual and how it affects their purchasing decisions; higher income and education-levels have been seen to rely more on online product reviews. Also of interest, both American and Asian-Pacific consumers have been seen to have far more faith in product reviews than Europeans.
Because there are so many Americans that are influenced by product reviews prior to purchase, companies of any size can “lead” the customer acquisition strategy by asking their clients to write truthful reviews on their social media pages, review sites, etc. This enhanced acquisition strategy also fosters brand loyalty, since customers feel that their opinions and experience with the company matter.
Tap into the power of your patrons and make promoting online reviews an essential part of your brand’s e-commerce and marketing strategy. The old sales adage holds true: you don’t get what you don’t ask for.
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