Reviews make a difference, especially in the digital world of 2019. Today’s online reviews are what traditional word-of-mouth recommendations were pre-internet. Both negative and positive reviews can and do make a huge impact. If your business isn’t taking the time to encourage customers to leave a Google review, you’re losing out on one of the most powerful ways to build credibility that leads to multiple long-term benefits.
Google Reviews 101
A Google review offers consumers a place to leave a public review about the business(s) they’ve used, whether it’s an online transaction or in-store purchase/experience. While some consumers leave reviews directly on the business’s site, many go directly to Google.
Consumers flock to Google and the numbers prove it. Net Market Share reports that Google holds 75.9% of the search engine market, compared to Bing at only 8.42% and Yahoo at 3.26%.
A business review on Google provides both the business and the public with viewable ratings, feedback, and critiques. The rating system of 0 to 5 stars plus the total number of reviews appear next to your business’s Google Maps listing. Anyone can see these ratings and click to read the reviews. As the business, you also can directly responds to each consumer review.
Is Anyone Really Reading Reviews?
According to the Bright Local Consumer Review Survey 2018, “86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34). Your customers are reading reviews, which means:
- Your business needs online reviews
- It’s time to track online reviews for essential consumer feedback and concerns
- Consistent and timely online review response by your business should be implemented
Online reviews are an integral part of your business’s reputation management. They are your street cred and often create the first impression when consumers consider your business. When a buyer searches for a product, they’re more likely to purchase if there are more than five reviews.
Statistics via Conversion Sciences show that every star a business earns, there’s an approximate 5 to 9% revenue increase. On the converse, “22% of consumers will not buy after reading just one negative review. After three negative reviews, that number jumps to 59%.”
Tracking Online Reviews for Data and Leveraging Leads
If you don’t know what consumers have to say about your business, brand, product, or services, you can’t make the adjustments needed to sustain or improve growth and increase revenue. Online reviews can offer a treasure trove of important information.
When multiple reviews criticize a specific flaw in a product or service, this feedback becomes essential. This also works for praise. Use it for improvement and may influence business decisions regarding future product development or expansion.
Always thank consumers for their input. This shows potential customers you value your consumers’ opinions and emotions, which can lead to new business.
Turning the Negative into a Positive
Don’t allow customer feedback to sit unread and unanswered. Consumers that leave reviews want to be heard. Acknowledge those voices, and even a dissatisfied customer may be redeemed and transitioned into a long-term advocate for your business.
“89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.” (Bright Local Consumer Review Survey 2018)
Your current and potential consumers are watching, reading, and reacting to how your business responds to all reviews. You can turn a negative Google review into something more positive with a timely, professional response that acknowledges the problem, is empathetic, and presents a solution (when possible).
Google reviews are integral for any business wishing to build and/or improve their reputation, remain relevant in a competitive market, and create conversions that drive revenue. Look to Falling Up Media for marketing services that not only offer sustainable growth for your business, but that can enhance your digital identity, including the integration of Google reviews into an actionable campaign.