84% of consumers stated in a survey that they trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Now, as far as I’m concerned this is a massive statistic and a massive statement that I don’t believe most people are actually paying attention to or using to their advantage when it comes to their online reputation and marketing.
Now anyone who has been in business for any period of time for anyone who knows anything about marketing understands one fact, and it’s been going around the planet for decades and is this, word-of-mouth marketing is without question the best form of marketing.
Now this is an extremely powerful phrase and the reason why is because personal recommendations equal trust. If your brother’s says to do business with somebody you do. If your mom says I like that guy hes done my work for me, you generally will hire them to do the same for you, so this is important to understand.
However, it’s important understand that not everybody can get that “personal recommendation”.
The though that most businesses and individuals for that matter have in their head is tha,t you offer a product or service to an individual or to another business and if they are happy with the product or the service, then they begin to shout from the rooftops how amazing you are as a company and how happy they were and how they will always do business with you again over and over and over and over and continue to do this until the their dying days.
Here’s a newsflash for everybody to pay attention to, it doesn’t work like that.
The reality is according this website, customers will tell about 2-3 people if the have had a good experience… fact.
However on the other side of that, they will tell 8-10 people about a bad experience.
Don’t you think it’s about time to start paying attention to some different approaches to start explaining how good you are at what you do?
This is where online reviews become so much more important than most people realise. Immediately after users have experienced your product or service, all you have to do is point them to one of the hundreds of review sites online and asked them to leave their opinion on what they thought about your service.
What’s important here is that their onlie review is on the internet forever which means more important than anything their words are there to talk about your business, and this will continue to tell hundreds of thousands of people. This is the equivalent of shouting it from the rooftops which is why online reviews to some extent are almost better than word-of-mouth marketing.
So why aren’t more companies taking full advantage of online customer reviews?
The reality is most people just don’t get it.
They don’t understand the importance of customer reviews, they don’t understand where these customer review sites are and they just don’t understand the exact power of online reviews. For example almost 60% of business owners haven’t even claimed a Google business listing. In fact they don’t even know that it exists, which means people could be leaving negative comments about their business all day long and these owners are losing business and don’t even realise it.
Online businesses reviews are important because they are made by real people who have real opinions and reviews and more important than anything else you can’t delete them.
This is why individuals trust online reviews as much as they do because if somebody leaves a positive review about their honest opinion of the business or somebody leaves a negative review about their honest opinion on the business, it is still the opinion of the individual no matter what and that’s what people trust, they know for a fact that this is a person who has a thought. So how do you tap into this culture to help your overall brand?
The first thing that you have to do is deliver a good product or service no matter what this is. A bad services or product will build a bad reputation, so lets try to avoid that.
The next point, and this is the most important part is to ask your customers. Understand when I say ask your customers I mean asking them immediately at the point when a sale has been made or very shortly after. You’d be surprised how many businesses feel that it’s not appropriate to ask a question or don’t want to bother the customers to ask the question.
Let me ask you these questions is it appropriate to want to improve your business? Is it appropriate to want to deliver the best possible service you can for your clients or customers? Is it appropriate to to ensure that your clients or customers are happy and will come back to you when they need more services? If the answer to these questions is yes, then asking your customers what they thought about your service isn’t really that big of a deal.
Now, let’s be clear, not everyone is going to say yes, and that’s okay as well. Online reviews provide businesses with an opportunity to learn what they are doing well and what they can improve on. So make sure to welcome negative feedback, as this is the only way you can really grow your buisiness…by learning.
So do I honestly feel that online customer reviews matter… yes I absolutely feel they do and whilst the stats say 84% I believe one hundred percent trust what they read. Now it’s important understand one fact as well in life you pretty much have a 50-50 chance of accomplishing anything. So if you had a 80% to 85% chance of someone sharing their experience about your business and that you would more than likely to get business from it, is not something that you want to explore at least a little bit further instead of listening to the old ways of doing marketing and business and hoping that people may spread a good word when really thy only spread bad words.
If you are curious about how to start taking advantage of how to utilise online reviews to build your brand and grow your your business, then contact us today. However even if you don’t contact us, you need to do what is necessary to ensure that you always know what is being said about you online.