As we may have noticed, before making a purchase, customers first check out online reviews – good and bad and then decide. Interestingly, today reviews are available and visible on Google search or even social media networks like Facebook.
How is your brand doing as far as customer reviews go?
Are you getting reviews from a large section of your customers, or only from people who make reservation? And, are you responding to every review, and in a timely way? Is it that your reviews are just perched on the review platform or are they working for you in your current marketing across multiple channels?
Sometimes, a reality check reveals that online reviews may seem daunting and difficult to control. But the good news is, the spread of online reviews actually gives businesses plenty of opportunities – to increase exposure and influence potential buyers. Plus online reviews is not only crucial to managing your online reputation, but it is also important to grow your business.
How can you leverage online reviews to your best advantage? How can you use them to brush up your marketing, sales, and customer experience? Here are some tips:
Use reviews to speed up your brand exposure
Good reviews increase your visibility and also help customers find your product/service. Reviews help you stand out in the search activity that consumers undertake. Business reviews aren’t just a reflection of your products and customer service, but they also influence your search rankings.
Also, reviews can increase your visibility across platforms dramatically, and allow more potential customers to find you.
So, the action plan is – leverage positive reviews in your PR and influencer outreach. The influencers out there who have a reputation to manage, want to be associated with well-liked brands. The same goes for PR outreach to journalists, as they get so many pitches a day, you need to give them good reasons to work with you.
Great reviews are an awesome way to show influencers and journalists how much people love your brand, and how they’ll benefit from collaborating with you.
Use online reviews to increase sales
We already know now that nine out of ten customers read reviews before buying. But did you know that customers are also willing to pay more if they see good reviews? It’s a simple supply and demand situation. The more people like you, the higher you can fix your prices. So if you aren’t leveraging them to boost sales, you’re literally doing nothing!
Use the good reviews as proof. If you’ve got those amazing five-star reviews, use them! Show the world what people think of you and how they appreciate you! Include them in your sales tactics and display them on your website too.
Salvage bad reviews. Oddly, negative reviews help too. Customers are sceptical towards brands that have only good reviews, and it is seen that buyers trust brands more, when they see both good and bad reviews. Some believe that buyers who seek out bad reviews are highly engaged with their pre-purchase research, and much more likely to convert.
Use customer feedback to improve your brand
Customer reviews are the best place to assimilate customer feedback. Here you have your target audience is telling you exactly what they like, what they hate, and what you should change about your product.
A more active way to increase your brand exposure is to fine-tune your keyword targeting by analyzing how customers describe your products in their reviews. This gives you a clearer picture of how customers perceive and search for your products. For example, you may think you’re a social media tool, but your users may consider or use it more as an influencer marketing tool.
By tracking common keywords used by customers in reviews, you get a better idea of how to improve your product positioning, keyword targeting, tags, or content creation, and help your brand rank better in search, be it on Google, TripAdvisor, or Amazon.
Improve customer experience by engaging with online reviews
As more customers share their experiences and grievances online, reviews have inevitably become another channel for customer support. If you want to improve customer happiness and loyalty, you must stay on top of online reviews and reach out in time to show customers you care.
Firstly, make sure you respond to all complaints. Secondly, use the opportunity to build rapport with customers. Responding to positive reviews is just as important. It encourages customers to keep engaging with your brand, and potentially become brand advocates.
So, harness the power of online reviews.
As you can see, there are many ways online reviews can help improve your marketing, sales, product development, and customer experience. It’s just such a huge waste to let all these opportunities slip away, into the hands of your competitors. Of course, you can’t do everything all in one shot. You can start by monitoring your online reviews and sharing insights with your team to gradually get people on board!