The Value of Online Reviews for Business Owners
Guest post by Julie Ferlisi, Owner of The Write Approach Professional Services
For over 20 years, digital marketing has provided more ways to do business, and a greater awareness of product and service options. However, Bob Burg’s golden rule of networking still applies today. Regardless of the type of business you operate, “All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.”
How does ‘know, like and trust’ relate to your business?
If two or more businesses have a product, price, service, knowledge, or any other similar factor, that man or woman has successfully earned credibility and built a positive relationship with the prospect or referral source who will obtain that sale or referral.
It is easy to make the connection between the golden rule and face-to-face networking, but it may be harder to see the relationship between this rule and online reviews.
There are many ways to leave online reviews, such as writing a review on the organization’s website, Google or Facebook. Each client who takes the time to share feedback helps build—or detract from—a company’s reputation. When consumers see that a business has overwhelmingly positive online reviews, they are more likely to inquire about buying their products or services.
According to Inc. com, 84% of people value online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their friends. A large percentage of consumers put a lot of faith in what they read online. Online reviews legitimize businesses, and give potential customers a better understanding of what they do, as well as allude to their competitive advantage. The link between online reviews and know, like and trust is much easier to understand after you see how powerful online reviews are today.
How can you turn a negative online review into a positive experience?
While positive reviews add to a company’s credibility, there is as much value, if not more, in a negative online review.
Perhaps a client was unhappy with slower than anticipated service due to a shipping complication, or they expected/misunderstood a feature about a product they purchased. Their online review may be the first time you learned about the issue. Now you have a chance to respond, react and resolve it.
When handled with care, professionalism and tact, a negative review provides the opportunity to solve a problem, make amends and convince the client to work with you again…all in black and white and online for other potential clients to see.
How do online reviews influence SEO?
Online reviews can greatly improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rating. By asking your clients to leave an online rating or review, this information will help others find your business. Learn how you can turn satisfied customers into powerful online ratings and reviews here.