Word of mouth is a stronger-than-ever buying signal, and online media has given it a platform in the form of online ratings and reviews.
Good reviews build trust in your services and can help spotlight key benefits of working with your business. Ratings and reviews have become so central to our buying process, that as many as 70% of people rely on reviews before making a purchase. (Source: Consumerist.com).
Not selling a product? Reviews are even more important! According to a 2018 survey by BrightLocal, 88% of people read reviews to determine the quality of local business services, and 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review (G2 Crowd and Heinz Marketing, 2017). As the cost of the considered product or service goes up, the reviews become even more important. 71% of B2B buyers look at reviews during the consideration stage.
With statistics such as these, it would seem that all businesses would focus on garnering reviews. The reality is that many businesses do not include a strategy for developing reviews in their marketing plans. Some fear receiving negative reviews, while ignoring the potential for more positive ones. However, by responding to negative reviews, companies can mitigate the potential for a bad reputation. While a small number of negative reviews, may occur, these reflect what we all know to be true: not every client will always be happy. Further, 40% of B2B buyers say negative reviews help build credibility for a product.
While positive reviews may occur organically – without prodding from the business – they will do so at a slower pace than if requested. Positive reviews of products are more likely to be given without prompting than service reviews. The happiest customer does not necessarily think to go online and post a review — although unhappy customers often do!
Growing reviews for your business is as easy as asking for them; those businesses with many reviews often have a process in place and use a service to assist their efforts. There are a number of online reputation management services, most of which enable you to survey your clients’ satisfaction, and request ratings or reviews. These can often be automated, sending out satisfaction surveys or review requests as you complete delivery of service to your client. In addition, reputation management software allows you to monitor a number of online review sites so that you are aware of new reviews as they appear, and allow you to respond to reviews received.
Are you actively soliciting reviews from satisfied customers? If not, now is the time to develop a reputation management strategy.