Reviews are some of the most powerful tools you have to influence whether someone actually makes a purchase or not. With so many options available, even when a potential customer is sure they want your product or solution, it still doesn’t mean they’re convinced about you as a company.
In many ways, the internet is the great leveler. It used to be that you were confined to the brick and mortar stores that it was possible to actually reach in your local area. If it was a particularly rare item you needed, you would be prepared to put up with subpar service in order to buy it.
With the rise of websites and ecommerce, the dynamic entirely shifted. Now, your local store is theoretically competing with similar options from literally anywhere in the world, depending on the specific product.
Standing out from the competition
So, this begs the question, if everyone has the same product at more or less the same quality, what is there to make your particular one stand out from the competition? The first answer people normally jump to is price. After all, you can simply undercut your competition to attract more customers. The problem here is that you enter into a race to the bottom, which, believe us, is not a race you want to win!
Instead of competing solely on price and making your business unprofitable, the marketing world entered into what we can call “the experience wars.” What do we mean by this? Well, how a business makes you feel, whether through luxury branding, excellent customer service, or some other differentiating factor, is the key to setting yourself apart from the competition—even if you have similar products.
As an online business, you need to ensure that every aspect of the experience you provide your customers lives up to (or even exceeds) expectations.
While this has been made possible by the rise of CRMs and automation, one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal for actually achieving conversions is the humble review.
The power of reviews
Did you know that nine out of 10 people read a review before buying a product? And these reviews play a direct role in whether they go on to buy the product or not. In fact, an incredible 94% of customers have said that they would avoid a company due to the negative reviews.
But why is that?
They build trust
As a business, you have a relationship with your customers—and every relationship is built on trust. If you say your product is going to last ten years and it breaks after a month, then you have broken the trust you had with that person who bought it. The worst part is, customers are 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one.
But just as they can destroy trust, the power of reviews is also in building it. Even if you have a negative review, by responding to it and addressing the individual’s concerns, you can still give potential customers confidence in your business.
Either way, positive or negative, reviews are essential in building trust.
They provide social proof
This is very much connected to trust as social proof is a way to build it. Essentially, you want to see what other people have gone through before you decide to get involved yourself. It’s exactly the same concept as case studies.
Basically, when someone in a similar situation to ourselves says they had a good experience, we are much more likely to believe them than when the brand itself does. We are instinctively aware that brands have ulterior motives, but customers don’t—and so are more likely to be honest!
They grow your brand awareness
Whether on your website or on popular review platforms, being reviewed gets your name out there. The fact is that people search for reviews a lot. An incredible 15% of local search results on Google are for reviews—which demonstrates how important it is to have a Google Business Profile. What’s more 72% of customers use reviews to actively search for businesses.
If you have a lot of reviews out there in different parts of the web (and assuming they’re positive), it can be a hugely effective way to grow your brand awareness.
They retain website visitors
Once again, this goes back to trust. If your visitors trust you, they’re more likely to stay for longer on your website. The power of reviews is that they can influence everything from reducing bounce rates to increasing conversions and even helping you rank better on Google.
How to get more reviews
At the end of the day, as consumers, we are all aware of the role reviews play in our own purchasing decisions. However, as business owners, marketers, or sales professionals, it can be difficult to know how to get more reviews to drive business.
Here are a few tried-and-tested methods for getting more reviews.
1. Remember to ask
It may appear simple, but what you don’t ask for, you won’t get. Most people are only really motivated to leave a review if they’ve had an exceptionally positive or negative experience. By asking, you will get a wider range of positive customers to provide feedback.
2. Send out reminders
If you have a quality CRM platform, this should be easy to do. Once your customers have gone through the entire sales process, set up an automation that will ask them to leave a review. This works even better if you ask them at the point of sale!
3. Make it as easy as possible
Reviews are always something that people have to go out of their way to do. Unless they have a strong motivation to leave a review, people will often give up at even the slightest resistance. Again, your chosen automation platform should have features that allow you to make this process easy for them.
4. Use social media
Every now and again, make a call out on social media so that people can leave comments directly there. The trick is to ask specific questions—not just “how are we doing.” Not only is it easy for people to contribute, but it will give positive impressions for anyone who finds you through social media.
5. Make sure to respond
Your responses are as important as the reviews themselves. Not only did 56% of customers say a company’s response changed their perception of a business, but you risk increasing churn by 15% if you don’t respond.
If you weren’t convinced before, we hope you are now—reviews really are one of the most important tools in converting customers. By taking the time to cultivate positive feedback, you can harness the power of reviews and boost your bottom line.
Pipeline.so is an end-to-end CRM platform that streamlines your sales and marketing efforts. Feel free to reach out to discover how we can help you get more reviews and maximize your potential.