Your online customer reviews can make or break your business.
If you have a number of negative reviews, or no reviews at all, there's a high chance potential customers won't buy from you.
Online customer reviews cover any feedback that your customer shares regarding their experience doing business with you.
In this article, we'll go into more detail on why online customer reviews are so important and where you find them.
If you already know why online reviews are so important, feel free to skip ahead here:
Customer reviews matter for a whole host of reasons. These are the top 4 reasons online customer reviews are important:
Now let's get into each of these benefits in more depth.
People are more likely to purchase something if they see other people buying and recommending this product and service.
Research from Trustpilot found 93% of consumers feel their purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews.
This phenomenon of doing something because other people are doing it is known as social proof.
It's a powerful driver of human decision making, and online customer reviews can help you get more of it for your organization.
When you have more positive reviews and more social proof, potential customers are more likely to purchase your products.
More reviews can also increase the traffic to your website, help you rank higher on search engines, and make you more visible
Customer reviews allow you to steer your business in a direction that makes sense for your customer base.
This is because an online review is a form of customer feedback telling you what your customers want more of, what they want less of, and what they'd like to stay the same.
When you make customer-centric decisions based on this kind of feedback, your customer is more likely to want to buy from you because you're giving them what they need.
In this way reviews can help you create and adapt a product roadmap, adjust your marketing campaigns to be more effective, make improvements to your products, and enhance your customer experience.
An important element of your online customer review strategy should be responding to your reviews.
This opens up conversation with your customers. Responding to customer issues shows that you're listening to what they are saying. This in turn makes them feel valued.
When potential customers see you respond to reviews in a thoughtful way, it signals to them that you'll care about them too.
These conversations with your customers foster satisfaction and loyalty, which leads to reduced customer churn.
When customers read your online reviews, you want them to see your organization at its best.
When you do have a lot of positive reviews this is easy. These help strengthen your reputation in the market.
Afterall, if so many people have taken the time to say good things about your products and services, they must be true.
Responding to, and resolving negative reviews publicly can also improve your reputation, especially if it's taken a hit.
When planning out your online customer review strategy, it's important to know where to look to find your reviews.
This will depend in part on your industry and your customer base. But let's go through the 10 most relevant places customers leave online reviews:
Your Google My Business profile is the first thing that will show up when people google your organization.
You can publish important information about your business here and customers can leave reviews. It's also a free service.
As it's the first place people will reach when they google you, it's often where your business will make its first impression.
First impressions matter a lot and bad reviews here can be very bad for business. This is especially true due to how visible and easy to access they are.
The good news is that Google reviews are easy to respond to. But you'll need to keep track of them, so you can respond promptly.
G2, owned by the Gartner Group, is a review site dedicated to software reviews. They currently have over a million reviews on their site.
It's peer-to-peer which means that the reviews can be trusted as impartial and are generally authentic.
G2 reviews contain a star rating and are normally accompanied by a comment section where the reviewer can list what they think are the pros and cons of the product.
It also explains what the product is, shows the different features, and includes the relevant pricing plans.
A cool feature of G2 is that it also has a discussion board where customers can talk about particular aspects of any given software.
This is a huge consumer review site with millions of detailed reviews on pretty much any product or service you can imagine.
It has a star rating system and an open-ended section. Potential customers can also filter reviews by specific keywords. For example, if they are interested in customer service they can click that keyword and see reviews relating to this.
Trustpilot reviews tend to be detailed, and in general can be trusted as authentic.
In fact, of the 39 million reviews they published in 2020, they removed 2.2 million which they detected by their machine learning models as being fake or harmful.
Most people consult at least one review before making a purchase on Amazon.
Amazon actively encourages customers to leave feedback, whether it's negative or positive. As such most products listed on the site have a large number of reviews.
Some of them also include videos or photos of the products.
Reviews are especially important on Amazon as the vast array of options can be overwhelming for customers.
They need the help of reviews to decide which product they can trust.
TripAdvisor is a travel platform that helps travelers plan their trips.
It does this by publishing reviews on hotels, restaurants, tours, and attractions.
It also provides forums where travelers can ask specific questions.
A TripAdvisor review begins with an aggregate overall rating. Then as you scroll down you can see individual star ratings as well as detailed customer reviews.
Travelers can also upload their own photos of hotels.
TripAdvisor is the go-to online review site for travel, and ranks high on Google.
If your business is operating in the tourism or hospitality industry, you need to be checking, and responding to reviews here frequently.
Yelp is the first port of call for many looking for restaurant, store, or hotel recommendations, local to wherever they happen to be at that moment.
It offers both customer reviews and information like address and opening hours.
You can have a business profile on Yelp which is free, but you can also have reviews there even if you don't have any presence.
That means you need to keep an eye on it to mitigate any negative reviews.
Yelp tends to rank high on google so a number of Yelp reviews could make your business more visible.
Capterra is home to thousands of software reviews, and is designed to make it easier for those looking to purchase new software.
As such it gives an overview of the product, including who it's best for and how much it costs.
Then as you move further down you can see customer reviews, these include star ratings split into the following categories: Ease of use, customer service, features, and value for money.
The open-ended review section is then split into pros, cons, and overall comments.
There is also a section where you can make side-by-side comparisons and ratings.
Foursquare actually started out as a social media site. Now it's an app that uses your location history and preferences to provide personalized recommendations.
You can also leave reviews on the app. These reviews are then taken into account by users when choosing where they want to spend their money.
Foursquare does not have the same popularity as sites like Yelp however. Therefore you're likely to find less reviews here.
Social media is rife with product and service reviews. These are often left as static posts but video is gaining more and more popularity.
Reviews on social media are easy to share and can go viral fast.
Due to the growing number of people taking to social media to leave reviews, social media monitoring is a must.
Social media apps where you'll find reviews include Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook.
Here's an example of what a product review might look like on Instagram.
Glassdoor specializes in everything to do with employment. They host thousands of reviews of what it's like to work in different organizations around the world.
These reviews are all anonymous and cover everything from salaries, work schedules, management style, room for growth, and more.
Companies are also unable to censor the reviews which helps maintain authenticity.
Wherever it is that your customers are leaving reviews, you need to be monitoring them.
Reading and responding to reviews is essential to gain business insights and to keep your customers happy.
The bottom line is that more reviews lead to more business.
Reading through tens of thousands of reviews is no easy task however. To help, you'll need an automated tool that can do the analysis for you.
MonkeyLearn offers a range of no-code templates that can automatically track, analyze and tag your online customer reviews using AI techniques like sentiment analysis.
With the help of MonkeyLearn, you can process tens of thousands of reviews in a matter of seconds and then review your results in an easy-to-view dashboard.
Book your free demo today to see how you can start harnessing the power of your online customer reviews.
June 16th, 2022