Why Online Reviews Are Critical To Your Local Small Business

Why Online Reviews Are Critical To Your Local Small Business

In Small Business by Chris Risse

Have you ever wanted prospects to know, like, and trust your business before you even know who they are? It sounds too good to be true, but the truth is it is completely possible and it is how many businesses gain new customers today. It all comes down to gaining great customer reviews and utilizing them in your marketing strategy.

Below, I have provided reasons for making online customer reviews a priority and the results of doing it right!

Separation From The Competition

In most local territories, many businesses provide the same products and services and can appear almost identical in many ways. The factor that separates these businesses comes down to the attitudes customers have towards the unique qualities of the individual businesses. This is where customer reviews can increase the divide between your business compared to your competition by bringing attention to the areas of your business that are most appreciated.

Customer Trust and Rapport

The customer reviews your business receives are seen by nearly all customers and prospects search for services like yours. Those reviews can be the deciding factor during the discovery and due diligence phase of the inbound marketing process all prospects go through when finding a product or service.

Your business’ customer reviews create a collective understanding of your business within your community of customers, prospects, and fans that builds a reputation for your businesses strengths and customer satisfaction. That is why it is very important to encourage your customers to leave genuine and descriptive reviews that prospects can easily find.

Conversation Starters

Online reviews create word-of-mouth marketing by connecting your reviews to your prospects. When a reviewer gives their name and associations, through Google, Facebook, or Yelp for instance, their connected contacts are made aware of these reviews. Reviews can be shared and discussed online through these social networks, as well as offline at the water cooler or over coffee.

Claims starting with “I heard…” or “I read…” followed by an opinion about a product or service often come from second hand experiences being shared from an online customer review. These claims are then followed up by a prospect doing their due diligence on your business and reading more reviews to backup that claim.

Improve Online Visibility

Search is a major part of the inbound marketing process. People naturally choose to access readily available information at a moments notice to gain a wealth of knowledge about a product or service. This more and more often comes immediately to our fingertips through our smart devices. Because of this, search engines have become more sophisticated by delivering localized and personalized search results.

To say it straight, search engines serve people. People want to be served the best applicable and most relevant results to consider. By having a highly rated business web presence, search engines may deem your result to be more applicable and relevant for searchers.

This is to say, the businesses, products, and services that have the most and best reviews will benefit more and more now and in the future.

Clarity For Your Business

Beyond the given marketing value that customer reviews present, online reviews give great insight into the health of your business reputation. A collection of customer reviews is a catalog of feedback for business owners and marketing directors to make decisions on how to best serve current customers and prospects in the future.

Business Confidence & Moral

When you know how your customers feel about your business, it gives you, your staff, employees, and partners a clearer perception about your business brand and what it represents. This clarity leads to confidence in what you do, how you do it, and how your customers will feel about your business in the future. When everyone in the business is confident that they are all working for the right reasons, the result is a compounding effect in increased efficiency and team moral.

Customer Insight & Development

Do you know what your customers want? Customer reviews allow you to look into the collective thoughts and attitudes from your customers about your business brand, products, and services to find new business ideas and innovation for customer experience. This can help you solve problems and gaps in products and services that might otherwise be missed, resulting in lost opportunities and loss of business.

Get A Customer Review System

Even if your business has no online customer reviews yet, don’t worry, but do make it a priority to start gaining those customer reviews. The best way to gain customer reviews from satisfied customers is to be direct and consistent with asking and the process in which the customer can leave the review. Check out Mediaryte’s Customer Review System, which is a great way to integrate customer reviews into your business marketing and processes.

About the Author

Chris Risse

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Chris is the owner of Mediaryte, a digital commerce company working with local small business, non-profits, and municipal organizations. He has worked with countless business owners on business mastery, systematizing processes, and quantifying results. Chris also has a fantastic sixth sense for detecting well hidden candy and treats.

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How is your local small business benefiting from online customer reviews?

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