When researching a business on Google, those 5 little yellow stars can really mean a lot more than just position or rank alone. Most of us have done it: While looking up a new restaurant to visit, we scroll through the list of options on our phones. One diner has 5 reviews, but they are averaging only 3 star ratings. Another location has an impressive collection of 38 reviews averaging 4.8 stars. Which one are you going to choose? The answer is usually pretty predictable.
The truth is, reviews matter BIGTIME. Most consumers, (up to 90%) read online reviews before visiting a business. In fact, 88% trust an online review just as much as they would trust a face to face recommendation!
It’s obvious that reviews DO matter in the online world. So what does this mean for YOUR business? In order to take advantage of this online trend, which probably won’t be going away anytime soon, your best bet is to be sure to implement the following:
1. Make sure you have a link or location on your website to collect reviews for your directory listings (Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook).
2. Encourage customers to leave reviews by sending them a link via text or email.
3. If a customer is unhappy, reach out to them to see if you can resolve any complaints BEFORE they end up leaving a negative review.
4. If a customer has already left a negative review, reach out to them to see if you can resolve the issue, and ask if they would be willing to remove it.
5. Collect detailed testimonials to add to your website in addition to directory star ratings.
6. Offer incentives to encourage reviews from your best customers.
It won’t happen overnight, but as long as you have a system in place, provide top notch service or products, and make reviews easy and fun for the customer, you’ll achieve a collection of 5 star ratings to be proud of!