Leveraging the Power of Online Customer Reviews

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Online customer reviews improve every step of the overall sales process. We all know new business is far harder to win than repeat business and online reviews and recommendations familiarize a potential customer in ways no other content can. Simply put, customer reviews equal revenue.

A study completed by BrightLocal revealed that nearly 91 percent of potential customers look at the online reviews of products or services before making a buying decision. This is because reviews showcase your reputation, service quality and professionalism. You cannot afford to underestimate the importance of online reviews for your business. Here is how reviews can boost your bottom line:

  1. Convert online visitors into leads: Online reviews convert visitors into leads by establishing trust and credibility. According to research, visitors who read reviews are 30 percent more likely to take action and become a new customer.
  2. Convert leads to new customers: In a competitive marketplace, even after demonstrating interest, customers still have some options to choose from that can fulfill their needs. Once a connection is established, online reviews motivate potential customers to choose your brand over your competitors’. Potential customers who read reviews are 68 percent more likely to convert to a sale.
  3. Convert new customers into repeat customers: Reviews not only help you attract new customers to your business, but they also aid in retaining existing customers. Reviews act as a constant reminder to your customers that you are the best provider for their needs. Simply getting a few satisfied customers to post positive reviews about your business reinforces their pleasing experience. Businesses with online reviews drive 18 percent higher customer loyalty than businesses without any reviews.
  4. Convert repeat customers into referrals: Reviews act as a powerful testament of happy customers you have served. According to a survey, nearly 77 percent of customers recommend their provider to a friend. Every business understands that referral business is the best kind of business as it establishes trust and credibility through personal connections. Letting your existing customers do your marketing through positive reviews is the most effective and cost-efficient approach.

Reviews are an asset

An increase in the number of online reviews can lead to an increase in revenue for your business. However, the impact may not happen directly and instead take the form of a chain of events leading to an increase in revenue over time.

Businesses that do not take advantage of customer reviews are likely to fall behind others that pay attention to reviews. A major part of your online marketing strategy should focus on asking your customers for reviews. You may want to consider sending an automated email to your customers asking for a review with a link to where they can post their feedback.

While it a good idea to focus on relevant keywords and other SEO tactics, you should not ignore the power of customer reviews and how they can help grow your business.

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