It’s an understatement to say that the invention of the internet has revolutionised the way we shop. From choosing what you want, how you pay for it, and how it arrives at your chosen destination to answering the all-important question: where do you buy from?
Online reviews are essential to the process for many, as we’ll discover. Seen as a make-or-break part of online shopping, reviews now supplement the method of advertising that businesses have relied upon since long before the internet: word of mouth.
Being able to see what previous customers have experienced with a business can positively or negatively affect the way customers choose your dealership, and how many do so. If you weren’t dedicated to making the customer experience as pleasant as possible for those you serve, online reviews should surely prompt you to make it a priority if nothing else.
How important are online reviews?
Numbers can often tell us a story better than words can, so here are some pretty solid statistics that show just how important online reviews are…
- Hubspot found that 90% of shoppers read online reviews before visiting a business or making a purchase and that 46% of UK consumers rely more on online reviews than they did in the last two years.
- FinancesOnline reported that 68% of consumers will contact a business after reading positive reviews. 40% won’t deal with companies if they find their reviews to be negative.
- Statista found that over 50% of consumers in the UK trust reviews they read online
- Brightlocal reported that only 4% of consumers will only read 1 review before forming an opinion about a business
From this we can tell that positive reviews are very important indeed – and the more the better (so long as they’re genuine).
How do online reviews make a difference?
We know that online reviews are important, but what is it about them that makes them so effective?
We’re social creatures, and if our community agrees that something is a good idea, we’re more inclined to do it – in this case, that something is handing money over to a certain business in exchange for something we want or need.
Seeing that many different people have had the same excellent experience whilst interacting with a business will lead you to assume that you will be treated the same. There will therefore be trust building before a customer even makes the initial enquiry.
Getting seen online is the priority for many a modern business, and reviews can contribute to the likelihood of that happening. As we’ve mentioned before, search engines like Google favour fresh content, and adding the positive reviews you receive to your website lets Google know that your site, and therefore your business, is alive and kicking.
Highlights your USPs
Who better to tell you what you do well and specifically why people choose you than your own customers? Reviews are a great way to draw out your USPs, and of course, also highlight areas of improvement so that there can be even more for customers to be impressed by.
Shows an open dialogue
Human-to-human connections can still be heard above the noise, and it’s what many of us are after even in an increasingly online world. The ability to reply to reviews on many platforms opens the dialogue between customers and businesses, removing the facelessness that might put some consumers off.
It’s a chance to say a genuine thank you too – with online reviews being so important, you’re grateful for every one you receive!
Where can you get online reviews?
Google reviews are one of the most obvious places to gather those (hopefully) kind words. When you search for a specific business, you’ll often find that they have a Google Business profile, which will usually show you its star rating out of 5 without having to look too hard.
As somewhere that many of us spend a chunk of our time, it makes sense that your Facebook page has the ability to collect reviews for you – after all, people aged between 20-25 are likely to visit a Facebook or Instagram page over visiting your website.
Dedicated review platforms
Sites such as TrustPilot and JudgeService have been created to provide insight into the lasting impressions of a business, and are invaluable to informing consumer decisions.
Whatever platform you prefer to gather your reviews on (although you’ll probably find they’ll spread across a few), you’ll get far more when you ask for them.
Following interactions with your customers, and usually at the completion of their purchase, gently ask that customers share their experience on your preferred platform. This can be in person, or via email or text message.
Talking of good reviews…
Did you know that 67 Degrees is a 5-star rated business? We’ve talked before about the emphasis we put on the experience of our customers while we’re building their website and their continuing support from us, and the truly lovely reviews we receive are proof that it makes a difference.
You can see our reviews on Google, and we have got one step further by heading out to members of the 67 Degrees family and finding out in person what they think about us. Some of those videos are below – excuse us, we’ve got something in our eyes…