Online reviews for your IT business can have a far bigger impact than just driving a few new leads and making you feel good about your star rating. They can affect your bottom line positively or negatively.
When you see the connection between reviews/ratings and how much money you bring in the door, it helps you truly appreciate how important a good online review strategy can be.
If you’re not managing your reviews proactively, you’ll want to read on for several impactful reasons you should.
Ways That Reviews Can Increase or Decrease Sales
When someone feels better about your company and builds trust from reading positive reviews, it’s only natural that they’ll be more inclined to purchase your services or products.
Bad reviews can cause the opposite effect, hurting sales and lead generation because people stay away.
But it actually is more nuanced than just those two observations. For example, not only can good reviews boost sales numbers for your MSP business they can also cause people to spend more per sale. A negative review may not just drive away one person, but also the five people that persons tells about it.
The connection that online reviews and ratings have to your IT business’ bottom line makes them a powerful part of your MSP marketing engine.
Here are several ways that reviews connect directly to your revenue.
Ignoring the Power of Reviews Can Cost You
If you’re not paying much attention to reviews other than thinking they’re nice, your lack of a review management strategy could be costing you more customers than you realize.
A Pew Research Center study found that 67% of people looking for businesses online say they “nearly always” read customer reviews before deciding to make a purchase.
A lack of reviews or lack of recent reviews could be causing over half your potential leads to go to other IT shops that have a review strategy in place.
The Better Your Reviews, the More You Can Sell
Customers are shown to spend 31% more on a business that has “excellent” reviews.
If you manage to go from “good” to “excellent” in a rating, it can mean a significant bump in trust, which can cause a person to spend more with your company than they planned to originally.
One Bump in Star Rating Can Increase Sales 5%
Does it make that big of a difference if you have three or four stars on your Google reviews? According to a study by Harvard Business School, it does.
The study looked at the star ratings of hotels and restaurants and found that a bump in star rating of one level increased sales on average by 5%.
That 3-Star Rating Can Be Costing You Money
If your aggregate reviews rating is sitting at 3.8, then you may want to pay some attention to your reviews strategy by pushing out email drip campaigns to happy customers to request a review.
That 0.2 difference between 3.8 and 4.0 could be costing you new customers and sales. A Chatmeter study found that 54% of consumers say that they look for at least a 4 or 5 star rating before they’ll consider contacting that business.
Building Reviews Improves Your Local Search Ranking
For a local IT business, being well-featured in a local search on Google makes an enormous difference in your lead generation and MSP sales funnel. If you can get a high position and get shown in the “Local Pack,” next to the map, you’ve got a huge leg up on your competitors.
88% of mobile Google searchers for local businesses call or visit the business within 24 hours.
The more reviews you have on Google, the better you can rank because several reviews factors are incorporated in the search ranking signals. Here’s why it’s important to generate reviews to boost local SEO:
- Online reviews are the second most important factor for local pack rankings
- Online reviews are the fourth most important factor when it comes to local organic rankings
- Keywords used on reviews are a local search ranking factor
- The quantity of native Google reviews you have is a local search ranking factor
The importance of reviews for ranking in Google’s local pack has actually increased over the years. Between 2015 and 2020, the percentage of ranking factor that reviews make up increased from 11% to 16%.
Score More B2B Customers
If you’re thinking that reviews only matter to consumers and B2C customers, you’d be wrong. They’re just as important to your B2B clients.
92% of businesses are more likely to buy a product or service from a company after reading a positive review.
Negative Reviews Can Cause You to Lose a Deal
You’ve nearly closed the deal with a client. They’re happy and ready to be onboarded, then you get an unexpected email from them saying they’ve changed their mind and won’t need your services after all. What went wrong?
It might have been that they found some negative reviews online about your business.
An influence trend survey by Cone, found that 4 out of 5 customers have backed out of an intended purchase after reading negative online reviews.
You Can More Than Double Conversions with Reviews
How much do those online reviews help when it comes to your sales conversions? Quite a bit!
Good customer reviews for your company can increase your conversions by approximately 270%. That’s a lot more dollars added to your bottom line just by requesting and managing your online reviews.
Best Practices to Get More Reviews for Your IT Business
Now that you know just how much reviews can impact your business, both positively and negatively, you’ll most likely want to get started on a review strategy.
It’s important to keep fresh reviews coming in regularly and not just rely on your “banked reviews” from years back. The older reviews get, the less impactful they are because potential customers no longer find them relevant.
73% of consumers think reviews more than 3 months old are no longer relevant to them.
Here are some tips to get more great reviews for your business.
Automate Your Review Request Process
The way to get volume for your reviews is to automate the review request process. This means putting a system in place that will send all your customers a review request email a certain number of days after their service/sale has been completed.
The automated email campaign should also include a reminder email if they haven’t responded.
If the process isn’t automated, then it’s easy for an MSP business owner to get caught up in the day-to-day of running their company and not get those requests sent out. One of the easiest ways to automate the process is to use an IT business review service.
Make it Easy for Customers to Give Reviews
Don’t rely on customers to go to Google or Yelp on their own. Your review request email should include a link directly to your Google reviews or another site so they can quickly rate and review you in a click.
You can get instructions for creating a link to your Google reviews here.
Monitor and Respond to Your Reviews
It’s important to monitor your reviews on the various review websites so you can respond to them promptly.
Responding to reviews gets you more reviews and can turn a negative review into a positive for your business.
For example, if a potential customer reads a negative review for your business, but then sees that you responded professionally and attempted to rectify the issue, that can turn around their perception of that review from negative to positive.
Some of the review sites that you may want to monitor include:
Incorporate Reviews on Your Website
When customers see reviews on your website, they’ll be more likely to be prompted to write one themselves.
Site reviews that cite Google or another review service as the source can also help you bring more marketing power to your pages, which can help convert sales.
Having a review on a service or product page can increase sales by an average of 18%.
Use an MSP site template that incorporates the ability to add reviews on any page you like. This additionally helps your SEO due to the additional MSP and computer-related keywords in those reviews.
Use Reviews in Your Content Marketing
Another way to get more sales mojo from your online reviews is to use them in your content marketing.
Add new reviews to your monthly MSP email newsletter, highlight them on your social media, and use them in blogs to help drive a point home about a service you offer.
When leads and customers see your new reviews coming in it can:
- Convert a lead that may have been on the fence
- Cross sell an existing customer on a new product or service
- Help you retain existing customers
Use Reviews to Emphasize the Importance of Great Customer Service
If reviews are important to you, they’ll be important to your employees. Have team meetings to go over new reviews and give out kudos to your team where warranted for positive reviews. Use can also use negative reviews as a teaching tool so everyone can brainstorm how to improve in a particular area.
When your team is included in discussions about reviews, they’ll feel a sense of pride. They’ll also feel a responsibility to do their part to give great customer service and earn more positive reviews.
Improve Sales By Managing Your Online Reviews
There is a lot riding on those star ratings and online reviews. Don’t leave potential sales on the table! Put a review management strategy in place for your IT business.
What’s your biggest struggle with requesting customer reviews? Share your thoughts in the comments!