Do you look at online reviews as a nice perk if you get them, but not something that’s under your control? They’re actually one of your most valuable business assets that can be utilized in multiple ways.
If you take a “wait and see” attitude to your customer reviews, you’re missing the boat on what could be one of the biggest factors that makes a lead decide to purchase your services.
Understanding exactly how important reviews are as a business asset can help you gain a whole new appreciation for their power and motivate you to become an active participant in managing and encouraging customer reviews.
How Much Impact Do Reviews Have on My Business?
One reason that IT business owners don’t prioritize their customer reviews is that they don’t fully understand how much of an asset they truly are and the impact reviews have on their business. Customer reviews are like a turbo boost to your overall tech marketing engine. They supercharge your message and make a prospect stand up and take notice.
While a bullet list of your service or product features can be effective, hearing from another client just how much your business helped them is going to get higher marks in a lead’s decision-making process.
There are several reasons why customer reviews are so powerful and that you should actively seek to get as many as you can. Both fresh reviews and reviews that are from a variety of customer types help add value to this asset.
We’ll hit on several statistics next to explain why reviews are so valuable to your company.
Online reviews on Google send customers to your site and to your physical IT shop. People are 38% more likely to visit your location when they see a positive Google review.
Yelp has over 178 million unique visitors each month, that’s a big community to tap into when you encourage customers with a link to write a review there. 45% of consumers say they like to check reviews on Yelp before visiting a business.
Reviews that are sprinkled throughout major review platforms like Google, Yelp, Thumbtack, and other sites, act as traffic generators in conjunction with your own SEO, boosting your referral website visits and storefront foot traffic.
Few things, other than years of working with you, can earn the trust that reviews and testimonials do. There’s an authenticity that people get when they read a review from someone that includes details about working with your business.
Something as simple as, “Joe and his team at ComputersRUs helped us out when we were in a jam, they’re wonderful to work with and affordable!” can drive more traffic and sales than you realize all due to the trust that is intrinsic to online reviews.
Here are some of the many statistics that speak to the trust garnered by reviews and testimonials:
- 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and family recommendations.
- 83% of customers don’t trust advertising copy.
- 70% of consumers need to read at least 4 reviews before trusting a business.
- 15% of consumers don’t trust businesses that don’t have any reviews.
- 66% of Americans will trust an anonymous online review more than a recommendation from an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.
You can’t get much more valuable than an asset that brings in the money! Reviews are proven to help drive sales and increase conversions from leads to customers. They can often be the one thing that causes someone to go ahead and pull the trigger on trying out your managed IT services instead of someone else’s.
88% of buyers have their buying decision influenced by reviews they read about a business. And if you’re not properly managing your reviews, it can hurt your sales. 83.5% of buyers won’t consider doing business with a company that has a 3-star rating or lower.
Just a single review can improve your conversions by 10%.
If you’re not paying attention to your reviews and not actively requesting them, you’re not only missing out on new potential sales, you could be hurting your sales and not even realize it.
Customer reviews and testimonials help you build up your reputation capital, which is defined as the intangible long-term strategic assets of a company. In short, it’s your reputation and how much that means to your bottom line.
For example, a positive reputation can open doors to certain B2B opportunities because a company has heard you’re a great firm to work with.
Strong reputation capital can also help a business bounce back after a setback faster than one without it.
Where one review can instill enough trust for a person to decide to give you a call, several reviews built up over time increase your reputation capital, and basically show that over the long-term, you have lots of happy clients and continue to do great work.
Contribute to Good Local SEO
Inbound links from sites like Google My Business and other online review sites add juice to your site’s search engine optimization efforts.
In fact, a study by Local SEO Guide found that Google My Business reviews that included the searched-for keyword were the 2nd most influential factor determining performance in the “Local Pack,” the map and box of local business listings returned above the organic listings.
The more reviews you have out there mentioning your business, keywords that are used to search your business, and towns you service, the more relevant Google sees your business when it’s delivering search results.
Sales Collateral Content
Nothing spices up a brochure or PowerPoint presentation better than some good customer reviews. When you have several reviews to choose from that come from a variety of customers, you can tailor them to fit your different customer types.
For example, use an accounting firm testimonial in a marketing email, landing page, and brochure specifically for accounting IT needs. Or a residential anti-virus review on your landing page for fast virus removals.
The powerful nature of reviews make them great to add to multiple marketing pieces including:
- Social media posts
- Landing pages
Insight into Customer Experience
Even less than completely positive reviews can have value because they give you insight into your customer’s experience. By reading reviews, both good and bad, you can learn areas of your business where you might need to improve and can also find out where you’re doing great and keep doing more of it.
If you just ask a customer how you did face-to-face, they might not offer up as many details as they do when writing a review online. Knowing how a customer is perceiving your business can help you hone your marketing strategy to address more of a potential customer’s needs.
Keeps Your Business Fresh
Nothing says “this business is happening” like fresh reviews. If someone looks online and sees that the last review a company had was over a year ago, they’re going to wonder why, and that business is going to look stale next to one that has reviews from a few days ago.
40% of consumers will only consider local reviews written within the past two weeks.
If you actively request reviews as part of your sales follow up process, you have the opportunity to be that “fresh” company with the recent reviews giving you an edge over your competition.
Tips for Building Your Review Assets
If you just wait for customers to write reviews on their own, you’re going to have significantly fewer assets than if you take a little initiative and actively participate in your review process.
So, how do you do that? Here are some tips to help you build up your review assets.
Ask for Reviews
Yes, getting a ton more reviews can be as simple as just asking. 70% of customers who are asked to will give a review for a business.
Too many IT business owners are shy about doing this but think about the review request you receive by email from various companies you shop with, or those support calls where you’re asked to stay on the line for a “two question survey.” Do you feel the company is rude for asking? Of course not! It’s part of doing business, and many customers are more than happy to write a review for a company they have a good experience with.
Automate the Process
Most IT firms are busy and it’s not always easy to find the time or remember to send follow up review requests to all your customers. That’s where automation comes in.
Once your email and timeline are set up, as soon as you complete a customer job, the automation can take over and automatically send them a review request X number of days afterwards. It can even send them a reminder if they didn’t respond to the first request.
Monitor Reviews and Respond
Responding to reviews is important (both good and bad ones) and it can build up your reputation as a positive, responsive firm to do business with. Additionally, Google likes to see their reviews getting responses and they take everything into consideration when ranking you organically.
Rather than have to go to every review site to check for reviews and comment back, use a platform that will alert you to new reviews and make it simple for you to reply, allowing you to be responsive, without taking up a big chunk of your time.
Treat Your Reviews Like Gold & You’ll Be Rewarded
Customer reviews are valuable assets that keep giving back to you week after week, month after month, and year after year. Put forth a little time and effort to nurture them and you’ll reap the rewards in your bottom line.
What’s one of your favorite reviews you’ve ever received from a customer? Share in the comments!