Word of mouth has always been one of the most powerful marketing channels, but it’s never been as easy for business owners to listen in as it is today. With online customer reviews and ratings, you can be part of the conversation and gain insights into your company’s reputation in the marketplace.
Why customer ratings and reviews matter.
These are just a few of the reasons every business owner should pay attention to what customers are saying online:
- Third-party credibility. Customers trust other customers’ opinions more than they trust sales or marketing messages.
- Influence on decision-making. If a potential customer has learned what they need to know about your service or product but are still undecided, reviews from previous customers can be the determining factor in a final decision. Remember, however, that this works both ways — positive reviews can result in a sale, while negative reviews can turn new business away.
- Opportunities to get involved. If a customer posts a negative review, you can directly address or solve the problem publicly. Demonstrating that you’re responsive and care about your customers’ experiences can turn a negative into a long-lasting positive.
- Testimonials you can use. When a customer posts a good review, consider featuring a quote from it on your website to help convince others to do business with you. if you earn a number of positive reviews, you can add a page to your website just for testimonials.
- Find out what is and isn’t working. Customers will occasionally have a less-than-ideal experience despite your best efforts. But if you see the same complaint brought up by more than one customer, it’s an excellent opportunity for you to assess what’s not working, make it right, and make your business more valuable to your customers.
Help customers rate and review your business.
Review sites such as Yelp for restaurants, Angie’s List for contractors and TripAdvisor for vacation destinations are heavily relied upon for making product- and service-buying decisions. Monitoring such sites for reviews of your own business should be part of your marketing efforts, but there are other ways to take part in the customer review process. One is to offer your customers the ability to post reviews and rate your company right on your company’s website. It’s a great indicator that you want to hear and learn from your customers.
Even if you don’t add customer review functionality to your existing website, inviting customer reviews is easy for Yellow Pages United subscribers who have a BizYellow business web page. Whether potential customers are visiting your BizYellow page on their desktop computers or mobile devices, they can easily view or write a review and rate your business (from one to five stars) with just one click. Having reviews readily accessible on your BizYellow mobile-friendly page is especially important if your customers are local, because they may be minutes away from both a decision and your door.