For business to consumer (B2C) organizations, it’s especially important to know that you’re providing a great experience for your customers with every interaction. A good customer experience can be what ensures repeat business, encourages word-of-mouth-referrals and builds and maintains your brand’s reputation. In conjunction with other tactics, encouraging customers to review your business online, responding to those reviews and taking action on them can greatly enhance your digital presence and bolster your bottom line.

Because leveraging our clients’ reviews as a part of their overall strategy has garnered overwhelmingly positive results, we believe all B2C organizations should make online reviews a priority. Here’s why, and how you can get started today.

Getting online reviews: Building your online reputation

The most obvious benefit of online reviews is that if positive, they will work to get you more business. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That’s more than 8 out of 10 people who may choose your business just because of an online review.

Google uses reviews in its search engine results page (SERP) ranking algorithm to determine where a local business appears. The more reviews you can capture and the more positive those reviews are, the higher your business will organically rank against competitors if all else is relatively equal.

While positive reviews can attract new customers and help your website perform better, less than positive reviews can also offer a benefit — operational insight. A negative review may bring to your attention a weak point in your sales or customer service process. Online reviews allow you to become aware of these issues so that you are able to resolve them and strengthen your business.

Responding to online reviews: Maintaining your online reputation

When companies responds to online reviews, they are showing they genuinely care about the customers they serve. Responding to a positive review gives your company a chance to say thank you for the customer’s support. Responding to a negative review gives you an opportunity to extend an apology, issue a coupon or refund, and explain publicly how the customer’s issue will be handled. This type of communication illustrates transparency and demonstrates a company’s commitment to their patrons.

Getting started: It’s easier than you think

Begin collecting online reviews in a few simple steps:

  • Set up a Google My Business page and a Facebook page with the “reviews” tab enabled.
  • Claim your business in major national and local business directory listings.
  • Invest in a third-party program that will simplify the review solicitation, collection and management process.
  • Assign someone to actively review and respond to reviews.
  • Watch your online reputation grow and prosper!

To learn more about the importance of reviews and how to implement a successful digital strategy, contact us.