No matter what your business does, whether you’re running it alone or with partners, and regardless of how well you’re doing – it’s essential to understand why consumer reviews and opinions of your services are absolutely crucial to the running of your work.
If you’re not paying attention to what people are saying about your products or the way you run things, you could be ignoring chances to expand your services and reach new audiences. Here are a number of ways in which online reviews are essential to the well-being of your business.
This one is simple – the internet has grown to become an essential platform for consumers to share their experiences, good and bad – and a good business, if it’s not responding directly, is always listening. While you should have a complaints resolution procedure in place should a customer wish to dispute with you, it’s good practice to look for trends in what your users or buyers are saying. If it’s good, play on those strengths. If it’s bad, respond to those concerns and look for a correlation in what people say – doing so could help make or break a critical area of your business model or long-term plan.
The more reviews you get, the more likely it is that you’ll ascend search engine rankings. This can work both positively and negatively, but the science behind this is basic – customer reviews will connect a whole host of keywords to your product which will allow for more people to find you and your services via internet searches. Of course, it’s just as well to tie in our previous advice relating to handling good and bad feedback – as this could work out badly for you if searchers are mainly finding negative reviews.
By reviewing your services positively – which you hope all your reviewers will do – your customers are in fact offering promoting and marketing your services for free! By encouraging reviews of your content, you’re not only giving your consumers a voice, but in turn, you’re also delegating advertising of your product through a very popular channel. People love reviews – reading them, writing them, venting and praising – it can be seen that one opinion will often convince others to share theirs. As it’s quick and easy to do, you’ll find that customers love voicing their opinions online.
No matter the size of your business, you will have targets. Whether these are formalised as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), or if you have more general goals in mind (i.e. financial turnover, increasing customer base), forming correlations from reviews that people leave for your services online can help you get a great understanding of where your business is heading. You may well invest time and money in analysing such figures; however, to get as good a picture of where you’re going right and/or wrong with your products and customer care, you simply need to go look for what your customers are saying.
Our last point is the most important one. People rely on the opinions of others in order to better understand whether they are likely to be taking a risk in buying products and services – reviews are as important to fellow customers as they are to your business. Providing you’re offering a great service and products to the public, you’ll continue to get glowing reviews which will not only improve your visibility on the internet, but will also continue to drive new customers to your cause.