Small Businesses used to soley rely on word-of-mouth for business success. Today, the word-of-mouth concept is a bit different and has changed with the times.  Costumers still value what others have to say about businesses, yet they way that this information is relayed is new.

90% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing from a business, and 88% of these consumers trust these reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.

Here is some insight on why online reviews are so crucial for your success!

Reviews Are Crucial In Helping You Connect With Customers

One of the questions we get asked about all the time is why do reviews matter ? The answer is simple, reviews create credibility and in turn, increase sales.

Think about how you might find a new business.  You would  probably do a local search and would take note of the top three results that show up.  From these top three results, you would most likely choose to do business with whomever has the highest ranking. We refer to this defining factor in the decision making process as reputation management.  One of the most critical components to building a good reputation for your business is to get referrals from satisfied customers.

Asking for Reviews

Asking customers for reviews should be a simple process. You can gather reviews through customer feedback surveys or solicit through emails using the CRM system located within Netblaze. Netblaze will help you solicit and manage reviews for the following:

  • Google Places
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Trip Advisor

Aim to have between 5-10 reviews with an average score of 4.5 stars or higher.

Ratings

Keeping an overall eye on your rating is key, all the different sites give you a star rating, such as; three, four or five for example. You should look to be at 4.5 stars or higher.

What if you’re not at 4.5 or higher, how do you get higher? You simply need to get more reviews that are very high, i.e., 5 star reviews that will help you increase your ranking overall. Netblaze’s smart routing tool can help you optimize your reviews.

Respond To All Reviews – Good Or Bad

Customers like to be acknowledged. Whether they leave a positive or negative review for your business, it’s important to respond to them. There are some simple questions you can ask to get further insight:

  • How can we improve our services?
  • How likely are you to shop with us again?
  • Would you refer us to friends/family?

Netblaze Solicits Reviews Automatically

At Netblaze, we solicit reviews from your customers all the time for you.  We make sure that the reviews are spread out evenly over Yelp, Google Places, Trip Advisor and Facebook to make sure that your business ranks highly among your competitors.

Why We Pre-Qualify Reviews

At Netblaze we do something called “pre-qualifying” reviews, we send customers to a webpage that basically says “how was your experience?” where they can leave a thumbs up or thumbs down. If it’s thumbs down we don’t ask them to leave a review we simply ask them to tell us why and we send you an email so you can take care of that customer and turn their negative experience into a positive one.

If however, a customer give a thumbs up, we’ll send them to the right place to leave a review whether that’s Yelp, Google Places or Facebook, which we refer to as smart routing.

Smart Routing Your Customers

You need to constantly send your customers to the right place.  For example if you only have three reviews on Facebook and you have twenty on Yelp, when you ask for your next review  you want to send the cutomer to Facebook.

With software like Netblaze, that has smart routing built in, we always send customers to the right place whether it’s somewhere you need more reviews or somewhere where your ranking has dipped and you need a higher ranking.  All of this is done in the background, so you can focus on the daily tasks of running your business.

Our Thoughts…

Getting customers to leave reviews is crucial to building customer retention and increasing revenue.  Three ways that reviews can impact your business are:

  1. Helps with SEO
  2. Builds Credibility
  3. Helps Build a Connection with Customers

Further Reading…

Our next blog post talks about what it means to have your website labeled as “trusted”, read more here:  ‘How To Ensure Your Local Business Website Is Trusted’