Nov. 14, 2016
Why Small Businesses Need Customer Reviews
More than ever before consumers are relying on the reviews and experiences of others before taking the plunge and spending their hard earned money. What they are looking for is reassurance. Reassurance that they are making the right decision and reassurance that the experience they are going to have is going to be a good one.
Traditionally small businesses have relied heavily on customers talking positively about them in order to drive customers to their doors. This word of mouth marketing works perfectly on a small scale, but is rather limited in its range and is difficult to monitor or quantify.
Online reviews are the modern extension of this referral process, but many small business owners are unsure of the best way to engage with customers online.
The benefits however are clear. In a survey of 6000 consumers in the US, by internet marketing firm Yodle, research concluded that up to 76% of consumers are actively on the lookout for online reviews, 60% appreciate the ability to leave feedback and 36% said that that reviews help to set a business apart from the competition.
Don’t miss out
Why then do so few small businesses encourage customers to leave feedback and neglect this golden marketing opportunity?
Although the figure is rising, it is estimated that as little as 7% of customers have been asked to write a review for a local business, when 89% would happily provide feedback of a positive experience, if only they were asked.
The benefits to small business are clear and a proactive approach is required to reap the rewards.
Timing is everything
The best time to ask for feedback is when the customer is smiling. When the customer is happy and the positive experience is fresh in their mind, they are more likely to respond to a feedback request and provide a review or testimonial.
Turning negative into positive
Don’t be put off by the prospect of the occasional negative review. Although you may not like the feedback, it provides an opportunity to re-engage with the customer and quickly put to bed any potential issues.
In addition, most consumers are unphased by a few negative reviews and actually expect to see them. In fact, as long as the negatives are outnumbered by the positive, they will have little impact and will add balance and authenticity to your online presence.
Make it quick
The process needs to be quick and simple for both you and the customer. Nobody wants to spend hours requesting or indeed writing reviews, so a simple, straightforward email (69% of customers prefer contact by email) ensures greater response rates, generating more feedback and reviews.
Share the Love
Don’t just collect the feedback and keep it to yourself. To get the most from your reviews and testimonials you need to publish them, preferably on every page of your site. This is where they can work the hardest and have the most influence on your prospective customers.
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Testimobox is the only online reviews site designed specifically for small business. It provides a simple straightforward platform to get you collecting and publishing feedback and testimonials in minutes.