In this age of Internet transparency, consumers have more options than ever before. Today's consumer does more research and, as such, is more well-informed than ever before making a buying decision. What this means is that it's increasingly difficult for your business to make an impression. In a sea of choices, what is it that makes your company stand out? Sure, you may have a good product or service, but how is a passing consumer to distinguish what you offer from the hundreds of other products and services that may appear to be just as good?
Reviews come from impartial sources who have tried what your company/business offers and can recommend it to others based on direct experience. These reviews are invaluable to you as a business owner, because they represent a trustworthy source of information about whether your products or services are worth their attention and money.
Of course the concern with reviews is that no matter how good a job you are doing, at some point someone may be unhappy and post a negative review. This can actually work in your favor, as a negative review can show you where improvements can be made, and can help you adjust accordingly. In addition, it can look a little suspicious if all reviews are positive - a range of reviews that are at least mostly positive will look more organic and less likely to make readers doubtful. You are also able to post a response to a negative review which can shine a positive light on how you handle customer complaints.
In addition, reviews help you from an SEO standing, and can improve your Google ranking and help drive traffic to your site. Many people who leave reviews or read reviews often share their discoveries with their social media networks. This increase in exposure amounts to free advertising for you, and increased traffic helps lead to increased sales.
Encouraging your customers to write reviews about your company is incredibly helpful for all involved. It helps draw attention to your business, helps you understand where you're going right as well as how you can improve, and provides a valuable resource for those who may be looking for the product or service your company offers. In short, it's a win-win situation, and putting a review system in place that allows customers to write reviews about your business should be an important part of your overall online marketing strategy.
Do you feature reviews on your website? Do you monitor review sites like Google, Angie’s List, & Yelp to see what people are saying about your business?