Online Shoppers Use Reviews to Make Buying Decisions
Whether they are choosing a vacuum cleaner, a lawnmower, or a restaurant, shoppers turn to online sources like Yelp, Google, or product reviews on Amazon to inform themselves about how other purchasers have responded to a product or service. That’s a major reason why online reviews are important for your business.
Social Proof Drives Choices
People are more likely to buy something or go somewhere if others show that they approve of the choice. The volunteered opinions of strangers even carry more weight than the impressions from friends and family. People are more likely to select a positively reviewed contractor for a remodeling job, and they’re more likely to rent a house from a landlord with satisfied tenants who were willing to share their opinions.
Moreover, the “social” aspect of online reviews provides businesses a chance to participate in conversations and engage with happy clients. Highly satisfactory interactions result in positive reviews in multiple places on the internet, as happy consumers tend to repeat their praise over several review and social media sites. This, in turn, can improve a business’s online ranking. Search engines will pick up on multiple positive reviews, driving businesses higher in search results and making them more visible when prospective customers search online. Online reviews are important because they build online visibility.
Reviews Build Trust
Trustworthiness is desirable in any business. People think there is something fishy about a business with no reviews—why hasn’t anyone said something nice about this business? If reviews exist, but they are primarily negative, that can also hurt a business or practice.
Ask for Reviews
Professionals and businesses won’t get reviews if they don’t ask for them. Consumers are used to being asked to leave a review of their experience with a business. They understand why businesses ask, because they overwhelmingly use online reviews to make buying decisions. When a client or customer supplies a review, be sure to thank them for their input. Demonstrating a willingness to respond to opinions about customer experiences with the business builds relationships and encourages future positive reviews.