The Importance of Google Reviews
Reviews Build Brand Awareness
The reputation of a business can make the difference between whether it can maintain longevity and success over its lifetime or whether it fails to gain enough traction to become viable. To grow after those initial stages of set-up, a business will need to continually expand its customer base. Google reviews can help with this by giving initial insight into the quality of service offered by the new venture.
When your business has just begun trading or has an online presence for the first time, encourage happy customers to leave you positive reviews to get your reviews profile off to the best possible start. Google is a trusted platform, so if you can initially achieve a high standing in Google reviews for your new business, this will set you in good stead for the future. From the solid base of these initial reviews, you can then build brand awareness and your reputation.
Understand Customer Opinion
As you build up Google reviews, you will gain an understanding of what customers think of your services or products. This first-hand feedback can be a great source of information in terms of things that your business is doing right and things that it may need to improve on.
Feedback of this kind can prove very valuable for both new and existing businesses. Perhaps there is a very minor tweak needed that you can address almost immediately, or a more effective process that you can implement. Good or bad, reviews can be useful for identifying opportunities for your business in order to continually improve.
Increase Traffic to Site
Having a number of 5-star Google reviews may mean that when potential customers see them they are more encouraged to click through to your website, which potentially will increase sales. It stands to reason that when faced with two options within the local Google search results, the first with numerous reviews that average between four and five stars and a second with only a handful of reviews that average between two and four stars and include a significant percentage of one-star reviews with worrying comments attached, the average prospective customer would choose the higher-rated provider as it would seem like the safer bet.
Maintaining both the quantity and the quality of reviews for your business will offer your potential customers reassurance of the service they may get if choosing your business.
Reviews have the power to influence new customers; and it may be that a single great review that provides important details of the service you offer can convert a potential customer into a paying client. How many times have you yourself investigated the reviews of a service provider before biting the bullet and going ahead with the purchase?
Reviews can definitely make or break a sale, so ensure that your customers are always swayed by good reviews by providing and (if you have employees) overseeing a consistently excellent standard of service. To increase your Google reviews, you could even make soliciting them part of your process of service and aftercare, by following up with each customer by asking for their feedback and kindly asking them if they wouldn’t mind leaving your business a review. If you sell online, this entire process can be automated by email. If you sell over the phone or in person, see if you can make contact in a way that’s appropriate to the individual customer to the same effect.
Reviews Build Trust
Reviews can also establish a great deal of trust; and the more positive reviews your business has, the more likely new potential customers are to consider using your services. If they can see that other people have had a positive experience using your services, they will feel far more confident about doing so themselves, thanks to expecting a similar level of service to that experienced by those who have left good reviews.
With so much open-market competition both within and beyond each local area nowadays, whatever the service being offered, brand trust is crucial in keeping existing customers and gaining new ones. If you are in a crowded industry, why not make the combination of quality and excellence in customer service your unique selling point in order to stand out from the crowd in a competitive marketplace and retain the confidence of customers old and new?
Maintain Customer Service
Offering customers the option to leave a freely written review, whether positive or negative, solidifies a confidence in your brand. Although you could receive a negative review from time to time and some customers are exceptionally hard to please, you should aim to be confident enough in the standard of your services before you begin for that to be unlikely.
Reviews are another way in which customers can interact with your business, and they offer the chance for the business to respond. Responding to a good review by thanking the customer will only make your service more memorable; and responding to and resolving a query from a not-so-good review will also mean that the customer is left more satisfied rather than unsatisfied. Where you do receive a negative review, you should take the opportunity to engage with the disgruntled customer by responding and seeing if you are able to rectify the issue and convert an unhappy customer who left a bad review into a happier one with the result that the overall effect is at least neutral and shows off to potential customers in the best possible light your tireless dedication to customer service.
Polite, timely and helpful responses contribute to the maintenance of a high level of customer service for your business, and they will also be visible to other customers and potential customers, showing that your business goes the extra mile in the service it offers.
With so many benefits from Google reviews, encouraging customers to add them and taking action to address any issues highlighted in less positive reviews is becoming even more important. Whatever your business sector, we recommend making them a priority to ensure you don't miss out.