The Importance of Online Reviews for Businesses
Having easy access to the internet has changed the way users engage online and part of it is how users are free to give comments, feedback, and reviews to businesses, big or small, such as restaurants, clinics, professional services, retail clothing stores, and more.
Let’s look at a few key statistics conducted by BrightLocal:
- From 81% in 2019, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020.
- Consumers are most likely to read comments or reviews from these industries: Restaurants, Hotels, Medical, Automotive, and Clothing stores.
- Vital factors in a review are ratings, authenticity, recency, sentiment, and quantity.
- 20% of consumers are expecting a response from the brand, within a day when they write a review.
Reviews provide multiple benefits as well as disadvantages. Understanding the need for online reviews enables you to optimize your website, content, and customer experience.
The Importance of Online Reviews to Businesses in Hong Kong
Search Engines give preference to well-reviewed Businesses
When deciding what to buy, most users do their research first using search engines (e.g. Google and Bing). With Google, reviews and rating factors when determining the position of businesses in local searches. According to the company, pages with reviews that include a keyword or location have a higher ranking on the local 3-pack.
Reviews give your Brand Credibility
Reviews are powerful and they would help your brand develop an online identity. It’s not just the number of reviews but also the quality of reviews that indicate the legitimacy and reliability of your business, no matter the size.
Users or online shoppers won’t be dealing with your business if you have low ratings. Having a highly positive digital footprint will not only increase your online traffic but also help in driving more sales. Think of it as similar to personal recommendations from friends or family, that’s why you must always provide good service.
Reviews Influence Purchasing Decisions
For example, when you want to go to a restaurant near you and you go on Yelp, Open Rice, or other search engines to look for some suggestions, as a consumer, you read at all the reviews first before you make decisions. That in itself shows how impactful a review is.
Going back to the statistics provided by BrightLocal, “only 48% of consumers would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars”. This rate already says a lot about the importance of online reviews on businesses. Consumers nowadays trust what they read online especially when they can relate to it, no matter who provided the review.
Improved Customer Experience
Reviews are a great way to gather some insights about your clients or consumers. It enables you to understand what they truly want or need. Some users post reviews if they encounter any issues with your service, and by promptly responding to the feedback, you’ll be able to improve customer service and resolve problems efficiently which then creates a positive customer experience.
Users distrust business if they read negative reviews or has low ratings or stars. However, you can improve it by responding to these reviews and show how good your customer service is and how you deal with this type of feedback.
How to get Online Reviews from Customers
Getting reviews requires a lot of work because not many people are willing to give their opinions or feedback. However, there are a few strategies that can help you acquire reviews:
Ask: It can be quite intimidating to ask for reviews in person, but it is proven to be effective. When you see that your customer or client had a great experience with your brand, grab that opportunity to approach them and ask to write a review.
While not every B2C or B2B interactions are in person, you can always ask for reviews via crafting a personalized email explaining how you would appreciate them taking the time to leave feedback. Ask them about their experience and approach the topic of leaving an online review.
Train your team: Let them understand the value of reviews for the business and teach them the best practices when asking clients for feedback.
Reward your customers: Offer an incentive for customers leaving a review. It can be a coupon, or a discount the next time they visit your store. It’s a good way to show your appreciation for their business. However, be mindful that you can’t buy reviews, explain how you seek honest reviews in exchange for the incentive.
Make the steps easy: Nobody wants to go through a lot of processes just to leave a review, make the steps easy and clear, provide content guiding them to where they can provide their feedback.
Online reviews are similar to word-of-mouth marketing that cannot be underestimated. If you provide a customer experience that exceeds expectations, rest assured that you will receive a positive review. Feedbacks, testimonials, or reviews are here to stay, and they will continue to play a vital role in drawing new customers.
Need assistance in gathering positive reviews? Contact us today!