Did you know that as many as 98% of Australians spend time reading online customer reviews before purchasing from a company? That is a significant percentage that, as a business, cannot be ignored. Whether you are a new or established brand, encouraging as many positive customer reviews as possible is vital in your success yet can often be neglected when piecing together a marketing strategy.

Everything You Need To Know About Customer Reviews

Even if you have been in your industry for years, the power of the internet means that regardless of how reputable you may be, customers will always be seeking reassurance before investing their money into your brand. And, there is no better way to do this than through the opinions of those who have experienced your business first-hand.

Customer reviews are ever so important in aiding buying decisions, and what many businesses do not consider is that it is possible to control the feedback you receive – it just a little extra planning and proactiveness. So to begin your journey to building a high reputation naturally online, we have put together a guide on everything you need to know about customer reviews.

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The Importance Of Customer Reviews

Regardless of your industry or the scale of your business, reviews can have an immense impact on how your clients view your brand. But it is really worth spending that extra time focusing on encouraging feedback? The answer is always yes, and here are just some of the excellent benefits of customer reviews.

Ideal For Building Trust

The most obvious benefit of customer reviews is the credibility they give your brand. Much like you would ask your friends, family members or colleagues for recommendations, buyers want to understand what they can expect from a company through honest opinions. If you have a host of fantastic reviews, this is guaranteed to build trust and, therefore, drive more sales and conversions.

Allows You To Gain Visibility

If you are using SEO services to your advantage, you will be pleased to know that online reviews can help towards improving your search rankings. Online reviews and SEO have been closely linked for quite some time and are a factor that search engines consider when determining your position. Why? Because search engines look into your backlinks, including review sites, and should they find that these are positive, it reassures them that your services or products are successfully meeting the needs of their users. Ultimately, search engines want to push only the best of the best, so with a number of excellent reviews, you are likely to find that your ranking is boosted by a few positions.

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Encourages Quicker Buying Decisions

We are all guilty of being influenced by others, particularly when it comes to online shopping. Take Amazon, for example; each time you search for an item, you will be given hundreds of products to choose from, so how do you choose which one to order? The answer is almost always to track down those with the highest star rating and most positive reviews. The same concept applies to your business online – the more feedback you have, the quicker your potential clients will make their decision, and the less time they will spend considering alternative companies.

Helps To Improve Customer Service

Reviews allow you to gauge an overall idea of your customer satisfaction rate, offering insightful information on any changes that would prove beneficial. Particularly for new businesses, feedback can also help you to overcome any initial hurdles. Many start-up companies opt for sending an online questionnaire to past clients, asking them a set of questions about their experience. As these will be sent directly back to you and not public, any constructive criticism can be taken on board, and changes can be made without impacting your reputation.

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How To Respond To Google Reviews & Other Channels

Reviews offer customers the power to tell the world their side of the story, and while we would always like this to be positive, it may not always be the case. Regardless of whether your customer has left a positive or negative review, it is essential to hold the same level of respect, even if you are frustrated at their comments (and you have every right to be!).

Good reviews are easy to respond to, and this will often come naturally, but bad reviews can be slightly trickier. The goal is to encourage your customer to trust your brand one more time, giving you the opportunity to change their opinion of your business. You should also try to avoid further communication with the customer on a publicly visible platform and instead ask them to contact you directly to discuss further.

In some instances, you may be faced with a fake review, which will need to be dealt with slightly differently. On all review platforms, even those on social media, you are able to attempt to get the feedback removed by reporting the issue. This can be a long process as it is challenging to prove your case, so in the meantime, we would also recommend responding to the review, again, in a calm and friendly manner.
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With the above in mind, here are some examples of how to respond to Google reviews and those left on other platforms, depending on the nature of the feedback:

How To Respond To A Positive Review

Thank you so much for your excellent review! Customer satisfaction is always our main priority, and we really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

How To Respond To A Negative Review

Thank you for your review and for bringing this issue to our attention. We are sorry that you are unhappy with your experience with us, and we would greatly appreciate the opportunity to make this right.

If you are open to discussing this further, please contact [name] at [email address] or call us on [phone number], and we can resolve the issue promptly. We look forward to speaking with you.

How To Respond To A Fake Review

Thank you for your review, we take the feedback of our customers very seriously. Unfortunately, we do not have any record of your name or customer experience on our system, and we believe that you may have the wrong company.

We would like to investigate this issue further. Please contact [name] at [email address] or call us on [phone number] as soon as possible so we can resolve the issue immediately.

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How To Get Customer Testimonials

Knowing how to get customer testimonials without feeling as if you are bothering your client can be tricky, but there are a number of ways that you can encourage customers to share their experience with your brand. In most cases, if a customer has felt happy with the product or service that they have received, they would be more than happy to share their feedback online – they must just need a little push. It’s in our human nature to be more likely to make our voice heard if we are unhappy but not so much if we are pleased with our experience with a company. So, to get your reviews rolling in, here are some handy strategies:

  • Follow-Up Emails – Whether you already have an email marketing strategy or not, sending your client’s follow-up emails is a great way to ask them to leave a review. Don’t forget to include direct links to your review platforms.
  • Prompts After Transactions – If you have an online store, consider including a short questionnaire on your confirmation page. Be sure to include a tick box asking the client if they give permission for this feedback to be used.
  • Offer Incentives – From exclusive discount codes to vouchers, there is a number of great incentives that you can offer clients who leave a review on one of your platforms.
  • Testimonials Page – It is always beneficial to have a testimonial page on your website, but we also recommend including a section for clients who want to leave a review through your website.

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Where Should Testimonials Go On A Website?

As mentioned above, a testimonials page will always work towards your advantage but aside from this, where should testimonials go on a website? The answer will slightly differ based on the nature of your business; however, one place to begin should always be the homepage.

Your homepage is what creates the first impression of your brand, so along with including your key selling points, an introduction and high-quality imagery, testimonials will also be key. By handpicking your best reviews and placing these clearly on your homepage, you will give potential customers the opportunity to understand your brand on a more personal level, even if this is the only page they look through. If you are a B2B company that works with well-known brands, consider accompanying reviews with the company logo to grab the users attention.

Along with the homepage, it is also hugely beneficial to place reviews on each of your service or product pages. Not only will this play a vital role in your customers buying decision, but if you have optimised these with on-page SEO, it will also help your keyword ranking. On landing pages, placing your testimonial section nearby by a call-to-action is a handy hack to prompt your users to make a conversion.

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Do Video Testimonials Work?

Showcasing the positive experience of clients through a video has become an increasingly popular marketing technique, but do video testimonials actually work? The short answer is yes, and there is plenty of research to prove their benefits.

According to a study, on social media alone, 39% of users are more likely to comment on a video as opposed to a text, along with 56% of users who said they would be more likely to like a video post. Not only this, but 59% of users also commented that they are more likely to watch a video if it has been interacted with by someone they know. This shows that even if you were only to share video testimonials through your social media advertising channels, you would begin to increase your brand exposure and, therefore, encourage leads.

Along with spreading the word about your brand, video testimonials are also able to create a deeper, more emotional connection with your customers, making the same impression as a personal recommendation would. It shows that you have successfully transformed your customers into brand advocates, and what better way to showcase a positive customer experience!

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Generate Leads, Build Trust & Maximise Brand Exposure Through Reviews!

Regardless of the digital marketing services you choose, encouraging reviews on all of your channels should always be a priority, as this will help to boost your online exposure across the board. Along with aiding buying decision and encouraging leads, online reviews will also help towards maximising your SEO efforts, helping you to secure a higher position on search engines. By implementing the ideas mentioned above and taking a proactive approach to encouraging reviews, you will most definitely begin to see them appear!