Businesses cannot ignore the importance of customer reviews. First-hand accounts of product and service experiences help promote sales and brand loyalty. Unfortunately, many companies do not realize gaining reviews is about cultivating customer interactions. Many companies believe reviews are organic and occur in a vacuum without prompting or encouragement. However, reviews can and should become part of any marketing effort.

Where To Get Reviews for Your Business

About 90% of consumers read reviews before ever making a purchase. Still, Understanding the significance of reviews is only part of the battle. A business must understand where customers go for reviews. The best places for a review include local listings, company social media, industry, and product-specific sites.

1. Google Business

All companies should maintain a Google Business Profile. The profile listing ensures a business shows up on Google Maps and local search results. When a company creates a profile, customers can provide reviews, which show as a star rating on the platform. Regardless of physical location, all businesses should have a Google profile for visibility and marketing strategy.

2. Social Media

Social media may not represent the organic goldmine it once did, but it is still vital to engagement. Social networks allow businesses to interact with consumers, from one-on-one conversations to promotions. The sites also provide a space for consumers to share praise and grievances, allowing companies to respond publicly.

3. Industry-Specific Review Sites

Google and social media are two crucial outlets for reviews, but they are not the only outlets. Industry-specific review sites can add to a company’s credibility and reputation. It is not uncommon for these sites to share Google rankings. Additionally, the more sites attached to a business, the more recognition it receives.

4. Product Review Sites

Product review sites carry more weight than other platforms. The reputation of a product review platform depends on accuracy; therefore, these sites verify purchases and reviews. Customers trust product review platforms over other sales platforms because of the integrity of the claims. One of the most trusted third-party review platforms is Trustpilot.

How To Encourage Reviews on Platforms

There are several methods to encourage customers to review a product or service. However, the best way to get customers to review products is to ask. Businesses often overcomplicate the process, tying it to promotions and incentives. While incentivizing can help, it can also degrade the honesty of the reviews.

How To Make the Most of Consumer Reviews

A company cannot allow reviews to occur in a vacuum. The business needs to promote and capitalize on positive reviews and lean into criticism. There are several ways to make the most of consumer reviews, including:

  •   Sharing positive reviews
  •   Responding to reviews
  •   Resolving criticism publicly

If a business receives a positive review on social media, it should share it with its followers. Also, incorporate third-party reviews into company websites and profiles.

Using reviews for engagement is another way to use reviews and review sites. A company can post a simple thank you or offer some advice, answer a question, etc.

Finally, businesses cannot shy away from criticism or ignore negative reviews. Idle action can result in severe consequences to professional reputation. A company should respond to negative complaints in a specific way:

  •   Use empathy to recognize challenges
  •   Provide a possible and fair solution
  •   Thank the person for being a customer
  •   Keep dialogue public

Businesses should capitalize on reviews, incorporating them into their marketing strategy. Digital marketing professionals understand how to use and encourage reviews for corporate benefits without undermining consumer value and input. Contact Sprout Media Lab online or at (800) 617-6975 for more information about marketing channels and efforts and learn how to improve your profit through digital efforts.