How Online Customer Reviews Can Help or Break Companies

woman holding magnetic card

In this day and age, legitimacy and reputability are two things often needed online. When one looks at it across the passage of time, we can see how far the internet has come. A decade or two ago, if a business were primarily online, it would be seen as dubious or untrustworthy. Now, an online presence is practically necessary to navigate the market.

A method consumers and customers use to check the legitimacy of an online brand or business is online reviews. Online customer reviews can truly make or break a company, and a scary truth is that you really can’t control what is said on the internet.

An online customer review is simply an appraisal of the product or service offered to the customer by a company or individual. Online customer reviews are essential and are often present on the opening pages of most websites for businesses. There are several forms of online customer reviews. We’ll be exploring the three primary reviews.

Three Primary Types of Reviews

  1. Direct Product Review – This is a review directly written on the website. For example, if you purchased a product on Amazon, you would leave a review for the product. That review would be available underneath the product description. It would be available to all prospective customers. Most people tend to read reviews before purchasing or selecting an item.
  1. Social Media Review – Now, this is the sort of review you have little to no control over. Anyone could mention your brand or product on any social media platform and talk about their experience with it. This type of review is extremely powerful because it often leads to a sort of bandwagon movement. For example, if one person gives a powerful review, people tend to internalize what has been said unconsciously and have that belief, whether positive or negative, concerning your product or service.
  1. Google/Yelp/Others – We’re all familiar with reviews available on these platforms. These reviews tend to be more tailored towards companies or businesses offering an experience or service. For example, shops, restaurants, parks, trails, etc. These reviews are often the first impression of your business.

Online customer reviews can be extremely helpful when utilized properly. Here are a few ways to improve your online reviews.

Three Ways to Improve Your Online Reviews

  1. Use Social Media Reviews – You don’t have to stick to the reviews you receive on your website; you can also advertise reviews you’ve gotten on social media platforms on your website. Always diversify the source of your reviews.
  1. Email Requests – If you have an email automation service, it’s time that you begin utilizing it properly. Send emails to customers who have purchased products and haven’t left reviews. You can offer an incentive, perhaps a discount code or a complimentary item with their next order.
  1. Provide a Layout – Most customers tend to leave one word or very short reviews. To get better reviews, provide a structure they can follow. For example, if you own a restaurant and have a review column on your website, you can structure your review in this way:
    • Wait Time
    • Waiter/Waitress Service
    • Quality of Food
    • Favorite Aspect
    • Other Remarks.

This provides a structure they can follow and also provides a more believable review.

It’s important to be patient when building an online presence. You may get tempted to purchase fake reviews or purchase fake stars, however, people tend to see through ingenuity. For more information on online customer reviews and why you should start using them, click here.

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