If you’re running a small to medium business, you’re on the lookout for every growth strategy you can find. Growth means more clients, more sales, and more revenue. But are you overlooking one of the most important?
I’m talking about customer reviews. All too many businesses think of reviews as a subset of customer relations, but they should be the pillar of your growth strategy.
With the rise of social media, people can share their opinions and recommendations on everything, from the coffee in their local coffee shop to the help they received from a B2B software vendor. What’s more, other people read those opinions and feel convinced to trust your company or to travel past 3 dozen other coffee shops just to taste your coffee. This means reviews can be your best growth tool.
Here are 4 reasons why customer reviews are set to be your best growth tool in 2020 and beyond.
How do customer reviews improve your business growth?
Reviews cement customer relationships
Every successful business rests on the relationship with customers. People come back to a business because they feel a connection with it. Customers are willing to pay more for a product or service if they feel you care about them.
Reviews can cement that kind of relationship with your customers. It allows clients to reach out to you on an individual level and gives you an opportunity to communicate directly with each one. After all, everyone likes to feel heard, and that’s what you achieve when you reply to someone’s review. One example is the marketer Neil Patel. If you look at Neil Patel’s reviews, you’ll see that he replies to as many of them as possible. This makes his readers feel like he cares about them, and helps bring in paying clients for his marketing agency, Neil Patel Digital.
Google recently introduced a new service. When a business responds to a customer review on Google, the reviewer gets an automatic notification. This highlights those companies that reply to comments, and those who do not. You can be sure that the more responsive businesses will get more repeat customers.
Reviews are your best teacher
When you’re running a business, you know that there’s no such thing as standing still. Either you’re growing and improving, or you’re moving backwards. But it’s not always easy to know what to change and what to keep; unless you pay attention to your customer reviews.
Customer reviews are key to identifying areas of improvement in your business. Customer reviews contain nuggets of the kind of honest feedback you need in order to take your business in the right direction. As the pace of change in the business world keeps getting faster and faster, your business needs honest, constructive reviews to be able to keep up with the pack.
Reviews build trust
If you need a good plumber urgently, you’ll probably ask your neighbours who they can recommend. It’s the same with every service, both in your business life and your private life. Recommendations give us the reassurance that we can trust this company to deliver on their promises. Over 75% of American consumers follow online recommendations. Another study found that people are 270% more likely to buy a product with 5 reviews than one with none.
It’s all out of the fear of making a bad purchase decision. A pile of positive reviews on your website social media channels and blog pages show that plenty of people have tried and liked your product or service. That encourages other potential customers to jump on the bandwagon.
Reviews increase FOMO
FOMO (fear of missing out) can be a strong emotion and a powerful marketing tool. No one wants to feel that they’re missing out on the next big thing.
When there’s a buzz about your business on social media, it creates its own gravity. Everyone wants to join the conversation and share their opinions about your products or services. They don’t want to be left out of the conversation. A pile of customer reviews helps to position your business as popular and appealing, encouraging more new clients and customers to give you a try.
How to drive business growth with more reviews
Now that we’ve established how important reviews are for your business growth, it’s time to gather them in. Here are some quick tips on getting more reviews for your site:
- Ask for them. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you cast a glance at Neil Patel’s web presence, you’ll see that he asks for comments and feedback at the bottom of every blog post, after every YouTube video, and on every podcast page. Asking for reviews is the simplest way to get more.
- Respond to reviews. As well as the value of being perceived as responsive to feedback, people are more likely to leave a review if they see that you’ve replied to earlier reviews.
- Make the most of the reviews you get. Post the best customer reviews on your business homepage, and ask if you can include a customer headshot alongside each one. This increases social proof and raises trust in your business.
- Cast the net wide. Reach further by asking for reviews in follow-up emails to previous customers, on your social media pages, and even on your Google My Business profile. The more options you can offer for people to leave a review, the more you’re likely to get.
2020 could be the Year of the Customer Review
Given that customer reviews bring so many benefits, like building trust, strengthening your relationship with customers, highlighting areas for improvement, and stimulating FOMO, it’s no surprise that they are set to become even more important in 2020. Start working to bring in more customer reviews today, and drive business growth into the new decade.