Online reviews can do so much more than improve the perception of your business. They play an important part of every step of the customer journey from awareness to consideration to purchase. They can even have an impact after the transaction is completed. Businesses shouldn’t leave online reviews to chance. They should seek feedback from all customers to ensure their online reviews are representative of actual customer experience. Doing so will produce benefits that will reverberate throughout your entire business. In this post, we highlight four of the most important benefits that come from online review management.
1. Boost to Local SEO
The first step on the customer journey is awareness. Today’s customer goes straight to search engines to research businesses. If your business isn’t showing up in the map pack or on the first page of search results, you will likely lose out on that customer.
Businesses that take an active approach to online review management are more likely to rank higher in local search. This is because online reviews are a key component to Google’s local search algorithm. Google takes into account a business’ overall star rating, the total number of online reviews a business has, and how often those reviews are coming in.
2. Influence Purchase Decisions
A lot of times when consumers are conducting local searches they are doing so with the intent to purchase. According to a recent survey, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their mobile phone visit a store within a day of the search, and 18% of those consumers make a purchase.
Your business’ online rating will play a major factor in whether or not your business is the one that is visited. A recent survey found that only 13% of consumers would even consider a business with a one- or two-star rating. This is another scenario where online review management can help a business.
For the most part, your customers are happy and would be willing to leave a review for your business. However, unless prompted by an invitation, they might not think of leaving one. An online review management platform will solve this problem by creating a seamless process for inviting customers to review your business on important sites like Google, Facebook, and more.
3. Improve Trust & Loyalty
Online reviews also engender trust with potential consumers. In fact, a survey found that 68% of buyers say positive reviews make them trust a business more. That same survey showed that 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends.
What this means is that your customers’ word of mouth has an expanded reach. In the past, a customer’s recommendation would only travel as far as his or her limited network. Now, that same recommendation has the power to reach anyone with access to the internet and a desire to learn more about your business.
4. Impact Business Operations
Finally, feedback gained through online reviews can help improve your business. They enable you to identify and fix problems before they permeate your entire organization. Additionally, online reviews are an excellent resource for pinpointing employees who might be struggling and need a little extra help or to highlight employees who are excelling and give you the opportunity to reward them.
Online Review Management with Podium
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help you use text messages to invite all of your customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business build a strong online presence on the sites that matter most. This will, in turn, improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.