When it comes to generating more customers, nothing compares to the power of good, old-fashioned reviews.
Reviews can be a powerful tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Are you looking to generate more clients and customers for your business? Of course, you are! More customers mean more revenue, more word of mouth, more growth and, of course, more money! But it’s not always easy to get new customers to give your local business a shot, especially since there’s no shortage of competition out there.
One of the most effective ways to get new customers is word of mouth from your existing customers, and while that word of mouth used to be spread in person, these days, it largely happens online. That means that you need to find a way to make your business stand out online, and one of the best weapons in your arsenal for that is online reviews.
In many of our previous blogs, we’ve gone over how to get more reviews — which can be a challenge in itself — but today, we are going to be talking about how you can use those reviews once you get them to grow your business and gain more customers online.
Seven Tips for Using Online Reviews to Gain Customers
#1. Display reviews on your website to improve your conversion rate.
There will always be people that land on your website and immediately leave for some reason or another. Maybe you offer plumbing services but they were looking for an electrician. Maybe your website takes 15 minutes to load and they just don’t have the time or patience to wait around. Or maybe, after a few seconds of perusing your website, they’re simply not sure about whether or not they find your business trustworthy enough to entrust with their service.
While online reviews won’t help you branch out into electrical service or improve the amount of time it takes to load your website, they can give potential customers added peace of mind in knowing that your business is trustworthy and does great work. However, in order to reap those benefits, you’ll need to ensure that reviews are displayed prominently on your website and are one of the first things people see when they visit your business online.
#2. Use reviews to highlight your best features and services.
Reviews are more than just a sales tool online or something that drives traffic to your website. Reviews give you a unique look into what your customers are thinking and feeling, and they can give savvy business owners a whole lot of insight that they can use to their advantage. One of the best ways that you can use your reviews is by learning about the features, products or services your clients love the most — as well as what specifically they love about them.
For example, let’s say that you own a bakery. Your three-tiered chocolate cake with fudge might be your best-selling product, but your best-reviewed product is actually your caramel scones. If you’re just looking at the number, you may be tempted to throw all of your money into advertising for your best-selling product, but that won’t necessarily get you the best results or the most bang for your buck. By reading and paying attention to your online reviews, you can put more of your money to work for you by advertising for your most popular product, which, in this case, would be the caramel scones.
In addition to helping you decide which products and services are most popular and, therefore, most lucrative to advertise, you can also use reviews to guide your advertising for you. Say you are advertising for wedding photography. You may think that the key benefit of using your service is the artistic touch you offer, but every bride that has reviewed your business talks extensively about how comfortable and confident you made them feel. That is definitely the kind of feedback you can and should highlight in your marketing efforts.
#3. Use reviews to help your sales representatives have better conversations.
Just as reviews can guide the content you use in your marketing campaigns and help you highlight the features and benefits your customers love and are talking about, they can also help your sales representatives have better, more effective conversations with your customers. Whether your sales representatives are making cold calls or working through an issue with long-time customers, reviews can be a powerful tool.
Reviews can inform your sales representatives of why customers chose to buy a particular product or invest in a particular service, or why they chose to work with your business in the first place. They can help your sales representatives learn about how your product or service stacks up compared to the competition, as well as what concerns your customers may have about your product or service.
Even negative reviews can be beneficial when it comes to sales conversations because they can help your sales representatives learn about the most common objections your customers have and how to get around them. Negative reviews also give your sales team a jumping-off point to turn a bad experience around and earn a customer for life.
#4. Use reviews to create a case study.
Some reviews are made up of a word or two, giving you very little insight into what the customer actually thinks about your business, product or service. These reviews can be a benefit to your business’ overall rating on review platforms, but that’s about it. They don’t give your customers much information about working with you, and they don’t give you a lot of ammo to improve your sales or increase your client base.
On the flip side, some reviews are incredibly detailed and include lots of valuable information that you can use to better your business and to inform potential customers about what it’s like to work with you. One of the best things you can do with these kinds of reviews is to turn them into case studies that you can display on social media or your website. However, before you do, it never hurts to get permission from the customer.
Case studies are a lot like reviews, because they provide information about what a product or service can do for a customer, but they are a lot more detailed and informative, which is why you should utilize customer reviews to help you create them. Here’s what your case study should include:
- The client’s pain points — what led them to utilize your product or service in the first place?
- The client’s goal — what did they want to get out of utilizing your product or service?
- Your hypothesis — what do you expect to happen when your product or service is used?
- Your steps for tackling the issue — what strategy did you take to address the problem?
- The results — what kind of end results did using your product or service lead to? What have you learned, and how can you use it to help others?
Not every case study needs to include every single point, but the more detail you can add, the more effective your case study will be.
#5. Make email marketing more effective with reviews.
Email marketing is something that most companies use these days to stay in touch with their existing customers, and when you take advantage of the customer reviews you already have, you can make every email you send out even more effective.
Sending out marketing emails isn’t really a strategy for attracting new customers. After all, if you have their email address, there’s a good chance that they’ve utilized your services once or twice, and that means that you’ve already earned their trust — at least to an extent. That’s why, in this case, you want to use reviews not to gain new customers but to keep your existing customers!
Let’s face it, there’s a lot of competition out there, and just because you’ve earned someone’s business once, it doesn’t mean that you’ll continue to earn it. Sometimes, customers need to be reminded of why they chose to work with you and what you have to offer that differs from your competition. Email campaigns are great for this reason, and you can make yours even more effective by utilizing reviews.
Whether you’re announcing a new product or service, or you’re highlighting the benefits of using your business over your competition, reviews can give weight to any claims you’re making. You can even send out an email consisting solely of reviews with a title, like “What Our Customers are Saying About Us.”
#6. Make your business more visible with reviews.
One of the most impactful ways that reviews affect your business’ bottom line is by making your business more visible online. When someone searches a relevant keyword for your business — like “plumber near me” or “best wedding caterer” — it’s imperative that your business is listed at the top of the SERP (search engine results pages). The fact of the matter is that most people simply don’t look past the first few search results, let alone the first page, so if your business isn’t near the top, you may as well not exist.
The more reviews your business gets, the more you can leverage them to boost your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) performance. The fact of the matter is that Google and other search engines give a lot more weight to what your customers say about your business than what you say about your business. For example, you can say that your the most qualified roofer to turn to in all of Milwaukee until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t necessarily turn up in the SERP for the long-tail keyword, “qualified roofer in Milwaukee,” until your customers start saying it in their reviews.
In addition to making your claims more impactful online, reviews also affect your website’s SEO by giving you fresh, new content on a regular basis. If you’ve heard anything about SEO, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “content is king.” That’s because adding fresh content to your site on a regular basis is still the most important thing you can do from an SEO standpoint. But that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to write a new blog every day or post on social media; reviews are a powerful way to add content and help you show up at the top of search results.
#7. Use reviews to provide better products or services to meet your customers’ needs.
Improving your bottom line has a lot to do with how you advertise your business, but it also has a lot to do with how you run your business and the products and services you’re offering your customers on a daily basis. So far in this blog, we’ve talked a lot about how you can use reviews to improve your marketing strategies, but it’s just as important to know how you can use them to better meet your customers’ needs and provide them with the kind of service they want to talk about.
If you’re like most business owners, chances are, you don’t have time to be involved in every customer interaction or be there on every job. That’s just the reality of the situation, and it means that you’re not always in the know about what your customers are thinking or feeling. Reviews can give you a lot of insight into just that, and you can use the feedback you gain from them to provide better service in the future.
Not all feedback is going to be beneficial, and unfortunately, reviews can sometimes be incredibly petty. Some customers are going to be unhappy no matter what you do, but you can learn a lot of valuable information about your business if you look for common themes or complaints.
Take the first step toward making the most out of your reviews with Top Rated Local®.
Generating reviews is a key part of building a strong, impactful online reputation for your business, but it’s just one part of it. It’s also important to respond to those reviews and know how to utilize them effectively. One of the best things you can do to start managing and maintaining your online reputation is to get your business listed with Top Rated Local, which will give you the ability to respond to reviews, provide you with real-time notifications when you get reviews and so much more — all at no cost to you.
Becoming a Top Rated Local business is a no brainer, and it’s totally free to get listed! What are you waiting for? Get started today.