What's more valuable to your business - a customer who purchases $50 worth of product, or the positive review left online by a customer?
With the power of word-of-mouth amplified by the web, and the impact customers can have on a business by leaving reviews, there's significant value in customer reviews. Both positive and negative have the potential to dramatically impact your business.
According to a study from Dimensional Research and Zendesk, 90% of customers surveyed claimed that positive reviews influenced their buying decisions. A whopping 86% said their buying experience was influenced by negative reviews.
Because reviews are typically hosted on third-party channels like Yelp, Facebook, and Google, it might feel like there's little you can do with reviews outside of providing a response.
Having a strategy for that is important, because if you're not responding appropriately, then you could permanently cripple your business.
The famous Amy's Baking Company meltdown is a prime example of this - and likely to end up in marketing textbooks someday.
Don't just settle with being reactive toward reviews, though.
"More often, feedback is triaged to manage customer complaints rather than used for true learning and business improvement," says Sean Ellis, founder of GrowthHackers. "The most successful companies have a process for collecting, parsing, and using customer feedback to improve their business."
Here are some ways I recommend approaching reviews - both positive and negative - to have a measurable (positive) impact on your business.
1. Reviews in Organic Search
A simple search query can make or break your business - and customers are searching every day. When you type in "BRANDNAME Reviews," what kind of results do you see for your business?
Hopefully the majority of what comes back is largely positive. The results could be peppered with reviews from various channels, including local business listings with Google, review sites, consumer reporting sites, and more.
You can't really control those other pages, but remember that Google is only returning relevant results. Like any other content on the web, you can control what gets displayed by creating content pages that take up some of that Page 1 real estate.
I recommend tactics like creating a testimonial page on your website optimized for "Brand Reviews." I also recommend: