The importance of customer reviews

Reputation is everything!

Online reviews are a vital part of your marketing strategy

Reviews give people the opportunity to share their experience with the businesses they use, as well as fellow consumers. This word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool and can help your business stand out from the crowd. Glowing reviews instil trust and gives a new customer the confidence to make a purchase.

A US-based survey (BrightLocal 2024 Review Survey) found:

  • 75% of consumers 'always' or 'regularly' read online reviews, while just 3% say they 'never' read online reviews.

  • Google remains the most-used website for reading online reviews at 81%, followed by Facebook at 45%.

  • Most consumers expect a business to have between 20-99 reviews (59%).

  • 27% of consumers say that reviews left in the past two weeks impact their decisions. Reviews left in the past six months to a year are less likely to impact their choices.

  • 88% of consumers would use a business that replies to all of its reviews, compared to just 47% who would use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews at all.

If you want an edge over your competitors, you need to ask for reviews

You’ll find many loyal customers are happy to sing your praises. Make sure to regularly ask for reviews in person, or by adding a link in your e-newsletters or correspondence.

Managing online reviews

Track your reviews

Register for services that can track and report your online reviews. Google Alerts will report mentions of your business, or any other term you select, in web pages, blogs, videos and discussions. Check your Facebook notifications and use Twitter Search to check for reviews daily. If you join a review site like Yelp or TripAdvisor, they'll let you know when you've been reviewed. Remember to check any industry-specific review sites like Builderscrack or Zomato.

Be responsive

Show customers you value their feedback by responding to their reviews. While you can simply like a review, we recommend taking the time to comment. Customers like to be acknowledged and you should do this whether the review was positive or negative.

Respond to customer complaints

In many cases, customers will give your business an opportunity to remedy an issue before they take things online. People get upset when they feel they are not being heard so make sure your business is easy to contact, your staff are trained to deal with customer complaints and your response is appropriate and prompt.

Negative reviews can be useful!

A mix of positive and negative reviews helps people trust the opinions they see. In fact, some will suspect reviews have been faked or censored if they don't see any negative ones. While a bad review makes the positive ones more believable, it should be the exception rather than the rule.

Managing negative reviews

Every business gets negative reviews. While you probably want them to be removed, most sites won’t do this. The best idea is to respond thoughtfully and promptly to a negative review, so others can see you're happy to fix any problems. Remain professional, admit your mistakes, correct inaccuracies and try to take the issue offline by asking for contact details or providing your own. Once the issue has been resolved, ask the person to update their review to reflect that you sorted the issue out for them.

If you can prove a Facebook review is written by a fake profile or the review doesn’t conform to Facebook Community Standards, you can report it. To contact Facebook about a review, select the drop down menu on the right hand side of the review, then select Report post.

Contact Buzz for help

When you get a negative review from a client or customer, it's easy to take it personally and lose your cool. Step away from the keyboard and get in touch. We can help you write a professional response to de-escalate and resolve the issue.