Online reviews have become vitally important for merchants and business owners who need to build and sustain a strong customer base. How important? A study conducted by the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business that even minor fluctuations in a merchant's online ratings can make a major impact.
The study found that 84% of customers reported that they would be willing to patronize a business with a five-star rating, while a slightly lower percentage—80%—would visit a business with a four-star rating. But when the rating was adjusted just one notch downward to three stars, customer interest dropped drastically. Only 14 percent of respondents were willing to do business with a company that had a three-star rating, and interest was nearly nonexistent in merchants with lower ratings. Tellingly, a business with no online reviews was judged as negatively as one with poor reviews.
So there's no doubt that positive online reviews are essential. How, then, can you encourage your clientele to post glowing ratings of your store? Online reviews aren't difficult to collect—in fact, we at ReviewInc have created an assortment of tools and strategies to help you do just that.
When a customer visits your store, it's best to try to get them to write a review on the spot. Asking them to write one immediately shows that you care about their opinion, and it also gives you an opportunity to deal at once with a displeased customer. The Pepperdine University study found that 69% percent of consumers who write a negative online review post it on only one Internet site. The majority of unhappy customers are just looking for an opportunity to venue. So, we give them a venue where they can express their displeasure directly to you, rather than the Internet.
For this reason, you may wish to install a kiosk where a patron can write a review, include a QR code on the receipt, or simply ask customers to provide feedback. In any event, our proprietary review platform provides an easy way to dash off a quick assessment of your company's services. Aside from collecting a review, you can customize the form to gather additional information valuable to your business, such as email addresses of your clientele or the specific customer representatives associated with certain transactions. ReviewInc's multilingual support means you can accommodate clients who do not speak English adequately.
If the customer's review is positive, you can invite them to post it on one or more review sites of your choosing. Reviews can be posted on general interest sites like the aforementioned, or if applicable you can have them placed on sites devoted to specific industries. Our list of review sites includes a wide variety of verticals, including restaurants, medical, auto, and travel, each of them focusing on a particular type of business.