When building your online business, customer reviews should be one of the core focuses of your marketing presence. According to a 2023 survey, 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses, and 33% of those surveyed always read the reviews before purchasing a product.

To say that online customer reviews are essential would be an understatement. The fact is that businesses that have excellent (and plentiful) customer reviews attract more customers than those businesses that do not.

There continues to be no better way of building positive buzz around your brand than positive reviews.

The Importance of Reviews

The key word when it comes to online customer reviews is “trust”. Consumers want and need to trust that your business will deliver the highest quality service and products every time they order from you.

A 2019 study revealed that 81% of consumers need to be able to trust a brand before making a purchase.

And if that data isn’t enough to sway your opinion, just perform a Google search for any service in your local area. The top results are often a Google Map with businesses listed and their reviews posted underneath, and following that section is something like Yelp.

SEMRush’s report on the correlation between local businesses and SEO Rankings identified that companies that ranked number one on the map results frequently had the most reviews of their competitors.

The more reviews you have, the more customers will trust your brand.

Also, it’s important not to ignore that online reviews are a form of free advertising. Every review posted online by a customer is a form of advertising for your business. 

The more positive reviews you get, the more likely your business will appear prominently for customers searching on those websites.

Interacting Directly with Your Customers

Have you ever been to a restaurant when the manager comes over and asks you how everything is? The manager is simply attempting to keep you happy while also doing a quick check-in to see how the consumers feel about their meal/the restaurant/the ambiance.

As a local business owner, it’s not easy (and in many cases impossible) to gather customer’s thoughts while they’re actively using your product or service, which means reviews are one of the few ways to engage with your customers after purchase.

97% of review readers read businesses’ responses to reviews as part of their purchasing process.

Just be smart about how you respond to negative reviews. Maybe it was a misunderstanding or a one-time occurrence, but showing that you care enough by replying to the negative review is a great way to alleviate some of the bad feelings a disappointed customer may have.  By solving their issue, you can get them to change their review into a positive one.

Whatever you do, do not respond negatively back. It will not look good for you as a business owner.

Displaying Reviews

What if a consumer ends up on your site without seeing the Google or Yelp reviews? No problem; you only need to display those reviews on your website. Choose a place above the fold that allows all future customers to see how happy your current clients are.

Another way to use reviews is by producing case studies. If a particular customer is pleased with your results and products, they’ll be more likely to offer a testimonial to showcase just how great your products are.

Lastly, use video testimonials from actual customers using your products. There’s a reason why infomercials and The Home Shopping Network still exist- a customer base determines which company they will work with based on how positive current clients react.

But How Do I Get Reviews?

There’s a famous story about Zappos when it comes to reviews. After every purchase, they’d ask only two questions:

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with our service?
  2. If not a 10, what can we do to get you there?

That’s it. Simple and effective.

And guess what, it worked. Not only did Zappos get hundreds of thousands of positive reviews, but they also obtained valuable feedback that affected policies across the country.

Writing a review can feel daunting. When a friend asks your thoughts about a local chain’s pizza, your response is usually “Good. Cheesy, I like the crust.” Works fine for conversation, not so much for a review.

As a business owner, make giving reviews as simple and easy as possible. Fewer questions, more accessible options. Don’t make them log in to a different website all the time; include a QR code on your counter or receipts that lets consumers get right to where they need to be.

Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t receiving a ton of online reviews. Even if you love a product, restaurant, or company, how often have you gone online to review it?

The best way to get online reviews is to deliver the best customer service possible and ask all of your customers for a review every time. Going above and beyond for clients goes a long way toward building goodwill, and soon, word of mouth helps your business grow.

Need Help with Review Marketing? Call The Loop Marketing Today.

The  Loop Marketing’s review marketing services provide your business with the tools necessary to obtain and promote online customer reviews to help grow your business. If you’re looking for a fuller marketing experience, ask us about our Elevated Marketing services, a full-service offering that delivers the marketing strategies that best suit your business.

Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about how The Loop Marketing helps grow your business.

author avatar
Elijah Litscher
Elijah Litscher is an author, educator, entrepreneur, and marketing innovator with over 18 years of experience in digital marketing. He has traveled extensively as a professional speaker while educating thousands of business owners across the country in online marketing best practices. Elijah is committed to empowering small and medium-sized businesses to reach their full potential online as founder and Chief Digital Strategist at The Loop Marketing Inc. in Chicago, Illinois.