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Online Reviews – How to drive digital and real-life customers.

We all know Scots love a good moan – I think it’s the rain, we have the right to complain!

So, it’s no wonder that with the introduction of online reviews, businesses have seen a sizeable impact thanks to online reviews. In fact, research carried out by ClickZ, found that 90% of consumers say their purchase decisions have been influenced by reviews they have read about a brand or a product.

Online reviews are any reviews, comments or feedback about a product or service that are made online. This can include blogs, website testimonials, product reviews, comparison shopping site reviews, social media reviews or ‘chatter’, independent feedback review websites like Trustpilot and many more!

Since there are so many places for your brand to collect reviews, where should your business be listed? I recently spoke to the owner of a cafe who asked: “What can I do about all my bad reviews?”, to which I replied, “But all your reviews are great!” Of course, we were both looking at different places – Facebook vs Google. This just shows you that whether you like it or not you have to be on or at least aware of all review platforms because your customers will make the choice for you.

What’s the key to getting reviews? Tell your customers! If you provide a great service, then ask your customer to review their experience. Sell an amazing product, then follow up with the customer and ask them for a review. People often jump at the chance to review a bad experience, but don’t think about it if they’ve had a great one – so give them a nudge.

The key to stopping negative reviews? Give your customers the chance to complain before they leave your business! The food industry is especially good at this. For example, a waitress will most likely ask how your meal is when your eating and then again when getting the bill. This gives the diner the opportunity to complain before heading home to review online. This will not catch everyone but could stop some of the more serious reviews.

So how do online reviews convert into business?

Better Business Decisions and Operations
The feedback you receive from
customers is like gold dust. Why pay a fortune for a strategist to visit your
business and detail what you’re doing wrong when you can have real life,
paying customers telling you! So turn this valuable information into insight and make an action plan as to how you are going to change the bad stuff or do more of what people rave about.

A Better Brand Reputation
We all know news spreads fast. Like news, reviews are read, shared and
commented on, each time someone is interacting with your brand.      

DON’T shy away from bad reviews though. An answer does wonders at turning the negative on its head, and often if you don’t reply it turns into a nightmare of trolls, tagging their friends and sharing the review until they receive a response. Make sure you reply quickly and attempt to resolve issues on or offline.

Higher Traffic
Reviews on your website can increase that lovely search engine optimization work, wake up those google bots trolling your website, increase your Google
ranking and therefore click-through rates. People relate to real people so DON’T try and fake reviews – we’re not all stupid!

Free Marketing
Turn those great reviews into stories and those customers into advocates. A case study from a customer who has had a great experience can be a free marketing tool that you can use in a multitude of ways – from video to collateral.

Second Chances
Try not to give returns. Give your
business a second chance by offering vouchers or freebies. Customers may still not return, but a second chance can go a long way (and not hurt the bank as much as a return!)

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