When was the last time you bought something without reading a review? That’s what we thought: not lately… or ever. That’s why customer reviews matter in the purchasing journey! No matter your business, here’s why you absolutely positively need customer reviews to beat your competition and make more sales.

The Importance of Online Reviews

Your reviews matter so much to your customers. More than 90% of customers 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from a friend. And 93% of customers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.

How Do You Get Reviews?

You want some online reviews now, don’t you? So how do you go about getting them? It’s actually simple! Just ask. Almost 70% of customers will leave an online review just because you askSo, reach out via an email campaign, SMS marketing, direct mail, or personally via email or social media DMs. Politely ask customers to leave a review on your site, Google My Business profile, or another social media account. You’ll be surprised how many people happily do so!

What About Negative Reviews?

We know you want all of your customers, patients, and clients to have a fantastic experience. We want that for them too! But not every product or service fits the needs of every person. Shit will happen. But don’t let fear of a bad review keep you from asking for them. 

While a bad review may keep someone from becoming your customer, today’s consumers are savvy. They put everything in context. A bad review or two in a sea of many will not harm your brand. Especially if you respond to these reviews in public view! Always, ALWAYS respond to the good, bad, and ugly in a respectful and diplomatic way. If others see your brand’s responsiveness, they may let one bad review slide.

Using Online Reviews to Promote Your Business

Once you have reviews, you need to tout them strategically across your digital marketing efforts. Here are our recommendations.

Add Reviews to Your Website

Your website is your business’s home base. It’s where people go when they scope you out and make a purchase. You want your online reviews to boost your credibility while customers vet your products and services.

Build a page on your site where people can leave reviews. Ideally, under product descriptions if you have an e-commerce business. There are WordPress plug-ins, like Google Reviews Business Plugin, to help make review generation easy. You should also have a place to display reviews and testimonials for your business. The homepage is a smart choice for this as well as peppered throughout your website content, blog articles, and on your testimonials page, which every brand needs.

Charm School online reviews

Share Company Reviews on Social Media

Great client reviews are gold. You want to use them every way you can. That includes sharing them on social media. You can create a graphic out of the review to share with your social media audience or even just take a screenshot and post it. Any review that a customer shared publicly with you can be passed along for others to admire. You can also share user-generated content and tag the happy customer for some ego bait and humble brag.

Charm School social media review

Use Customer Reviews in Email Campaigns

Don’t be afraid to use publicly-gathered reviews or testimonials in your newsletter or promotional emails. Sure, you can talk all day about how great your products or services are, but reading that “Amy from Kansas loves our tacos so much that she has lunch here once a week” is much more appealing to a potential diner. You know, don’t toot your own horn, but definitely shine the spotlight on those who will on your behalf!

Place Reviews in Ads

Consider this… You have a loyal customer who sings your praises to anyone who will listen. Why not see if she’ll create a testimonial video for you. Then you can use that video on your website and in social media ads. Not sure she’ll agree to a video, grab her best quote about why she loves your business so much and put it in your ads. Hearing from a happy customer will help convince others to try your business.

Can you tell that we’re excited about the possibilities online reviews create for your business? We hope you are too! If you’re still not sure how you can properly gather and use reviews, Charm School would love to help you out.