Online customer reviews are becoming the new standard for measuring the credibility of a brand or business. No longer do the masses just go along with whatever marketers tell them about a product. As consumer budgets get tighter, purchasing decisions are coming down to the pros and cons voiced by actual buyers. This phenomenon is part of a consumer revolution spearheaded by the internet. Business owners who want to succeed in this new economy need to manage online reviews carefully.
Why Reviews Matter
Your website needs to include honest testimonials if you don’t want customers searching for product reviews from competitors or independent forums. You need to allow interactivity on your site or social media profile page so that customers can provide their feedback. You can still filter content since certain posts may be reckless or contain language that doesn’t meet your standards. The key is to give customers a voice to other customers. In order for the reviews to help your business, there needs to be a sense of balance, detail and timelines.
Customers want to know what your product can and can’t do, not a streamlined set of all positive posts. If all they find are reviews that portray your product as great, they may become skeptical and search other sources to see if the same pattern emerges. It’s still a good idea to direct people to post reviews on third party sites like Yelp so that researchers get a sense that your products have broad appeal. That’s why some negative reviews can provide a balance. A negative review does not necessarily mean your product is terrible. It can simply reflect an attitude that your product only suits certain situations. Detailed reviews are always better than short reviews.
Keeping Reviews Fresh
A constant stream of reviews is much more effective than a static page of old reviews that never changes. People want to know what your recent customers think, not so much what people thought a few years ago. Besides, web pages that are not updated are not as favored by search engines as constantly evolving pages. When visitors always see the same content every time they visit your review page, they become accustomed to thinking that it’s a section of the site that you don’t care about. Try to at least add a few reviews every week, but freshening up reviews every day is more effective.
One way to easily keep reviews fresh that requires little maintenance is to link your social media page to your home page link for reviews. Then monitor your social media page so that you can delete anything that is irrelevant or immature that does not help customers make intelligent decisions. By allowing constructive criticism and honest praise, you will present a more objective image, which customers will appreciate. They will also know your reviews are legitimate if they see their own posts.
Responding To Reviews
Customer feedback is important in many ways because it helps you gauge the effectiveness of your product. It can also be used for strategies in reshaping your marketing or your product. It can also help you develop customer lists and create ratings systems. Ultimately, online customer reviews provide a springboard for you to interact with your customers.
If a review is positive it gives you a chance to thank reviewers and make them feel special. If a review is negative it gives you the opportunity to acknowledge their complaint and either explain your product better or help you think of new solutions. Either way, direct communication with customers has become a powerful tool for modern marketing.
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