Ever lost potential customers because they doubted your services?
With 91% of consumers trusting businesses having a good online reputation (Source: Review Trackers, 2023), neglecting the power of reviews could be costing your business more than you think.
Also, do you know:
👉 49% of consumers place the same level of trust in online reviews as they do in personal recommendations (word-of-mouth). (Source: Bright Local).
👉 72% of consumers say that positive online reviews make them more likely to trust a business. (Podium, 2023)
👉 89% of global consumers incorporate checking online reviews into their buying journey. (Source: Trustpilot).
👉 On average, consumers read 10 reviews before establishing trust in a business (Source: Statista).
These statistics underscore the undeniable importance of online reviews in influencing consumer trust, and purchasing decisions, highlighting their integral role in the contemporary consumer landscape.
Whether you’re a startup, small local service provider or a large organization, online reviews can greatly impact your success and reputation.
Let’s dive into what are online reviews, types, formats, importance of online service reviews and how mastering them can reshape your business narrative.
What are online reviews?
Online reviews are feedback and ratings that customers leave on various platforms such as Google, Yelp, Trustpilot, social media and more.
These reviews provide valuable insights into the quality of your services and help potential customers make informed decisions.
Types of Online Business Service Reviews
Let’s have a look at some major types of online reviews.
1. B2B (Business to Business) Reviews:
These are reviews written by one business about the services provided by another business.
For example (Glassdoor): A marketing agency may write a review on Glassdoor about the software development company they hired, detailing their experience with the quality of the software and the level of customer service received.
2. B2C (Business to Consumer) Reviews:
These are service reviews written by individual consumers about services they have used.
For example (Yelp), a customer may write a review on Yelp of a hair salon, sharing their thoughts on the quality of the haircut, the friendliness of the staff, and the overall experience.
3. Professional Reviews:
These are reviews written by experts in a specific field about the services they have received.
For example (LinkedIn), a business consultant may write a review on a professional networking platform like LinkedIn a financial advisory service, detailing their experience and the effectiveness of the advice provided.
4. User Experience Reviews:
These are reviews written by regular users of a service.
For example (GMB), a customer may write a review of a car rental company on Google my Business (GMB), sharing their experiences with the booking process, the condition of the rental vehicle, and the customer support received.
5. Influencer Reviews:
These are reviews written by social media influencers or bloggers about services they have used.
For example (TripAdvisor/YouTube), a travel influencer may write a review of a hotel they stayed at, sharing their thoughts on the amenities, the location, and the overall experience on social media such as YouTube.
6. Employee Reviews:
These are service reviews written by current or former employees of a company, sharing their experiences with the services provided by their employer.
For example (Glassdoor), an employee may write a review on Glassdoor on the healthcare benefits provided by their company, detailing their satisfaction with the coverage and the ease of accessing care.
What are the Review Formats for Businesses Services?
There are essentially two formats of reviews: written and multimedia (text + photo/video). Each type of review serves a unique purpose in providing information and building trust.
➤ Written Reviews for Services:
Written reviews are effective for services when detailed explanations and in-depth information are needed.
They are best suited for industries where potential customers are likely to engage with longer-form content and seek comprehensive insights.
Written reviews are particularly valuable for professional services, B2B services, and complex or high-value services.
A Hospital may prefer written reviews to highlight the quality of care and patient satisfaction. Written reviews can provide detailed accounts of the positive experience patients have had, including successful treatments, expertise, and compassionate care.
Written reviews work best for:
- Legal Services
- Financial Services
- Healthcare Services
- Real Estate Services
- Consulting Services
- Educational Services
- Marketing and Advertising Services
- Technology Services
- Travel and Hospitality Services
- Event Planning and Management Services
- Business Directories and listing websites such as GMB, Yelp, Bing etc.
- Company Website (Testimonials, Expert Reviews, Employee Testimonials)
- Review Websites such as Glassdoor, Trustpilot, TripAdvisor
- LinkedIn (Expert Reviews, Employee Testimonials)
➤ Multimedia Reviews for Services:
Multimedia reviews, such as video, influencer reviews and social media reviews, are effective for services when visual impact and engaging storytelling are important.
They are best suited for industries where potential customers are influenced by visual content and seek authentic, relatable experiences.
Multimedia reviews are particularly valuable for consumer services, lifestyle services, and industries with strong visual appeal.
A salon or spa may approach social influencers in their cities to highlight the expertise and quality of their services through visually captivating before-and-after photos or videos on Instagram.
This influencer review will directly encourage the followers to visit the salon and take their services.
Multimedia reviews work best for:
- Beauty and Wellness Services
- Photography and Videography Services
- Interior Design and Home Renovation Services
- Fitness and Personal Training Services
- Fashion and Apparel Services
- Food, Restaurant and Beverage Services
- Entertainment and Event Services
- Travel and Tourism Services
- Art and Design Services
- Business Listing websites such as GMB, Bing
- YouTube (Video Reviews)
- Instagram (User Reviews, Influencer Reviews)
- Facebook (User Reviews, Influencer Reviews)
- Twitter (Social Media Reviews)
- Company Website (Video Reviews, if applicable)
Why are Online Reviews Important for Your Business Services? With Examples
Positive online reviews can significantly impact your business by increasing visibility, building trust, and improving local search rankings.
They also serve as an excellent medium reflecting excellent online reputation management and a medium to connect with people. Let’s dive into Importance of online reviews.
1. Building Trust, Credibility and Confidence:
Online reviews serve as a testament to the reliability of your services. When potential customers see positive feedback from others, it builds trust and establishes credibility.
It’s akin to a recommendation from a friend (word of mouth), fostering a sense of confidence in your business.
👉 A customer in London gives a 5-star Google review praising your prompt plumbing service. This positive customer feedback, visible to anyone searching for services in the area, immediately establishes trust and credibility.
2. Influencing Purchase Decisions:
Positive reviews act as powerful influencers, guiding potential customers through the decision-making process.
👉 A potential client in Manchester is comparing software services providers. Seeing a high Trustpilot rating and positive testimonials from businesses of a similar scale convinces them that your software is the right choice.
3. Enhancing SEO and Online Visibility:
Search Engines are just only listening you, they’re also listening what other people have to say about you!
Search engines value fresh and relevant content, and online reviews provide exactly that. Positive reviews contribute to a better SERP ranking, making your services more discoverable to potential customers.
👉 Your restaurant in Birmingham gains visibility and brand reputation as Yelp displays it prominently due to a surge in positive reviews. This increased visibility attracts more diners searching for quality dining experiences in the area.
4. Feedback for Continuous Improvement:
Treating criticism as constructive feedback allows you to refine your services, showing customers that you are committed to excellence. This feedback loop is essential for the growth and sustainability of your business.
👉 A traveller in Hampstead provides constructive feedback about their hotel stay on TripAdvisor. Your proactive response and subsequent improvements showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.
5. Differentiating Your Business:
In a sea of service providers, online reviews set you apart. Positive testimonials highlight your unique selling points and strengths.
👉 A customer in Glasgow shares a photo on Instagram, praising the unique design of your handmade products. The visually appealing post becomes a digital showcase, setting your business apart in a competitive market.
6. Word-of-Mouth Amplification:
Positive experiences shared online have the potential to reach a vast audience, amplifying the positive word-of-mouth effect.
👉 A satisfied customer in Birmingham shares their positive experience on Facebook. Their friends and connections, seeing the recommendation, are more likely to consider your services based on the trusted opinion of someone they know.
7. Measuring Customer Satisfaction:
The quantity and sentiment of reviews provide a tangible metric for understanding how well your services align with customer expectations. This insight is crucial for maintaining and improving service quality.
👉 A diner in Hayes leaves detailed feedback on Zomato, highlighting both positive and constructive aspects of their experience. Analysing these reviews provides actionable insights into improving the overall dining experience.
How do online reviews affect local SEO?
Online reviews contribute 13.13% of the total local SEO factors.
Local SEO includes a geographics descriptor. It can be a city, service area, postal code or may include “near me”.
Google and other search engines consider a variety of factors when determining local search rankings, and reviews are one of the most important. Here are a few ways that reviews can impact local rankings:
- Quantity of reviews/ratings: The number of reviews a business has can impact its local search ranking. Businesses with more reviews tend to rank higher than those with fewer reviews.
- Quality of reviews/ratings: The quality of reviews is also important. Businesses with a high average rating tend to rank higher than those with lower ratings.
- Freshness of reviews: Search engines also consider the freshness of reviews. Businesses that receive regular reviews tend to rank higher than those with outdated or stale reviews.
- Diversity of reviews: Search engines also consider the diversity of reviews. Businesses with reviews across multiple platforms (such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook) may rank higher than those with reviews on just one platform.
Overall, reviews can have a significant impact on local search rankings. Businesses that actively manage and encourage reviews are more likely to rank higher and attract new customers. But how to encourage users to leave reviews?
How to ask customers for online reviews?
Let’s have a look at some strategies to help you encourage your customers to leave positive reviews:
- Provide exceptional service:
The foundation of positive reviews is exceptional service. By consistently delivering high-quality services and exceeding customer expectations, you increase the likelihood of receiving positive reviews.
- Ask for reviews:
Don’t be afraid to ask your satisfied customers to leave a review.
Many customers are willing to share their positive experiences if prompted to do so.
You can ask for reviews through follow-up emails, on your website, or through social media platforms.
- Make it easy:
Ensure that it is effortless for customers to leave a review.
Provide them with clear instructions on where and how to leave a review and consider providing incentives such as discounts or rewards for leaving a review.
- Engage with customers:
Active and prompt engagement with the customers by responding to their reviews.
Thank them for their feedback, address any concerns or issues, and show genuine interest in their experience.
This level of engagement demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and can encourage others to leave positive reviews.
How do you respond to an online review? With Example Responses
It’s important to respond to both negative or positive in a polite and professional manner. Here are some tips and example responses for responding to online reviews:
1. Acknowledge the review:
Whether the review is positive or negative, it’s imperative to acknowledge the customer’s feedback. The first response should be expressing your gratitude towards them for taking out time to leave a review.
👉 “Thank you so much <Name> for taking out time to leave us a review! We appreciate your feedback and are glad to hear about your experience with us.”
2. Be professional in your tone and approach:
Regardless of the tone of the review, always respond in a professional and courteous manner. Avoid getting defensive or confrontational, even if the review is negative.
👉 “We’re sincerely apologise about your experience and appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We strive to provide the best service possible and will address the issues asap.”
3. Address the specific points raised:
If the review contains specific feedback or complaints, address those points in your response. This shows that you are taking the customer’s feedback seriously.
👉 “Thank you for sharing your feedback. We apologize for the inconvenience caused. We will surely work to improve in the areas you’ve mentioned.”
4. Apologize if necessary:
If the review is negative and the customer had an unpleasant experience, offer a sincere apology, and express your willingness to make things right.
👉 “We apologise for the unpleasant experience and deeply regret the any inconvenience caused. We would like to take the opportunity to make things right for you. Please reach out to us directly [optional: at <email id >/<contact number>].”
If the review contains a complex issue or a complaint that requires further discussion, consider taking the conversation offline by providing contact information.
5. Highlight positive feedback:
If the review is positive, use the opportunity to thank the customer and highlight the positive aspects of their feedback. This can help reinforce positive perceptions of your business.
👉 “Thank you for your kind words! We’re thrilled to hear about your positive experience and are glad that you enjoyed our service. Looking forward to serve you again.”
By following these tips, businesses can effectively manage their online reputation and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction.
Online reviews are a powerful tool for businesses to establish credibility, trust, building connection and building positive online reputation for brands.
Encourage your satisfied customers to share their experiences and actively engage with feedback. Your online presence matters—cultivate it wisely for business success.
Pollysys is known for an creating an amazing online presence, positive reputation, and great visibility through local SEO services. Consult Now.
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