The Importance of Review Sites
A recent report* revealed that 96% of people use online reviews in some way with 74% of respondents finding star ratings useful in deciding whether to make a purchase or engage with a business.
These statistics mean that it is more important than ever for businesses to encourage reviews from their customers or clients.
There are many review sites out there, but we are going to focus on three that some of our clients use: Google, Trust Pilot and Feefo. They are all slightly different in the way they operate, but can all give your business a real sales boost if used well.
Google My Business is a completely free social media tool which lets you promote your profile and website on Google search and maps. With a Google My Business account, you can see and respond to reviews, post updates and gain insights as to how your customers are reacting to your business. For a customer to be able to leave a review, they will also need a Google account, but anyone can read and be influenced by the reviews already published. Be aware, you cannot delete a bad or inaccurate review!
Trust Pilot offers free and paid-for versions of their product, and you can decide on which suits you best depending on the size and needs of your business. Users can write reviews directly onto the Trust Pilot website and as a business you can respond to both negative and positive feedback. It’s always important to reply, so you can engage further with your customers and rectify any outstanding issues. If you want extra features the basic paid-for version starts at £199 per month.
Feefo is a paid-for review site. They do not publish their fees online, so you would need to enquire about prices online or by telephone. Once a customer has engaged with a business, Feefo will invite them to write a review to be published on the site. Unlike Trustpilot a customer cannot write a review without being invited to do so. Again, as a business, you are encouraged to respond to reviews, and if desired you can publish the reviews on your website to increase sales.
There are obviously some pros and cons of using review sites; If you choose pay for a subscription, it has to be worth the money; reviews would need to be generated into sales. However, if you use free sites, then you are technically getting advertising for free if your reviews are up to date, mainly positive and genuine (too many negative ones can be detrimental to sales, but too many glowing ones can look suspicious!).
Using a review site can also boost your search engine rankings, thereby again potentially increasing sales.
All review sites will give you some feedback on customer analytics, which is very useful to see what type of customer you are attracting and how to move forward with your business. The more you pay for a subscription, the deeper the analysis will go.
What we say
Whether you decide to go down the free or paid-for route, the main thing is to ensure that all your reviews are genuine and that you are responsive to all your feedback, whether good or not so good!