Online reviews can make or break how your business appears online. It gives your customers the chance to leave information in a public space about you, your business and its products and services, and their experience. With customers having more information and knowledge on the internet than ever before they are prepared to shop around for a quality product and service. We have probably all used review sites in some capacity – Google reviews, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Revoo and Trustpilot are a few of the most popular ones.

Online consumers expect a quality, reliable service and over 70% of consumers search through review sites to assess their options before purchasing with an online business. You may feel apprehensive about using review sites as the power is in your customers’ hands, but the rewards are worth it. Here are three key reasons why reviews can work for your business: 

Increased sales

Online reviews act as marketing and help your customers with their decision-making. More than 75% of new customers are happier to purchase online following reading recommendations and positive reviews from existing customers. 

Customer insight

Online reviews will give you an insight into what your business is or is not doing right. This will allow you to address any internal issues, create a more positive shopping experience for your customers and increase sales. 

Improved SEO rankings

The more quality content that is written about your website, the higher it ranks. It also shows Google your business is authentic, getting clicked on and actively engaging with customers.

Get it right online

Make sure you give your customers multiple opportunities to review your business. Whether it is a pop-up box, a fixed bar or a dedicated page on-site, give them more than one opportunity to review their experience of your business. Leading sites such as Trustpilot and Yelp offer several tools in a range of styles to embed on your website; just pick which suits your business the best. It is all well and good having these on your website, but the next challenge is getting your customers to use them. Encourage them to leave feedback with special offers, bonuses and discounts in return. 

Managing reviews 

Not all the reviews will be 100% positive. There will be the odd negative review, and it is important how you deal with these. There are hundreds of courses aimed at how to deal with online reviews. But the solution is simple – manage reviews in the same way you deal with customers in store: be polite, professional and balanced, and offer a solution for that customer. Quality customer service goes a long way both in person and online.

Andrew Langridge is from eTrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK.