If there’s one thing you learn from being on the internet, it’s that everyone has an opinion. Online reviews allow people to express themselves to their heart’s content without little fear of censorship. As a new business owner, you need to gain word of mouth to give you a following. The only way that can be made possible is through having reviews. If you’re hesitant about checking reviews, these reasons should compel you to why they’re a must.
People Read Online Reviews Often
Have you made an online purchase recently without reading some reviews, or at least checking the star rating it received? The testimonials of others are a seriously important factor in purchasing decisions. Business Know How explains, “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It has also been found that 72% of consumers say that positive reviews improve the trustworthiness of a local business.” If a business ignores reviews, they’re going to come across as hopelessly out of touch. It is true that there are trolls (people who seek to get a rise out of you) all over the internet, but you can easily weed those out. Trustworthy reviews are never meant to be personal. They’re meant to be guides for other shoppers. It’s only fair that people are led down the right path. You can try to resist online reviews as much as you’d like, but they’re going to continue to be a hugely influential force in the world of shopping. To ignore online reviews is to essentially plug your ears and close your eyes. You have to let yourself be vulnerable if you’re going to have any chances of success.
They Can Definitely Affect Purchasing Decisions
Online shopping can be less impulsive than in-store shopping. So, you need to do all you can to persuade people to purchase your products or use your services. It’s not enough to simply have reviews and ratings. They also need to be consistently strong. If you read reviews for your products and notice that people are regularly calling out the same aspects as being negative, you definitely need to rethink your strategy. It’s no coincidence when you have a consensus forming. People trust online reviews more than they think they do. Podium explains, “13 percent of consumers wouldn’t consider purchasing from a business with a 1- to 2-star rating.” That might not seem like a huge number, but it could be thousands of dollars in potentially lost revenue if you don’t take reviews seriously. Make sure to swallow your pride and read your reviews on a regular basis.
Reviews Help You Improve
You would have to be pretty arrogant and delusional to think that you don’t have any room for improvement as a business owner. Even if you’re doing everything well, doing well isn’t enough to stay competitive. You have to be truly intent on being exceptional, and that’s only possible if you open yourself up to criticism. Reviews are a blessing as they show exactly what areas you need to improve. See what positive aspects of your products are mentioned and think about how you can better emphasize those. If you’re knowledgeable about your industry, you shouldn’t have too much trouble putting these improvements in place. Explorance explains, “you need to develop your improvement strategy. It is recommended that you include what steps in the process are broken, why and how they should be improved and any financial and resource implications. Answering how the process can be improved is a springboard to create your improvement objectives. It is recommended that you set realistic and measurable objectives that align with your overall strategic goals.” A few modifications can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the longevity of your business. Plus, it will make any other challenges you come across so much easier to take on.
Running a successful business means being confident while also not holding onto your ego. Reviews can be difficult to accept because of how harsh they can be. However, they can include plenty of important insights that make you a better business owner. If you refuse to include reviews, you might be able to protect your ego a bit, but that’ll backfire when your business has trouble staying afloat. By including reviews, you can show just how dedicated you are to running your best possible business.
Improving your business can sometimes feel almost impossible. This feels even harder when you’re trying to make big changes like a pivot or restructuring. For times when you are second guessing yourself about any part of your business, let Christopher Behnke help!