There are hundreds of recent examples, stats, and research that agree on how insanely influential online reviews are in getting new customers to buy or try your product or services. For me, the most compelling evidence comes from business owners who use our Review Funnel.
A chiropractor asks his new patients how they heard about him. He says that the new patients identifying his online reviews have doubled from about 40% to 80%.
A health spa with glowing online reviews was getting a steady flow of new client leads. Wanting to grow the business, they purchased advertising from a Daily Coupon Provider that brought in many new customers all at once. The staff could not handle the influx of new customers. Unfortunately, the poor service that occurred due to being swamped led to many terrible online reviews. They reported that their new business nearly stopped until they started focusing on recovering their reputation.
Two competing restaurants opened their doors less than a mile from each other in an area known for high competition. One owner decided to go “black-hat” and buy scores of fake reviews to “prime the pump,” while our client-focused on collecting a few honest reviews from real customers every month. Our client has grown a steady following, visibly busy most nights and packed on the weekends. The competitor’s most visible activity is online: many empty five-star ratings and two comments from real customers calling out the fake reviews!
These examples expose the power of what is now called ‘Social Proof.‘ Your customers now validate you online, or they don’t. Consumers now validate your business’s value amongst themselves. Building your social proof is not a fast fix. It does not happen by chance. Genuine social proof builds over time with a specific intention. It is definitely worth the time and investment to build your online reputation. Here is why.
REVIEWS ARE SUPER INFLUENTIAL
We live in the age of the customer. They are empowered, more demanding, and can make or break businesses. Many customers don’t trust what you say about your products or service; however, they trust other people like themselves.
Whether you are talking about a gym, coffee shop, medical practice, or a plumber, I can not overstate the influence consumers have on each other.
Regular people write online reviews with no agenda, and people trust that. According to “Crowd Control” Marketing News, over 50% of consumers felt that opinions of ‘people like me’ had the most influence on their buying decisions. At one point, Angie’s List tag line was, “Reviews you can trust, written by people just like you.” They read the article and took action.
According to Nielsen’s “Global Trust in Advertising Survey,” 70% of consumers trust online reviews from people they don’t know, up 15% from four years earlier. Ninety-two percent of consumers worldwide say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations, whether from strangers or friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.
Building and maintaining an Online Review Strategy is time-consuming but well worth the investment. If you don’t have the time, Edgewood Solutions has a complete Done-for-You Review Funnel that will drive 5-Star Reviews to the Review Sites of your choice.