Consumer review sites are a popular source of information for customers researching a product or company, but they can also be a valuable tool for business owners. Online reviews provide a window into your customers’ thoughts. How better to find out exactly what they like – and don’t like – about your products and services?
More importantly, your potential future customers rely heavily on customer review sites to inform their purchase decisions. In a 2015 BrightLocal survey, 92% of respondents said they visit review sites, and 68% reported that positive online reviews make them trust a business more. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most influential review sites on the web.
With an average of 142 million users visiting every month, your business can’t afford to underestimate Yelp’s influence. Set up or claim your business’ profile for free, measure visitor activity on your page, and respond directly to reviewers.
Registering for Google My Business not only allows you to monitor and respond to customer ratings and reviews, it ensures potential clients find timely and accurate information about your business in Google Search, Maps, and Google+. Don’t overlook other search engines; also register your company with Yahoo Local and Bing.
TrustPilot users share their experiences with both products and sellers, creating a valuable source of credible, third party reviews you can use to your business’ advantage. Free registration allows businesses to create a profile page and monitor customer reviews, while upgrades include personalized invitations you can send to customers asking for their reviews, social media sharing, and much more.
If your business has a page on Facebook (and it should!) ensure you have the Ratings & Reviews feature enabled. Visitors to your page can rate and share their experiences with your business, and you can respond directly on the page.
Designed to help businesses research and find the right software solution, Capterra offers product guides, blog posts and thousands of unbiased user reviews and ratings. If you are a software provider, you’ll want to consider Capterra’s pay-per-click listing service which helps you reach customers while they are researching products like yours.
Another new player in the software review field is TrustRadius. The site differentiates itself by publishing more substantive reviews, averaging more than 400 words, and by authenticating reviewers and reviewing their submission before posting the review online.
Don’t forget your own site; allow customers rate and review your products and services right on your company website. WP Product Review Lite, WP Review, and Rich Reviews are all easy-to-use plugins available for WordPress-based sites.
Whichever sites you decide to use, keep the following tips in mind:
- Monitor your company’s listings and reviews regularly, daily if possible
- Respond to positive reviews as time allows and always respond to negative reviews.
- Do not engage in arguments or disputes online. Do offer an apology that a product or service did not meet the customer’s expectation and provide an email or phone number where the customer can contact your service team directly.
- Take customer reviews seriously. If they point to a pattern of poor service, address the issue internally and make the necessary changes.