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How reviews/recommendations are important and how to get ’em.

In today’s digital landscape, where online presence and reputation can make or break a business, the importance of customer reviews and recommendations cannot be overstated. For small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in particular, leveraging the power of reviews and recommendations is crucial for establishing trust, attracting new customers, and fostering long-term success. In this blog post, we’ll explore why reviews and recommendations matter to SMEs and provide practical tips on how to gather and showcase them effectively.

  • Building Trust and Credibility:

Reviews and recommendations serve as powerful social proof, building trust and credibility for your SME. Potential customers often rely on the experiences and opinions of others to make informed decisions. Positive reviews act as endorsements of your products or services, assuring potential customers that your business is reliable, trustworthy, and capable of delivering on its promises. By showcasing genuine customer feedback, you create a positive perception of your brand and establish a strong foundation of trust.

  • Increasing Visibility and Discoverability:

Online reviews and recommendations can significantly impact your SME’s visibility and discoverability in search engines and directories. Many review platforms and local directories play a crucial role in local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), helping your business appear in relevant search results. Positive reviews and high ratings signal to search engines that your business is reputable and relevant, increasing the likelihood of higher rankings and greater online visibility. This, in turn, leads to increased organic traffic and more potential customers discovering your SME.

  • Influencing Purchase Decisions:

Customer reviews and recommendations have a direct influence on purchase decisions. Studies have shown that a significant majority of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase or engaging with a business. Positive reviews can sway undecided customers in your favor, providing the reassurance they need to choose your SME over competitors. Conversely, negative reviews can deter potential customers, underscoring the importance of actively managing and responding to feedback to mitigate any potential negative impact.

  • Encouraging Customer Engagement and Loyalty:

Reviews and recommendations offer valuable opportunities for customer engagement and loyalty. When customers take the time to leave a review or recommend your SME, they are actively engaging with your brand and expressing their satisfaction. Acknowledging and responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, demonstrates your commitment to customer service and shows that you value their feedback. Engaging with customers in this way fosters a sense of loyalty and strengthens the bond between your SME and its customer base.

  • How to Get Reviews and Recommendations:

Now that we understand the significance of reviews and recommendations, let’s explore some practical strategies to encourage and gather them:

a. Provide exceptional customer experiences: Focus on delivering outstanding products, services, and customer support. Satisfied customers are more likely to leave positive reviews and recommend your SME to others.

b. Ask for reviews: Reach out to satisfied customers and kindly request them to share their experiences through online reviews. You can do this through follow-up emails, personalized requests, or by adding review prompts on your website and social media channels.

c. Streamline the review process: Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by providing direct links to popular review platforms or by embedding review widgets on your website.

d. Offer incentives: Consider offering small incentives or discounts to customers who leave reviews or refer new customers to your SME. However, be mindful of the guidelines and policies of review platforms regarding incentivized reviews.

e. Leverage email marketing: Incorporate review requests into your email marketing campaigns, sending targeted messages to customers who have recently made a purchase or engaged with your SME.

f. Monitor and respond to reviews: Regularly monitor review platforms and directories to stay informed about customer feedback. Respond promptly and professionally to both positive AND negative reviews.



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November 5, 2018