How to Help Marketers Make Customer Reviews Work

BY Kathy Crosett
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Your clients may find it tedious to deal with consumer reviews, but their future customers can’t live without them. If your clients still don’t see how important this trend has become, it’s time for you to educate them on what they should be doing. The Local Consumer Review Survey for 2022 from BrightLocal contains data points you can use to sell your digital marketing services to help marketers make customer reviews work for them.

Marketers Make Customer Reviews Work for Them

The first step in a good review management process is to understand where consumers are most active. In the past year, 81% of review consumers posted their opinions on Google, a significant increase from 63% in 2020. Yelp experienced a big jump in reviews as well, with 53% of the reviewing public posting on that site, versus 32% in 2020. Facebook fell a bit out of favor, with 48% of reviewers posting on that site in 2021, instead of 54% in 2020.

The number of people who search several times a week for details on a local business is about 35%. Another 22% do so at least once a week, while 21% jump online every day to find out what time their favorite coffee shop opens or what the foot traffic is like at their local gym. Every one of these online checks serves as an opportunity for your clients to make the right impression. If a customer encounters a review about bad meal at a restaurant the night before, they may move on to the next restaurant on their list.  That’s why it’s so important for your clients to stay connected with what patrons are saying about them.

Consumers Value Some Types of Reviews More Than Others

When consumers search online for business details, do they also check out the reviews? About 43% regularly do, and 34% always do.

Consumers pay attention to reviews on some types of businesses more than others. Review on the following businesses are most important to consumers:

  • Service-​area trades and businesses (such as plumbers) 84%
  • Care services 83%
  • Health care 82%

Only 48% of consumers say it’s very important or important to read reviews on retailers before they make their decisions. About 60% say the same for entertainment service providers.

 Consumers clearly pay attention to reviews. And they also notice when a business cares enough to respond to both negative and positive reviews.  In particular, consumers feel better when they see:

  • Written reviews describing positive experience 75%
  • High star ratings 58%
  • Business owner responses to reviews 55%
  • Reviews that are less than 30-​days old 49%

Businesses often sweat about the need to have 5‑star reviews. Let your clients know that 40% of consumers will patronize a business with 4‑star reviews.

Asking for Reviews

Given the growing importance of reviews, your clients should be actively reaching out to satisfied customers. As BrightLocal research indicates, at least 74% of consumers have posted a review on a local business in the last year. The good news is consumers are also more likely to leave a positive review (34%) than a negative one (7%).

Let your clients know that consumers are likely or highly likely to leave a review after positively experiencing or realizing:

  • Above and beyond expected service levels 88%
  • A negative experience was turned into a positive one: 80%
  • The business is family-​owned: 74%
  • The business has an undeserved low rating 73%

One of the most effective ways to increase the number of customers posting reviews is to actively engage with current reviewers. When they see the business owner cares, they are more willing to give up some of their time to interact and share their opinions. Remind your clients that asking for a review is not considered bad form. At least 12% of customers asked by a business for their opinion, left a review every time. And 23% of customers left a review more than half of the time when asked.

Your clients can increase their chances of securing reviews by rewarding customers. Consumers said they have been offered a discount (17%), a gift or free service (15%), or cash (6%) as an incentive leave a review.

You can improve consumer perceptions about reviews of your client’s business by ensuring they’re not perceived as fake. At least 37% of consumers are very suspicious of the reviews they see on Facebook. They’re also suspicious of reviews that are always too positive.

Help your clients make customers reviews work for them. For more information, check out AudienceSCAN at AdMall by SalesFuel to see full profiles on consumers who use in their purchase section process.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels