Why you should never neglect online reviews

Why you should never neglect online reviews

Ann-Kathrin Habl
Ann-Kathrin Habl
published on May 25, 2022   

Online reviews – The most important in a nutshell

  • Online reviews can be crucial for the purchase decision of potential customers or the local Google ranking of your business.

  • There are various platforms such as Google or Facebook where customers can leave their online reviews.

  • In your Google My Business profile, you can generate a direct link where customers can rate your business.

  • Respond to both positive and negative reviews to interact with your customers and be present as a business.

Online reviews are becoming increasingly important for many consumers and are receiving more and more attention. For companies, they represent great potential, because online reviews, for example on Google, create trust among searchers. With a Google My Business listing, it’s easy for businesses to get reviews from your customers. We’ll show you what other platforms for online reviews exist besides Google and how best to deal with negative reviews.

Why are online reviews so important?

Who doesn’t know it? Before buying a new product, the first thing people do is ask family and friends if they might already know this product or if they can recommend a comparable product. To inform themselves before making a purchase, however, many customers nowadays also look at online reviews of the supplier’s products and services and make their purchase decision dependent on them. So online reviews don’t just play a minor supporting role in your business – quite the opposite:

Online reviews as an important factor for the purchase decision

Online reviews from users are becoming increasingly important for the purchase decision. According to a study, online reviews are considered the most trustworthy source of information before making a purchase decision and are even preferred to recommendations from friends and acquaintances. The current Corona crisis has also increased the relevance of online ratings by 16%.

With the help of various marketing measures, products from companies can be presented amazingly well, which often leads to an exaggerated or even falsified presentation of these products. In this way, various providers try to stand out positively compared to the competition. However, since many people are already familiar with this approach, potential customers often believe the online reviews of experienced consumers more than the advertising of the company itself.

So, as you can see, your company’s online reputation is definitely influenced by user reviews. Therefore, as a provider, it is advisable to advertise your products and services authentically at all times. Otherwise, you can expect disappointment and mistrust from buyers and thus bad online reviews.

Online reviews as a ranking factor

In total, there are more than 200 factors that influence the local ranking of a company – online reviews also play a decisive role. Because not only do the stars catch the eye of the user – online reviews can also have a positive influence on the position of the company in the Google ranking. Many good Google reviews ensure that your company is more visible and easier to find.

What are the platforms for online reviews?

Customers can recommend your business on various platforms with very little effort. The following is an overview of the three most important portals for online reviews and their benefits:

1. Google Reviews

Google Reviews are probably the most well-known feature of Google My Business. Here, customers can share their experience with the company, in the best case make a recommendation and highlight certain products. The great thing about it is that the reviews are directly visible in Google Search and Google Maps.
To note: The star ratings are always visible, but the detailed Google reviews of the users are only displayed from the fifth rating.

Why you should never neglect online reviews
Read our blog post on Google My Business to learn how you can attract/generate additional customers with the help of other features of the free platform.

2. Facebook reviews

Users can also recommend your company on Facebook. All you need as a provider is a company page on which the reviews are then displayed publicly. As soon as a user has visited your page, Facebook automatically asks him whether he can recommend this page. The visitor also has the option of submitting a detailed review of at least 25 characters.
However, Facebook reviews are not only displayed on the platform itself, they often also appear in Google search results, especially in the mobile display.

Tip: As an administrator, you can allow recommendations on the Facebook page or not.

3. Amazon, Trusted Shops & Co.

Users like to post reviews directly on the page of the online store where they bought the product. Amazon was one of the pioneers here for many companies that do not have their own store. But the best-known rating portal for online stores is Trusted Shops – which is also an important seal of approval for buyer protection. This is because Trusted Shops only allows actual experiences in connection with a purchase or with the use of a service of a participating company to be rated. So in order to display the online ratings on the product pages of your online store, you must first register your company with Trusted Shops. Then, when a customer purchases from your online store, they will be sent an email after the purchase asking them to write a review about the delivery, the product or the customer service.

How do you collect online reviews from your customers?

To get as many positive online reviews as possible, you should ask your satisfied buyers or regular customers to write a review. Customers can write a review quickly and easily on their cell phone or computer after buying and trying your product. A positive experience with your company naturally increases the likelihood that a customer will leave a review.

The following measures are suitable for generating online reviews:

  • Actively approaching customers directly
  • Print QR code on invoices
  • Place flyers with QR code next to the goods in the package
  • Send follow-up e-mail after purchase with rating link
  • Place link in employee signatures
  • Pop-up window with link on website or app
  • Collect ratings at events at your own booth

How to create a short Url for direct Google reviews:

  1. Log in to the company profile dashboard.
  2. Click “Home” in the menu on the left.
  3. In the “Get more reviews” box, click the “Share form” button.
  4. A new window will open with the short Url, which you can click to copy and share with your customers.
Create short url for online reviews in Google My Business profile

Create short url for online reviews in Google My Business profile

Note: Previously, a link to the review could also be created using the Google Place ID. These links will still work, but it is recommended by Google to use the variant with the short url.

Respond to online reviews

You should always respond to an online review to show your customers that you care about feedback. This is because it signals to the customer the relevance of their feedback, which builds trust.

Here’s how you can respond to Google reviews:

  1. Click “Reviews” in the menu on the left.
  2. Select the review and click the “Reply.” button.
  3. Alternatively, you can select a review on the home page under “Recent Reviews” and reply to it.
Responding to Google reviews in Google My Business profile

Responding to Google reviews in Google My Business profile

A Havard Business study shows that ratings improve over the long term when businesses respond to reviews. However, many businesses fear negative reviews and often don’t know how to respond. We’ll give you a few tips on how to best handle positive reviews, as well as negative ones.

Positive online reviews: Here’s how to deal with them

Most companies find it easier to respond to positive feedback. But here, too, there are various points that you as a company should keep in mind.

  1. Call the customer by name
    For a friendly tone, it is almost always a good idea to call the customer by name, if the customer is known.
  2. Show gratitude
    What seems so obvious is nevertheless surprisingly often disregarded. By showing gratitude, you demonstrate your appreciation for the customer and let them know that you don’t take their feedback for granted.
  3. Offer the customer added value
    If you want to encourage your clientele to leave positive reviews, it should be worth it for the individual. Think of it this way: your customer took the time to write a positive review for you first. Give something back! Depending on the business, this could be a note about an upcoming event, or simply an offer to say a quick “hello” to the customer on their next visit.

Negative online reviews: Here’s how you respond best

Of course, a bad online review will set off alarm bells – but it should never deprive you of sleep. On the contrary, a negative online review is always an opportunity to improve your business and your products or services. We’ll give you some guidance on how to respond to bad reviews:

  1. Take a moment
    Try to reassess and reclassify the situation. After all, the quickest way to lose customers is to react emotionally and thoughtlessly to criticism.
  2. Respond publicly to the review
    If your business is under public criticism, you should naturally take a stand. Not only does this give you an opportunity to provide context to the situation, but it also shows that you’re always listening to your customers’ concerns.
  3. Show understanding and offer a solution
    The best apologies are worth little if action doesn’t follow. Signal publicly that you take your customer’s concern seriously and offer a way to contact them to resolve the issue.

Tip: You should value all of your online reviews, because honest and objective reviews are especially helpful to potential customers. In this regard, a mix of positive and negative reviews is considered trustworthy.

Keep an eye on your online reviews

As you can see, getting positive product reviews for your store only requires a few simple ground rules. If you show yourself authentic as a company, a good quality of products is given and you offer a customer-oriented service, that’s already half the battle. Satisfied customers write positive reviews – but don’t hesitate to remind them regularly with the measures listed. The easier it is for your clients to write the review, the more likely they are to do so. Use the various platforms for online reviews. Convince the customer with your strengths and stay in active contact with them, because this way you can look forward to many positive reviews.