Have you ever thought about how powerful customer reviews really are?
According to a recent Harvard Business School study, both positive and negative reviews significantly impact the behavior of consumers. The Harvard researchers found that a 1-star increase in customer reviews (i.e., a 3-star rating increasing to a 4-star rating, or a 4-star to a 5-star increase) resulted in a 5-9% increase in revenue for a local business. Furthermore, another study by the e-Tailing Group found that 60-80% of potential customers search for and read online reviews prior to making a purchase decision.
Every Review Matters
That evidence strongly supports what marketing firms have been saying for years: 1.) There is power in online customer reviews, and 2.) There is a direct connection between those reviews and revenue generation. As you may or may not know by now, all customer reviews of your business that are written on a local review portal (Yelp, Google, Yahoo, etc.) will impact your star rating on that portal. Every positive review improves your star rating, and every negative review decreases your star rating – (and your search rankings too, but we’ll get to that later).
Pro Tip: Every review matters. 60-80% of potential customers search for and read online reviews prior to making a purchase decision.
That’s why every review must be taken seriously. It doesn’t matter if there is “another side to the story” behind a customer’s negative review. Readers of the review don’t know your side of the story, and even if you leave a response that tells your account of the incident behind the complaint, your explanation may not be sufficient to change anyone’s mind. That’s why the occasional negative review, without more positive reviews to balance it out – is a big problem. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Accentuate the Positive
Proactive review generation is a way to get more positive reviews, so that the bad ones – while never erased completely – can be “buried” by an excess of positive, and the star rating can be preserved. This is the best way to make sure that serial complainers don’t hurt your business with their online reviews. Depending on the size of your business, getting more positive reviews can produce a return on investment of at least 300%. The bigger your business, the bigger the ROI; if you have an especially large business, the ROI from positive review generation can be up to 5,000%.
There are lots of internal ways to minimize your negative reviews online, including improving the quality of your customer service (the #1 complaint in online reviews is poor customer service). But if your negative reviews are minimal enough to confirm that they are a rare occurrence, you can bury them by generating more positive reviews. Remember, you can’t dismiss the occasional negative review – your star rating, which plays a key role in your revenue, depends on it.
As always, the challenge for busy alarm companies is time, and having the right tools to collect and manage online customer reviews.
We refer to this type of managed service as Reputation Marketing because, in our experience, quality and velocity of customers reviews can also have a direct impact on your local search rankings especially when it comes to reviews left by your customers on Google Plus.
Whether you are a local security dealer or regional integrator with office locations in multiple states, Ignite RMR has the tools to help you proactively collect, manage, monitor and market positive reviews online. Book a free demo today.
Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2008, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.
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