Online Reviews are the new Word of Mouth
For those of us who are a little older (i.e) before the internet will remember that Word Of Mouth was the best advertising there was.
If you wanted to know who was the best motor mechanic, or the best plumber in the area you asked amongst your friends who they had dealt with and received good service.
Many people believe that is still happening. Well it still might but to a far lesser degree.
Young people are turning to the internet and “ Ask Google” is now replacing “Ask a Friend”.
I was at my daughters recently and she saw a product mentioned on TV that she thought would be nice for her new baby. She went straight to the internet to “Ask Google” and found some negative comments and immediately decided against purchasing.
This is happening more and more.
Consider also that the average Australian moves every six years. When they move into a new area they do not have an established friends network to ask.
Instead they “Ask Google”
Have you established a Five Star Reputation for yourself and your business on the internet?
It does not happen unless you make it happen.
There are three categories of Online Reputation.
1. When you have negative reviews. These are quite often the result of a misunderstanding with a client. They get upset and write about it online. Remember people are 10 times more likely to write about a service they are unhappy about than one where they received good treatment.
Then there are the occasional situations where a competitor may put something totally fictional online.
According to Google’s statistics 80% of people who read these negative reviews will not deal with that business
Effect on your business is to chase away anyone who reads it
2. When you have no reviews at all. This means that no one thopught highly enough of your service to make any comment at all
Effect on your business.. “I think I will look for something better”
3. You have many 5 star reviews from people who are happy with your product or service and are prepared to tell others.
Effect on your business. Anyone reading these reviews (or testimonials) will want to do business with you. If by chance you have a few negative reviews people will go with the majority. You should have at least ten 5 star reviews to one negative review
Others are happy so I should be too.
Anyone with a Five Star Reputation stands out from the crowd
Reviews will rarely happen automatically
You need to ask happy clients to do this for you. They opinion expressed must be genuine. You cannot bribe them
They will often promise to do it but will usually forget once they go home
Processes for collection of reviews
You need to have processes in place to collect reviews while your client is in front of you.
Processes for distribution of reviews
Reviews cannot be uploaded from the same computer so you need a way of getting them onto the internet.
Sites that are trusted
You need to place them where people will look and on sites that people will trust
Testimonials on your own website will be only trusted 58%. After all you have censored them and only published the good ones. You might ever have written them yourself.
On third party sites i.e. directories, the trust factor can easily rise to over 80%
This trend is increasing every day
In conclusion… 5 star reviews strategically placed are now the driving force for new business.
They have effectively replaced the old “Word of Mouth” which was a major force before the internet.