Updated: Dec 10, 2018

Most of us still remember a little-known auction site bursting onto the scene in the late 90’s early 00’s during the dot-com boom. The boom made CEO’s and senior managers in large corporations sit up and take notice of the importance of selling online. ‘eBay’ started to encourage people to sell more than just collectables. Quickly people began to buy and sell items large and small online. I'm sure we can also relate to that feeling of ‘will it arrive?’ ‘won't it arrive?’ ‘Are my bank details safe?’ All very valid concerns at the time as buying and selling online was new to most.

Reviewing business and sellers online became massive. If your business had online reviews, this instantly created a sign of trust and authenticity. It didn’t matter if the review was good or bad, it meant you existed. This still stands true today. 68% of people will go straight to social media sites prior to making a purchase or requesting a business’s services to make sure the business exists and real people, friends or even acquaintances have interacted with your business.

Whether your business sells a product or offers a service, customers want to see real people talking about you. They want to see what you have to offer and if it’s worth their time and money. Ensuring your business has an active presence on social media can make all the difference. Approx. 77% of people read customer reviews before committing to a purchase.

How do I get reviews? The easiest way to get reviews is to provide a fantastic service that leaves your customers feeling impelled to review you. That's not always possible, although we strive for it. So, don’t be afraid to ask your customers to review your business online. Pictures with your products, of your work or at your premises are a fantastic way to show your real and confirm that review. If your not comfortable asking, leave a business card that specifically asks them to go online and review your product or service.

Star ratings have become an internationally recognised mark of quality and the more stars you have the more likely new customers will be to use you or by your products but more than anything it shows you are real and any initial apprehension starts to subside.

What if I get a negative or passive review? Don’t worry, these things happen. Most people look at a minimum of 5 reviews before making a decision on whether they will buy from you or use your service. Deal with the issues promptly, reply professionally and offer any further assistance directly via telephone or a personal email address. This shows that you don’t shy away from problems and are keen to resolve them as soon as you can.

So, reviews are important. People trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. Encourage your customers to give you feedback and reviews. Use the information to excel at what your good at and improve on things you aren't.

Has this post helped you? Why not use it to describe in your own words, to your customers why it’s important to review and make sure you fit customer reviews into your social media strategy.

For more information on how COLAB UK can help you design and deliver a bespoke social media strategy please get in touch today at www.colabuk.com/contact.