The results of the Local Consumer Review Survey (2013) are in, and as we predicted, the trend is continuing. Online reviews are here to stay and are gaining power. Just how important are online reviews to consumers? Survey says: EXTREMELY!
Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting results from the survey to learn why consumers are relying on online reviews more, and why it’s critical that your business has an expansive arsenal of positive reviews.
If your business relies on customers who value quality over price, this first bit of data should make you happy. Seventy-three percent of consumers reported that positive customer reviews make them more likely to use a local business (up from 58 percent in 2012) compared to just 24 percent who make their selection based on other factors like location and price (down from 28 percent). Even more encouraging for businesses, 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations—provided they look authentic, of course. A Bazaarvoice Survey published survey results of its own, citing that 51 percent of people actually found user-generated content (an online review) more important than the opinions of their friends and family.
That’s great news, because it means you have more control over how your business is represented. If you choose to take an active role in generating online reviews, that is.
The survey’s findings also revealed that 85 percent of consumers regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use. That means almost everyone is searching you out when they want to do business with you.
Two simple tips to maximize reviews
You most likely close business on the phone, in person, with pen and paper, behind a desk, and even in coffee shops. If you do, you should be collecting online reviews!
1. Fit it to your sales process: Search Engine Land cites Customer Lobby CEO Ted Paff saying, “Comment card reviews solicited at the time of service can see completion rates of 80 to 90 percent.” It makes sense. The point of sale is the height of customer euphoria. Take advantage of these feelings by verbally asking for a review. The true professionals carry their iPads with them at all times, just waiting for those moments to arise. Include it on the back of every document you give to the client. Staple it to their paperwork.
2. Proactively share your reviews BEFORE they search for you: As much as we all want people to find us when they need us, it just doesn’t always happen that way. Be proactive in how you share your positive reviews. Make them available to read on your Web site, in your physical lobby while they wait for you, and attached as a link to your e-mail signature. This way, you direct them to what you want them to see versus them having to seek you out. And who knows what they’ll find then besides your competitors.
For more tips on maximizing your online reviews, please visit http://Blog.BetterLoanOfficers.com/TIPS.
Rene Rodriguez is founder and chief executive officer of BetterLoanOfficers.com, a powerful and easy-to-use online loan officer review management system. Loan officers can collect, manage and promote their reviews in order to build trust, secure more referral relationships and close more deals. Rene is also CEO of Volentum, an enterprise education and consulting company. He has been named to National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s “40 Under 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals” for five consecutive years. He is a renowned behavioral and organizational change expert, leadership coach, world class sales trainer & dynamic keynote speaker who has shared the stage with Tony Robins, Lou Holtz, Ben Stein, Roy Firestone and Jeffery Gitomer.