Customer Reviews: Why They Really Matter for Small Businesses

Customers are already talking about your business, here's how to use their feedback to your company's advantage.


Increasingly, consumers are looking for third-party reviews to help make purchasing decisions. Discussing the pros and cons of a company and its products is nothing new. However, the ability to express candid opinions and experiences online has expanded the reach of a single person’s opinion. Instead of local customers getting wind of personal experiences through the “grapevine”, countless people are now able to read and digest this information.

So, it makes good sense to take advantage of customer reviews; a tendency for customers to talk about your business that won’t go away anytime soon. Here are four simple reasons why you should care more about reviews:

 

  1. Build Trust

    Every small business has to spend time and money marketing in order to win over each new customer. The reason it requires so much effort to acquire customers is because they need time to get to know and trust your company. So, once you form new relationships ask customers to rate your products or services. Make these ratings and reviews public to show potential customers that your business is credible and legitimate; most importantly that you can be trusted to deliver what is promised. Customer ratings and reviews also help you establish interaction with customers, which builds a stronger relationship over time.

  2. Find Ways to Improve

    One thing that customer ratings provide is honest feedback from people who have interacted with and purchasing from your company. These customers have intimate knowledge of the products and services you offer. The accumulation of customer feedback data can be organized and turned into a useful report. This report can then reveal areas you excel in and others that will require improvement. This type of insight is essential for the prioritization and improvement of business operations.

  3. Attract New Customers

    Running a successful business means that you have to constantly market and advertise to attract new customers. Establishing a simple ratings or feedback system that allows customers to leave instant feedback is a good way to attract new customers. Potential customers are always seeking information and conducting online research before they make buying decisions. When people come across ratings they stop and read them. This is the moment that they are truly convinced about the benefits of your offering. Ratings can ultimately do the pre-selling for you.

  4. Create Targeted Products and Services

    Ratings and reviews give you a big opportunity to tap into the minds of your customers. With this newfound insight you can develop specific types of products and services based on their stated likes, dislikes and desires.

Customers are already talking about your business with others. By asking for customer ratings and reviews you can use this organic feedback to improve and grow your business.

 

Tricia Borren is a mom and a business writer from Beverly Hills, writing on behalf of Mindshare OpenTell, a customer feedback company with 10 years of experience in third-party Voice of the Customer (VoC) management.

 

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