For an overwhelming majority of consumers, star ratings accompanied by online reviews are the most helpful type of feedback. According to a Kelton survey commissioned by Yelp, a popular review site for local businesses, 97 percent of people trust reviews written alongside ratings.
That is nine out of 10 respondents who want to read reviews that contain some information about the brand, product or service they’re researching. This figure suggests that review content is an essential driver of customer trust. But why?
This blog aims to explain this phenomenon and discuss additional insights based on the Yelp survey. It will also provide you with ways to incorporate these insights into your existing review generation strategy.
Let’s dive in.
What Makes Up Credible Reviews: Words, but Just Enough of Them
Those who read Yelp reviews know that the site requires reviews to go with ratings. And the Yelp survey shows people also prefer the same thing. That is, a 5-star rating with a description of the customer experience proves more valuable to – and believable for – many consumers than a 5-star rating with no details included. In fact, a rating without text is not considered a review at all by more than half of the respondents.
But that’s not all.
Word count matters when discussing what counts as useful or trusted reviews. Almost three in five respondents (59 percent) believe 16 to 50 words make the feedback helpful. Business owners share the same sentiment as 72 percent give credence to a rating with a review that’s at least 16 words long.
On a related note, a different study aimed to explain how the content of online reviews helps improve customer trust. Focusing on answering why some tourism-related product testimonials are very reliable, the research found that a review with text allows consumers to analyze its content and use its valence (positive or negative) and emotional intensity to assess trustworthiness. Text equals message. And the message can be the make-or-break factor that compels people to trust a review.
Generated Reviews Can Generate Trust
The importance of online reviews is not lost on many brands and businesses. However, you might be wondering if asking customers to leave reviews is the most effective – and honest – way to go about it.
The Yelp survey did find that half of the respondents have reservations about businesses asking for reviews. They believe doing so can skew the results toward the positive, which is a fair point to make, especially if you’re using reviews as a basis for buying a product or service.
Yet, there’s a distinction to be made between customer reviews generated through proactive email campaigns and those gathered through fake user accounts. While the latter clearly sounds unethical, the former entails reaching out to real, verified customers and asking them to leave a review – similar to how Yelp business reviews are generated. Of course, it’s not wrong to remind or ask consumers to provide feedback. You just have to be mindful in asking and encouraging them to offer accurate information since neither you nor customers will benefit from fake reviews.
This is where you can also enlist the help of experts. Reputation management consultants worth their salt are well aware of the repercussions of fake reviews. You can be fined or penalized by regulators and review sites on top of being regarded as less trustworthy by your target audience. With the right partner, though, you can be known as the company whose service or product testimonials are very reliable.
Proactive Response Makes Negative Reviews Work for You
Bad reviews can drive prospects away from your business. But the majority (88 percent) of Yelp survey respondents said they are willing to look past a negative review if they see the brand has responded to it.
Organizations that address the issue as best as they can are likely to earn customer trust. In fact, a prompt, personalized reply from your team can sway a critical customer into updating their review based on their more recent experience.
Moreover, if you think about credible reviews, they gain people’s confidence because they report the good, bad and ugly. This obviously doesn’t mean you have to let negative reviews ruin potential and existing customers’ perception of your brand. But asking for authentic reviews involves accepting various thoughts, feelings and opinions.
What should you do, then, to make negative reviews work for you instead? Reliable online reputation management companies advise having a solid review monitoring process in place. This way, you can address any urgent issues or questions by irate customers quickly and adequately.
How To Improve Your Review Management Process and Increase Your Trusted Reviews
Those who search for customer feedback may read Yelp reviews or check out other review platforms before they decide to buy. When they do, they find some reviews more trustworthy than others. Whether they’re Better Business Bureau (BBB), Google or Yelp business reviews, you have to make sure you’re generating trusted reviews.
Using the insights shared above, here’s how to get reviews on Yelp, Google, BBB and the like that people can trust:
- Encourage customers to leave a rating accompanied by a description of their experience with your brand, product or service.
- Emphasize the importance of online reviews. By all means, ask for feedback, but let customers know they have to provide accurate information to help others make a good decision and your business to improve on specific areas.
- Set up a review monitoring process to catch negative reviews before they blow up, address issues appropriately and prevent your reputation from taking a nosedive.
- How to get reviews on Yelp, Google and many more to ensure you’re reaching different types of customers? The best reputation management services show how it’s done: Streamline your efforts via a review generation tool. This allows you to build a portfolio of credible reviews across various platforms and consolidate them in one place for better reputation management.
- Devise a review management strategy that leverages the features of your reputation management tool. For instance, use a QR code to direct customers to the page where they can write reviews and give you ratings.
Reputation Management Services That Cultivate Customer Trust
It’s not an easy feat to have both return and potential customers say, “Your service or product testimonials are very reliable!” It involves speaking to the needs of savvy consumers who read Yelp reviews or Google reviews religiously.
There are no shortcuts. But if you want to gain an edge when it comes to generating trustworthy Google or Yelp business reviews, among others, consider partnering with reputation management consultants. This way, you avoid making rookie mistakes and present yourself as a brand people can believe in.
The good news is that you won’t have to look through a confusing list of online reputation management companies because Rize Reviews is here. Through the years, we have developed an understanding of the importance of online reviews in your online reputation management (ORM) strategy. Then we’ve put all our knowledge and skills together to create an all-in-one reputation management tool that automates review monitoring, generation and management.
Specifically, our review generation tool is the answer to how to get reviews on Yelp, Google, BBB and hundreds of other platforms without breaking the rules and your customers’ trust.
Reach out to us today to learn more.