Many of us are well aware of review sites such as Trip Advisor, Yelp and Four Square. Not only are we aware of these sites, but many of us regularly check to see what is being said about particular hotels and restaurants before we decide whether to visit them.
It is becoming more and more common for people to rely on customer reviews to help them make an informed decision about where to eat or stay.
Amazon has used a 5 star review system for years now, and I have bought many a book solely on the recommendations of readers. I am quite sure that you have also relied on recommendations before clicking on the “Buy Now” button.
But the question is, what about ratings for local businesses other than restaurants and hotels? For instance, if you do a Google search for Beauty Salons [name of town/city], you will be presented with a list of relevant establishments in that locale.
But what if you are presented with a list of 20 such businesses within 2 miles of where you live? How do you decide which one to select? In today’s society, we have far too much choice in everything, and it would sure help if we could be nudged along so that we could make (in our minds, at least) the correct decision.
Just like books, restaurants and hotels, I wish that more and more brick and mortar businesses would adopt a strategy of gathering reviews. That would certainly make life simpler by allowing potential customers to make more informed choices.
According to the Local Consumer Survey conducted in 2015 by BrightLocal, 92% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Not only that, but 97% of 18 – 34 year olds (known as “Millennials”) form an opinion about a business by reading online reviews. If the target market for your business is that demographic, then you seriously need to consider adopting an online review strategy.
And of course, as those “Millennials” become 40, 50 and 60 year olds, it will not be long before everybody will be forming opinions about all types of businesses online.
Isn’t it time that you, and more importantly your business, became more proactive and joined the Review and Reputation Revolution?