Why are online reviews important? Well, studies have shown that online reviews have never been as vital as they are today.
Statista reports that 61% of online shoppers said the number of reviews is essential to them.
While the quantity of reviews matters, Yotpo reports that the quality of ratings is equally essential. They found that 94% of all bookings are made for services with an average rating of 4-stars or more.
It’s not just global ratings that matter either.
Bright Local did another study where they determined that 87% of customers will read online reviews about local businesses before deciding whether to book them.
In our handy guide to understanding online reviews, we’ll find out why online reviews are critical for booking-based businesses.
We’ll even give you some advice on how to improve your online ratings and get more ratings like a boss.
Where Do Online Reviews Feature Online?
Online reviews come from several platforms, websites, and even social media sites. Here are the top platforms that your booking-based business needs to focus on:
Google My Business
Undoubtedly, one of the more prominent players in the online review space is Google My Business. This free service from Google allows you to claim your company’s listing.
Prospective customers will Google your business and find essential information online about it without even visiting your website.
Every Facebook business account has a dedicated tab for reviews. Here, customers can recommend your business.
Google also uses these reviews as a star rating in Google My Business, making it easier for prospective customers to glean critical information about your company.
Yelp is a popular online review site. Prospective customers can search for any business and read or leave reviews.
For your business to see reviews left by customers and reply to them, you’ll have to claim a business listing on Yelp.
Your Business Website
Another growing source of online reviews is your business website.
Many companies have a dedicated testimonial page. Here, customers can leave reviews and ratings so that other potential customers can use them to guide their purchasing decisions.
Why Are Online Reviews Important?
So, why are online reviews important? Online reviews are great for establishing an accurate profile of your business.
Potential customers will look at these reviews and then decide whether you’re a genuine company they can trust with their hard-earned money.
Here are some other fantastic reasons online reviews are crucial for your booking-based business.
Harvard Business School found that online reviews significantly impact your sales. Simply put, companies with a positive reputation, and plenty of positive reviews, enjoy more sales.
They found that a single one-star improvement on Yelp can lead to a dramatic increase of 5% to 9% on your sales. So, even a tiny improvement in your ratings can have a massive impact on your bottom line.
It’s no secret that people will use search engines, such as Google, or even Facebook, to find a reputable company that offers the services they require.
While every search engine has its unique way of indexing and ranking content, fresh content and regular customer reviews are a great way to jump ahead on the search engine rankings.
This means your visibility will be improved online, helping more people find your business website.
With more people visiting your website, it’ll be easier to convert them into sales with that eye-catching booking page to sell your services.
A stream of positive reviews can help build a solid reputation for your booking-based business. Bright Local found that most people distrust a service with fewer than 4-stars.
In contrast, when you have a trustworthy reputation and potential visitors can see that your services improved the lives of your customers, it’ll be easier to secure that booking.
Companies with higher ratings will secure more customers, build a positive reputation and find that their sales will skyrocket.
Word of mouth is the best type of marketing you can get for your business. When people have great things to say about your service, they’re more likely to share the news about it.
A happy, satisfied customer who tells other people about your business is a brand ambassador. Brand ambassadors are essential for driving sales, building your reputation, and pushing further reviews.
They are a fantastic source of free marketing that every savvy business should exploit!
However, not every online review is excellent for your business!
Can Online Reviews Hurt Your Booking-Based Business?
While there are many pros to online reviews, there are some cons, such as negative reviews and even false reviews.
A negative or false review can hurt your business’ reputation, leading to fewer sales and far less money than what you would’ve liked.
Luckily, all isn’t lost. Here are some things you can do to address these issues.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Unfortunately, Online Reputation Management says that customers are three times more likely to leave a negative review after an unpleasant experience with your company.
Since people are more prone to post negative reviews, you must handle them correctly.
Luckily, there are only two steps to deal with a negative review.
Step 1: Don’t Ignore a Negative Review
Many businesses choose to ignore negative reviews. When they do, they tell customers that their feedback has no value.
By doing this, they’re turning potential customers away because they believe that their opinion doesn’t matter to the business.
So, even if that negative review hurts, you need to read it. Perhaps your business can genuinely improve its customer experience.
Step 2: Leave a Positive Reply
Regardless of how much that negative review hurts, you need to reply to it.
Don’t argue or justify anything online. Remember, this is a public space, and other potential customers will read through these reviews when deciding whether to book your services.
If a customer had an unsatisfactory experience, apologize for it. Let the customer know you appreciate the feedback and that you’ll work on improving their experience. Encourage them to contact you directly and take the matter offline to resolve it privately.
When you reply to negative reviews positively, you tell customers that their opinion and patronage matter to your business.
It’ll also help other potential customers to realize that you’re a genuine business and that they can trust you with their hard-earned money.
How Can I Use Online Reviews To Improve Bookings On My Website?
Online reviews are so critical to your success that we’ve included a dedicated testimonials feature in Book Like A Boss. This feature allows you to showcase your online reviews where everyone can see them.
It’s these online reviews that’ll provide social proof that your business delivers a service essential to your visitor’s success and happiness.
In fact, we’re so passionate about your business getting positive reviews that we wrote an entire guide on How to Ask For a Review (& why this matters for your business bookings).
Here are some key takeaways from our essential guide:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. It builds trust and improves the customer experience.
- Show off with your reviews as much as you can. They drive sales and improve your reputation.
- Reviews convince visitors. Positive reviews on your booking page can convince fence-sitters to book your service.
When you use online reviews correctly, your business can make more money. You’ll also get free advertising, and you’ll have a sterling, solid reputation that’ll set you apart from your competitors.
Master the Art of Showing Off Your Reviews
Now that you understand why online reviews are essential for your booking-based business, it’s time to add them to your booking page.
If your current booking platform isn’t letting you show off with your online reviews, why are you still using it? You’re just turning away money and potential customers! That’s just poor business.
Instead, grab this free trial of Book Like A Boss, and show off your positive online reviews on your booking page within 17-minutes.
Your business will get more bookings, and you can make more money, like a boss!