Are misconceptions about online reviews keeping you from fully utilizing this vital business sales tool? If you think “no one’s reading them anyway” or the risk of promoting reviews outweighs the benefits, you could be seriously hurting your company’s opportunities for growth.

90% of consumers check out online reviews before visiting a business, and 31% of them are likely to spend more money with a company that has “excellent” reviews. Reviews impact whether someone looking for a local computer repair shop passes yours by in an online search or chooses you over the others.

Don’t be held back by a misconception. Here are some of the common myths that some people believe about online reviews, and what the facts really are.


Myth 1: Most Online Reviews are Fake

Myth:Companies have been caught putting up fake reviews for themselves, and even bad reviews for competitors, so there’s no point in using reviews.

Fact: While there are definitely those companies that try to game the system, fakes are not the majority. It’s estimated that 9 out of 10 online reviews are real. Many people are also savvy enough these days to spot a fake from a real review, and most consumers believe the reviews they read and rely on them for choosing who to do business with.


Myth 2: Reviews Won’t Show Up in My Search Result

Myth:If people are looking for my services, my website will show up before any reviews.

Fact:When people are looking up a local services business, their search will most likely go something like this:

  • Computer repair shops
  • Find names of some to look up
  • (name of computer repair shop) + review

People use the term “review” often when deciding which business to trust, and if you don’t have any reviews, they may wonder why. Additionally, Google My Business, puts reviews front and center on any local business search by listing your business and rating at the top of the search result.


Myth 3: It Doesn’t Matter If I Reply to Reviews or Not

Myth:No one reads further than the initial review, so my reply won’t matter.

Fact:Responding to customer reviews not only builds trust in your business, it can also help your SEO. Customers DO read responses to reviews, both positive and negative, so you can build up trust in your business by responding professionally to both.

In a study by Trip Advisor, hotels that replied to reviews saw a 12% increase in customer’s adding reviews and a 0.12-star rating boost.

Google also has confirmed that responding to your Google My Business reviews can increase your local search rankings. They encourage business owners to respond to customer feedback and state “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility.” Survey results found that reviews accounted for 15.44% of how Google ranks local businesses


Myth #4: Only People that are Upset Will Bother to Write a Review

Myth:If I ask for reviews, only people that are mad about something will take the time to write one.

Fact:Happy customers are actually more likely to write a review than unhappy ones, with 75% of reviews posted on review sites leaning towards the positive. You also gain valuable information and the chance to win an unhappy customer back by knowing what was wrong. 95% of disgruntled customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly.


Myth #5: People Trust Word of Mouth More Than Online Reviews

Myth:It’s only friend referrals and word of mouth that people trust. Online reviews… not as much.

Fact:The digital age means that we now interact with friends and community online and this shows in consumer trust statistics. In fact, 88% of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, giving them the same weight in their buying decision.


Myth #6: Promoting Reviews Isn’t Going to Impact My Conversions

Myth:Going through all the trouble of promoting reviews and posting them on my site won’t do much for my lead conversions.

Fact:By displaying reviews on your website you can actually increase conversion rates by 270%. Reading a review while looking over your tech business website can be the thing that solidifies someone’s decision to call you for their IT services over someone else that doesn’t have reviews on their website.


Myth #7: I Don’t Have Time to Ask for Reviews and Reply to Them

Myth:It’s going to take up too much of my time to ask everyone for a review and check them to see if a reply is needed.

Fact:With the right type of automation in place, you just spend a little time on the front end setting it up and then requesting reviews becomes automatic.

For example, there are several reputation management services that save you time by pulling in reviews from several directory sites around the web and presenting them in a dashboard for easy reporting and management. These same services can also automatically send out requests for reviews via text messaging and / or email to your customers, again saving you time.


Myth #8: The Star Rating is All Anyone Cares About

Myth:People only look at the star rating, so I don’t need to ask for a full review.

Fact:While star ratings do carry some weight when it comes to trusting a business, people also like details when deciding whether or not to buy your products or services. Star ratings only go so far and can’t give specifics on why someone enjoyed doing business with you, such as “They were very responsive” or “We’ve never had an IT security issue since signing with them five years ago!”.

Consumers read on average 10 reviews about a local business before feeling they can trust them, and star ratings only won’t generally be enough to garner that trust.


Myth #9: I have Enough Reviews Already

Myth:I have a bunch of reviews from past years, so why should I spend time just adding more?

Fact:44% of consumers say a review should be written within the past 30 days to be relevant. The older your reviews get, the less weight a potential customer will give them in their decision-making process. They may even wonder, why do you have great reviews from 2 and 3 years ago, but none recently? This makes it important to keep fresh reviews coming in regularly.


Myth #10: If I Get Negative Reviews, there is Nothing I Can Do about Them

Myth:I can’t do anything about negative reviews, so reviews will hurt my business more than help it.

Fact:It’s inevitable that no matter how perfect your customer support is that someone is going to be unhappy about something and voice it in an online review. But you CAN do something about negative reviews.

  • Show you’re responsive by letting a negative reviewer know you’ll be happy to address their concern and invite them to contact you offline. Others will also see this reply and gain respect for your company.
  • Fix the issue the reviewer posted about and suggest they may want to update their review. This tactic is used often by clothing retailers, and some consumers increase their star rating and update the review noting their issue was positively resolved.
  • Report false reviews to Google, such as one driven by an obvious competitor that leaves bad reviews on yours and other IT business sites, but a glowing one on theirs. Read this article for tips about what Google will and won’t consider a review worthy of deletion.


Myth #11: People will Make their Decision Based Upon My Services Descriptions

Myth:How well I write my service descriptions will factor more into a person’s decision than someone else’s review.

Fact:Consumers trust a third-party review 12 times more than the marketing text on a company’s website. So, while it is important to have great copy on your website, it’s also important to include that third-party credibility as well by incorporating customer reviews on your site and encouraging reviews on sites like Google.


Myth #12: Anything Less than 5 Stars is Bad

Myth:If I don’t have a 5-star rating, customers will consider that bad and it will reflect poorly on my business.

Fact:Studies show that a 5-star rating is actually trusted less by consumers than one that’s slightly lower. This is because a 5-star rating gives off that “too good to be true” vibe.

Consumers have more trust and were more likely to purchase when a company’s rating was between4.2 and 4.5 stars. That gave then a feeling that the company’s reviewers were legitimate and that the business had a good reputation.

What’s the lowest star rating you want to have? According to a survey of 2,005 US consumers, 3.3 stars was the minimum rating for a business that consumers would consider engaging with.


Don’t Ignore the Power of Customer Reviews

Cultivating customer reviews should be a regular part of your business’s marketing strategy if you want to gain the best competitive advantage that you can. The work you put in up front automating a reviews request program will pay off big time in the long run through more sales.

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