Where should we go to eat?
Who should I get to replace my front door?
Who can I really trust to manage my investment portfolio?
Referrals and recommendations are vital to your success. But just how important are they? Here are a few hard facts about the business impact of online reviews and recommendations:
- Online reviews build business. 90% of people report that positive ones help them assess the quality of a local business.
- People trust online reviews. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 trust them as much as personal recommendations!
- Word of mouth boosts sales. According to recent research, word of mouth drives 13% of consumer sales – which equates to $6 trillion (yep, you read it right) in annual consumer spending.
- Online ratings increase revenue. A 2011 Harvard study found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating led to a 5 to 9% increase in revenue. People rely on review sites much more heavily now. How much do you think a Yelp star is worth in 2015? (Hint: they’re gold-colored for a reason!)
How do your potential customers get the referrals they need?
When people need referrals, they typically use one of three sources:
- Traditional referrals. Obviously, people trust word of mouth, contacting friends and family members to find out who they’d recommend.
- Testimonials. Testimonials are valuable because they give a first-hand account of the customer experience. They can be found in lots of places – including company websites, brochures, online review sites and more.
- Online reviews. With the rapid adoption of mobile technology, more and more customers are relying on online reviews (on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, Bing, Citysearch, Urbanspoon and more) to guide their purchasing decisions.
How can you increase referrals – and build your customer base?
Make sure you have a great online reputation!
That’s where Barqar comes in. Our cost-effective, fully automated reputation management system helps you build more positive reviews and control your brand image. When people need a recommendation for a business like yours, they’ll find glowing testimonials and online reviews about you on the sites they turn to most.