Online Reviews – Breaking down ‘REVIEWS’ into the sum of its parts
Reviews are important. More people and businesses are noticing, and finally starting to do something about it. In this post I do something really clever (well I think so anyway), I attempt to break down ‘REVIEWS’ into the sum of its parts in order to describe and explain their benefits to both businesses and customers alike (I told you it was clever). Each letter in reviews stands for something, each letter adds something to the word, without all of the letters the word wouldn’t be the same.
So, what does ‘REVIEWS’ break down to?
R is for REAL
Reviews are written by real people. They are believable for that very reason. Real people do real business with real companies run by real people. It’s a cycle. Reviews provide real examples, which are relatable to the people reading them. Because these reviews are relatable they actually mean something, and are much more likely to be believed and remembered than any old guff a business can write up.
E is for External
Reviews are outside of businesses control (or at least they should be) this means that the power has shifted from the company to the customer. The customer has a voice, and a powerful one at that. A business should not try and interfere with that voice, because it will only look like manipulation and falsification. It’s not up to the company to get it’s customers to shout about how good the company is, not for the business to blow their own trumpet. Having reviews as an external source is much more trustworthy, which leads nicely onto the next section . . .
V is for Verification
Customers shouting and talking about the company gives the business credibility. Anyone can say anything online, but not every one can back up their claims. Reviews I believe are the single most effective method of verifying a business claims. Increased credibility means increased trust, which leads to new and increased sales.
I is for Information
Reviews are incredible sources of information for customers and companies alike. For customers, they get know if the company and products/services live up to their descriptions, and whether the company is worthy of their hard earned cash. For businesses, reviews offer information about what their customers care about and how they can improve, which leads almost seamlessly onto the next section . . .
E is for Evaluation
Reviews allow a business to identify what it’s doing well, what it’s not doing so well and what it is ok at. Reviews are one of the most unbiased sources of information available to companies, it would be a real error to not utilise them to help evaluate their ongoing business practices. Everything from product lines and sales processes to business structure and after sales service.
W is for Where Next
So, reviews have allowed the business to collect information. This information is evaluated and can the be used to create actionable improvements. This helps move the business forward, allows it to keep progressing and stay ahead of its competitors. Because reviews are constantly being generated and posted it gives companies continual feedback, this allows for improvement paths to be created, this helps drive the company onwards.
S is for SEO
Reviews are not only filled with information and real world examples they are also incredible tools for building search rankings. The benefits can and will be felt not only for businesses but also for individual products. SEO is really important for getting found, and having ratings incorporated and shown in search results just goes to show the importance that search engines are placing on reviews, therefore businesses should embrace them too!
This is what I think ‘REVIEWS’ really mean. I also hope that this breakdown provides some useful information for you guys reading it. If though you do have any other ideas on how to break down ‘REVIEWS’ i’d love to hear them!