In 2004, two former PayPal employees, Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman, wanted a way for friends to refer businesses to each other (Stoppelman caught the flu and couldn’t find a new doctor). Working together, they founded Yelp, the wildly successful online review company, and forever changed the way consumers find businesses online. Some praise the new review economy, saying it creates a great way for businesses to shine, while others are more hesitant and distrust unsolicited or public reviews.
Whatever your opinion of publicly posted reviews, they’re here to stay. It’s important to learn how to navigate the review economy and use this powerful tool to your advantage. Here are a few insights from the GigSalad community and across the web on why reviews matter.
Reviews create more gigs.
This may be the single greatest fact of online reviews. Research indicates that 71% of online consumers believe that reviews make them more comfortable that they’re buying the right product and 70% consult ratings or reviews before making a purchase.
Allowing and encouraging your clients to post reviews is an easy way to build credibility. You’re showing potential buyers that you have an established track record of quality performance and reliability. Studies indicate that even negative reviews—when responded to appropriately—strengthen consumer confidence. People are more likely to trust the positive reviews when they see that you allow and engage with lower rated comments as well.
Avoid the temptation to ignore or even delete negative reviews. Instead, graciously explain the context and offer to rectify the situation in some way. GigSalad allows disputes for fraudulent reviews and a communication tool for you to respond to negative reviews. This transparency lays a great foundation for potential clients who are considering you for their event.
Reviews create client relationships.
Reviews give you a means to continue communicating with your clients even after the service has been provided. The reviews section can become its own thriving social engagement forum where people post a review and then return to read other’s reviews and see if anyone comments on their own. You can potentially create a mini-social network of fans and advocates within your reviews.
Make sure you respond to every review, both positive and negative. For positive reviews, thank them for the review and the opportunity to participate in their event, and share a memory or appropriate personal detail from your time together. This level of care will not only create loyal customers, but will also go a long way to establish confidence with new ones.
Reviews create return customers.
If a client takes the time to leave a review, especially a positive one, they are much more likely to use your services again. People are looking for quality, consistency, and predictability. They’ll remember the amazing service you provided, and when planning their next event, they’ll be eager to contact you. You might also consider using the positive reviews as follow-up tools for future bookings and referrals.
Reviews create free marketing.
Word-of-mouth and peer recommendation are by far the strongest marketing tools that exist. One study suggests that 88% of people using online services consider online reviews as strong as a personal recommendation. When you allow customers to post reviews, other potential clients read those and take them as seriously as a friend’s personal advice. That’s invaluable advertising that doesn’t cost you a penny.
Reviews create more reviews.
Getting the first few reviews can be a struggle. That’s why GigSalad offers the “Request a Review” feature in the Tools section of your PromoKit dashboard.
Once the reviews are generated, people will feel more comfortable leaving reviews, which in turn will strengthen that consumer confidence. In addition, every time you book a gig through GigSalad, we automatically generate a review request to your client. So as you’re wrapping up the event, remind them to be on the lookout for that email and to post a review.