Over the next three weeks, we are publishing daily tips from Britain’s fastest-growing companies on how to grow your business.The next tip in the Real Business three-week Business Growth Plan is: encourage your customers to review your business. Reviews and recommendations have exploded in the past 12 months. Encouraging your customers to review is increasingly becoming an essential part of the marketing mix, alongside social media. “Reviews are becoming huge – 73 per cent of all shoppers check with other consumers or friends before purchasing from an unknown brand,” explains Andy Phillipps, chairman of product comparison website Reevoo. “Business owners consistently underestimate just how willing consumers are to write reviews. If asked, 15 per cent will review products and services without any incentive at all.” A good example of this is LoveFilm. In total, LoveFilm customers have generated an eye-watering 80 million film ratings and have written 843,000 member reviews. This not only helps LoveFilm to promote the most relevant titles, but it gives LoveFilm an added element of authority in the movie sector. Research shows that reviews play a huge role when consumers are deciding whether to purchase a product or not. The key influencers are: recommendations from friends (49 per cent), consumer reviews (42 per cent), the media (16 per cent), recommendations from shop assistants (12 per cent) and advertising (11 per cent). Andy Phillips adds that it’s important to get it right. “The power of the negative voice is massively amplified on the web. So make sure you have a good product.” So the lesson here is to first ensure you’ve got a good product; and then encourage your customers to review your company – this will open a whole new channel of new business for you. Business growth assured!
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