Including Customer Reviews In Your Marketing Strategy

If you’re a business owner that is looking to build awareness of your company, there may be no better way to do this than through testimonials. A recent study shows that displaying reviews of a business on their site can increase conversion rates by 270%. This means that having a positive presence online can do wonders for your business in terms of performance as well as perception. Here are some tips on how to incorporate reviews into a marketing plan, as well as what to do if you ever receive negative feedback.

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How Customers Use Reviews to Make Decisions

Increasingly, shoppers are becoming more discretionary when it comes to not just buying goods, but who they do business with. This is a result of online reviews becoming more of a factor in how people decide on purchases. Consider the following research statistics:
  • Approximately 95% of customers read reviews of a product before making a purchase
  • 72% of customers won’t take action on buying something until they’ve read a review
  • Nearly half of consumers need to see a minimum 4-star rating before they consider a business
  • When a business has positive reviews, they see 31% more spending from users

In addition to the above, it should be noted that 94% of online shoppers say that they have decided against visiting a business purely based on negative reviews, so while positive feedback can have a good impact on advertisers, the same is true for negative responses.

Incorporating Reviews on Your Site

As more and more companies look to add reviews to their sites, many providers have multiple ways to utilize these reviews in ways that increase their presence. For example, a review can be added to a blog post that highlights a specific product or service. Adding feedback to these can indicate to the customer that the company has experience in being successful in certain areas. Feedback can also be added directly to the homepage via a plugin that displays it directly to a web page. This can provide instant credibility when a potential customer first clicks on a website.

Having a dedicated webpage on your site that’s only for reviews can also be useful. These pages can be similar to a case study or a testimonial page and can allow for customers to directly leave ratings or reviews. A page like this can mean that a business will have to work to maintain high ratings, to prevent the possibility of seeing multiple lesser reviews.

Benefits of Adding Reviews

Many of the benefits that come from having reviews on a business’ web page are obvious, such as the potential for increased traffic as customers note positive feedback on work the company has done, as well as showing credibility with your services. There are other advantages from these reviews as well. To start, they can provide a direct line between you and your customers. You have the ability to reinforce positive reviews with thanks, and quickly remedy any negative feedback.

From a business perspective, sales can be impacted as well. While having a high average rating will obviously drive up sales, even businesses with a lower rating can improve their performance depending on how they respond. A recent study indicated that a business that improves its Yelp rating even by one star can see a short-term boost in sales from 5-9%, meaning that displaying you are putting in the effort to change a potentially lower reputation can lead to better success down the line.

Handling Negative Reviews

While in a perfect world everybody would receive the highest ratings possible, the truth is that there will always be the chance of something not going right, and that being reflected with a negative rating. Oddly enough, there are some positives that can come from a low review. For example, they can add credibility to an overall score. Researchers indicate that the likelihood of purchases is most notable with a review score ranging from 4.0-4.7, and as it reaches 5.0, begins to decline. In addition, they can lead to innovation within your business. Going through feedback can determine if a product needs to be changed or abandoned altogether based on received feedback.

Of course, whenever a bad review is received, the business typically wants to try to make things right with the customer. There are right and wrong ways to deal with negative feedback. To start, it’s important to not blame the customer or accuse them of dishonesty with their experience. The best ways to handle a bad review include:
  • Apologizing for their bad experience
  • Displaying empathy for the situation
  • Claiming complete responsibility
  • Provide something to serve as a make-good


When considering the role of reviews for your business, it is important to note that not only will you be handling positive feedback, you will also have to consider negative responses. By knowing how to handle and display each type of response, you can have a major impact on the credibility of your company, and that can lead to higher sales and visibility.

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