How do reviews influence local business income? Stats and features from Pluspoint – a review management platform

Reviews are an essential part of a business’s online reputation management.

More than that, it greatly influences sales – on average, an increase of 1 star in a company’s rating increases revenue up to 9%. As a result, companies can improve their online presence and grow their customer base with reviews.

According to recent studies, small businesses usually don’t have many reviews (the average number is 82), making it difficult for them to stand out. On the other hand, larger companies have a lot more and thus can be easier to find in searches, which results in greater revenues. The good thing is that if a small business has at least 200+ reviews on its profile, it usually earns twice more than an average one.

Platforms like Yelp and Google My Business are among the most popular ways to get reviews in today’s digital world. These platforms provide businesses with a platform where they can manage their reviews and respond to them accordingly. However, businesses need to understand the definitive part that reviews play in the income of their business:

Importance of Visibility. How reviews make your business shine

Reviews greatly increase the visibility of business by leveraging traffic from review platforms. It’s important to be at least in TOP5 of your category on a review platform because usually TOP5 positions get 75% of a platform’s organic traffic. It’s also known that reviews are one of the five main factors Google considers for a website ranking, so it helps you to improve your local SEO stats.

So, how it’s possible to increase the number of reviews? You can leverage review management platforms like Pluspoint to get three times more reviews than usual. Pluspoint allows using QR codes, emails, and SMS for getting more reviews. That helps to automate review generation and increase your income.

Use Customer’s Feedback. Like a business classic said: “Every complaint is a gift”

Customer feedback is one of the most important resources for improving the performance of a business. You can find out about your local business’s points of growth and advance your business using this knowledge. As result, you’ll become better than your competitors and get more income.

Pluspoint allows your business to collect and analyze customer feedback to improve your business performance. One of the best features of Pluspoint is the possibility to collect feedback privately, so negative reviews will not impact your business rating. Iа you see that the feedback is positive, you can ask the client to leave a public review. This way you will learn from your mistakes but will not spoil the rating.

Reviews as leverage for the sales department

Reviews can also be a great help for a sales department. First, by analyzing reviews, sales managers can understand what objections customers have and how to work with them. Second, sales managers can use reviews just in the sales process to persuade a customer to a purchase. Imagine yourself – when you see a persuading online review in the process of communication with a sales manager, it tips the scale to the “buy” decision. The thing is that 79% of consumers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation. One insurance company leveraged this knowledge by printing online reviews they had and exhibiting them in their windows.

Pluspoint analytics allows seeing the bigger picture of your company’s reputation – just what sales managers need to use the mentioned techniques. The analytics allows you to collect the data from all review platforms in one place, and sort reviews by date, rating, channel, and platform.

Importance of Reviews For Chains and Franchises

Chains and franchises often struggle to keep up with the reviews and customer feedback – it takes a lot of effort to generate and process it. How much time a review needs to be processed by a manager, and what is its “lifecycle”? Let’s see:

  1. An administrator asks a client about a review – 2 minutes. It takes at least five customers to get a public review, so the final number is 10 minutes.
  2. Then reminds a client by phone about the review if a client hasn’t left a review – 3 minutes. We multiply it by five and get 15 minutes
  3. Then read it, respond to it and provide insights to a boss – 5 minutes. And responding to reviews is vital – businesses that reply at least to 20% of their reviews earn 33% more revenue[1].

So, processing a review takes ~30 minutes. Let’s consider that a business receives 20 reviews per month per location, and it has ten locations. But that’s not all – usually companies are presented on at least two review platforms, like Yelp and Google. What do we have now? 30 * 20 * 10 * 2 = 12000 minutes = 200 hours per month! That means if you have a multilocational business and want to grow – you should hire a person only for review management! The average salary in the UK is £38 000 per year. That really breaks the bank!

Is there a solution? Yes. Pluspoint automates not only review generation, but also review management. You’ll be able to collect reviews from all of your locations and more than eight review platforms in one place. From this command centre, you can reply to reviews almost instantly or even automate this process with triggers. Also, you will be able to see the big picture with our advanced analytics. You can sort reviews by location, platform, service, and time. You can analyze the generalized stats, like reviews rating distribution or the “sales funnels” for reviews.

Bottom Line

Customer reviews are one of the main marketing tools for a local business that really influences its income. Whether it’s reaching out for testimonials or highlighting their reviews on social media, every little step helps to improve the visibility of your business and its online reputation. Leveraging platforms like Pluspoint increases the efficiency of review management, so it’s a good idea at least to try one.

[1] (Womply, 2019).