One of the most powerful tools that businesses have at their disposal is online reviews. In fact, 91% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Moreover, businesses with more than 82 total reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue than businesses with fewer than 82 reviews. And businesses with a 4-star rating or higher on Google receive 76% of clicks from local searchers.
Writing a meaningful review can help other customers make informed decisions and give businesses direct feedback to improve their services. But where and how customers post reviews can have a significant impact on a business’s success.
Customers have many options for sharing their feedback about businesses they interact with in today’s digital age. Here are some of the most popular platforms where consumers can post reviews:
Where Should You Post Reviews?
- Google: Google My Business allows customers to leave reviews about a business directly on their Google listing. This platform is particularly useful for local businesses, as it can improve their visibility on Google Maps and in local search results.
- Facebook: Facebook business pages also have a review feature that allows customers to leave feedback and rate their experience with the business.
- Social Media: Customers can share their experiences with businesses on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. This can include tagging the business in a post or using relevant hashtags to get their attention.
- TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor is a platform specifically designed for travel-related businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Customers can leave reviews and ratings based on their experiences.
- Apple Maps: Apple Maps allows users to search for businesses and leave reviews and ratings directly from the app.
- Yelp: Yelp is one of the most popular review platforms, with over 200 million reviews posted to date. Customers can leave reviews and ratings about all kinds of businesses, from restaurants to hair salons.
How to Write a Meaningful Review
When leaving reviews, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Be specific: When leaving a review, be as specific as possible about your experience. Mention specific products or services you used, what you liked or didn’t like about them, and any problems you encountered. This helps other potential customers better understand what to expect and helps the business address any issues.
- Be honest: Don’t exaggerate your experience, whether positive or negative. Be truthful about your experience, and give an accurate portrayal of your experience. This will help other customers make informed decisions and will also help the business improve its services.
- Provide constructive criticism: If you had a negative experience, don’t just complain – provide specific, actionable feedback that the business can use to improve. For example, if you had a bad experience at a restaurant, don’t just say the food was terrible – explain why it wasn’t to your liking, and suggest ways the restaurant could improve.
- Keep it professional: Remember that your review is a reflection of you as well as the business you’re reviewing. Be respectful and professional in your tone, even if you had a negative experience. This will help your review carry more weight and be taken more seriously by other potential customers.
Customer Review Examples
Now that we’ve covered the best practices for leaving reviews let’s look at some examples of reviews that provide helpful feedback to business owners.
“I recently had a great experience at XYZ restaurant. The food was absolutely delicious and the service was top-notch. Our server, Sarah, was incredibly friendly and attentive throughout our meal. I particularly enjoyed the grilled salmon dish, which was cooked to perfection and had a delicious flavor. The restaurant had a great atmosphere, and I appreciated the attention to detail in the decor. Overall, I highly recommend XYZ restaurant and look forward to visiting again!”
Poorly Written Review:
“I went to XYZ restaurant and it was terrible. The food sucked and the service was bad. I will never go there again.”
As you can see, the well-written review provides specific details about the experience, highlights particular aspects of the restaurant that the reviewer enjoyed, and offers a recommendation. On the other hand, the poorly written review is very vague and doesn’t provide any specific information or constructive feedback.
Here’s another example:
“I recently purchased a new vehicle from ABC Dealership, and I’m extremely happy with my purchase. The staff at the store were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and were able to help me find a vehicle that met all of my needs within my budget. The car itself is safe and reliable and has all of the features that I was looking for. I’ve been driving it for a few weeks now and haven’t had any issues. I highly recommend ABC Dealership for anyone in the market for a new computer.”
Poorly Written Review:
“I bought a vehicle from ABC Dealership and it was okay. Nothing special.”
In this case, the well-written review offers specific details about the purchasing process, highlights the helpfulness of the staff, and offers a recommendation. The poorly written review, once again, is very vague and doesn’t provide any specific information or feedback.
Related: How to Respond to Positive Reviews
Online reviews have become an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and consumers alike. By following best practices when leaving reviews, you can provide valuable business feedback while helping other customers make informed decisions. And with statistics showing just how impactful reviews can be on a business’s bottom line, it’s clear that taking the time to leave a thoughtful, well-written review can make a significant difference. So, next time you have a positive or negative experience with a business, take a few minutes to write a specific, honest, constructive, and professional review – you just might be helping that business improve its services and attract more customers in the process.