Written Reviews Make Star Ratings Meaningful

Adam Dorfman

It takes more than 5-star ratings from multiple users to validate your services and attract consumers to your offerings. Customers want to understand the “why” behind the rating.

Written reviews provide context and credibility. Reviews also play a critical role in SEO. Businesses with a significant number of favorable online reviews rank higher on search engine results pages.

The growing complexity of managing customer feedback and sentiment requires an Online Reputation Management (ORM) strategy that provides you with tools to look beyond star ratings and garner written reviews that benefit your business.

Not All Stars Are Equal

If a 5-star rating is “excellent” and a 4-star one is “great,” 3  stars should mean “good,” right?

Not necessarily.

A feature in Time magazine focused on the complex psychology of star ratings and online reviews. It shared an example of how a ridesharing service expects its drivers to receive an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars to stay in its system. A few 3-star ratings could cause a driver to drop below 4.6 stars.

Related: 6 Solid Ways to Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Reviews

But star ratings can be subjective. The story indicated that most services use the same rating system of 1 to 5 — from retail services to automobiles and healthcare.

Some people award 3 stars because they look only at the quality of service or an experience. If it meets expectations, but doesn’t go above and beyond, 3 stars seems like a good rating. Other users might rate the same experience with 5 stars.

Look Beyond the Stars

Without a written review that describes the reasoning behind a rating, how can a prospective customer tell the difference between a 3-star and 5-star review? A review that explains why a person gave 3 stars can level the field between star ratings.

Written reviews also play an essential role in ensuring your business makes the first page of a search. Google and other search engines use written reviews along with keywords and other SEO factors to determine which businesses rank higher. The more consumer-generated review content you have, the more highly ranked your locations are in search results.

What’s more, review snippets are included now with your business listings. If that latest review shows five stars and raves about your service, you’ll get higher click-through rates.

Related: The Digital Opportunity with Ratings and Reviews

Make Sense of Star Ratings

An integrated ORM platform can help you navigate the complexities of online review management by:

  • Using pre-configured, automated email templates to help request and gather feedback from all of your customers, shortly after their experience with your business.

  • Offering tools that allow you to promptly respond to customer feedback in online reviews to build customer loyalty and trust.

  • Providing a centralized view of all your reviews on Google, Facebook and hundreds of review sites to monitor and ensure reviews are representative and accurate.

Learn more about how to enlist the voice of the customer to capture a full, fair and accurate picture of your business through written reviews.

Keep Reading: Get More Google Reviews Fast with Review Booster

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