The power of word-of-mouth is nothing new. People have always valued getting information from those they trust. In fact, according to Nielsen, recommendations from friends and family are the most-trusted advertising format.
However, in our digital age, word-of-mouth’s impact is amplified. People now have 24/7 access to reviews, feedback, and recommendations — representing tremendous growth potential for businesses that capitalize on them.
If you’re not putting online reviews to work for your self-storage business, you’re missing out on a major opportunity for winning new customers.
Read on for a closer look at why online reviews matter so much — and tips for making the most of them to increase new customer acquisition for your self-storage facility.
Why Online Reviews Matter
A staggering 93 percent of consumers read online reviews before making the decision to buy a product. The takeaway is clear for business owners: If your business doesn’t have a feedback mechanism incorporated in your customer acquisition strategy, you are almost certainly losing customers.
Still not convinced? Check out these additional online review statistics:
- 75 percent of today’s consumers distrust traditional advertising to the point where they avoid it altogether.
- 91 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
- For every additional star a brand gets on Yelp, it sees an increase in revenue of up to 9 percent.
- The more expensive a product is, the larger the impact reviews have on consumers.
- 43 percent of shoppers say text-based reviews influence their purchase decisions compared to 33 percent for photos and 34 percent for video.
The Benefits of Online Reviews
We’ve already established that online reviews are valuable. Which begs the question: What, specifically, can they do for your self-storage business? Here, we’ll highlight seven specific benefits of customer reviews for client acquisition.
They help you understand your customers.
Good customer reviews are validating, while bad customer reviews can be demoralizing. But they both have something in common: they can help you understand your customers.
Whether it’s doing more of something that’s going well or adjusting something that’s not working, customer reviews are an opportunity for improvement.
They give you credibility.
Social proof is worth a lot in our world — and online reviews make it easier than ever for your self-storage business to get it with just a few clicks.
They can help you compete with bigger and more established businesses.
Sure, the self-storage business across town has been in business longer, but more and better reviews can help you bridge the gap.
The same works in reverse. Maybe a new facility has all the bells and whistles, but if your reviews are stellar while theirs are less than ideal, customers will choose you.
They build customer loyalty.
People like to have a voice, and they like to be heard. Customer feedback allows for both. Not only are you giving your customers a chance to express themselves, but you’re also showing them you’re listening by responding. It IS possible to build relationships over a screen, and customer reviews are a powerful way to do it.
They can boost your search rankings.
According to the Search Engine Journal, “Pages with reviews which mention a keyword and/or the name of a city, were found to have higher rankings in Google’s local pack. At a high level, having a keyword you are trying to rank for, and a mention of a city you are working to rank in, in reviews has a high correlation with high ranking Google My Business results.”
They turn your customers into marketing partners.
Customer reviews are an invaluable marketing tool boosting your brand-awareness in both the short- and long-term. The best part? They’re not on your payroll.
They encourage more reviews.
The same reason people leave reviews is the same reason others will, too. We are social creatures. When people see that your self-storage business has a lot of reviews, they’ll be inspired to add theirs to the mix.
Tips for Making the Most of Online Reviews
While online reviews offer many benefits to your business, they don’t happen on their own. The good news? There’s some simple things your self-storage facility can do to optimize your client feedback, including the following four tactics:
Ask for them.
Almost 47 percent of internet users worldwide leave reviews. Factor in that 93 percent of consumers were influenced by online reviews when deciding to make a purchase, and the need for your business to take advantage of this trend is clear.
Data from the Spiegel Research Center reveals that the likelihood of a product getting purchased increases by 270 percent when it gets five reviews.
One way to make sure your customers leave you feedback? Ask them to! This has the added benefit of showing them you care about their opinion.
Email campaigns are an especially effective way to encourage your customers to leave reviews. Not only is it an inexpensive method, but it can also be automated.
Other avenues for asking for customer feedback include social media, retargeting ads, in-app messaging, and calls to action (CTAs) on your website.
A little goes a long way when it comes to getting people to leave reviews. Whether you offer a discount or a small token, adding an incentive can be just the nudge your customers need to review your business.
Respond — and quickly.
Data consistently indicates that consumers not only expect a response when they leave online reviews, but they expect them promptly. Failure to respond to reviews can ultimately do more harm than good as it can detrimentally impact customer trust and loyalty.
Take the good and the bad.
Bad reviews happen. But the truth is that they’re not actually terrible for your business. As covered earlier, they give you a chance to improve. But not only that, customers don’t expect you to have all positive reviews, and are skeptical of businesses that do. In fact, customers spend more time on sites with negative reviews leading to conversion rate increases of 85 percent.
Again, the importance of responding to poor local self-storage reviews cannot be overstated, as it demonstrates top-notch customer service and your commitment to getting it right, both of which support client acquisition.
From posting reviews on your website and social media to letting reviews on third-party sites speak for themselves, there are many ways to use positive reviews to engage your customers and grow your self-storage business. This is just one of the areas we specialize in at The Light Digital.
Whether you’re specifically looking for help formulating a new customer acquisition and retention strategy or you’re looking for a comprehensive digital marketing plan, our experienced team can help.
To start putting the power of online reviews, social media, email, SEO, and more to work for your self-storage business to win new customers, contact us today.