Monthly Archives: August 2015

5 Reasons to Add Customer Reviews to Your Website

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

You don’t have to offer thousands of products or a catalogue of services to benefit from featuring customer reviews on your site, yet only half of small businesses think positive reviews are actually important (Yodle: Small Business and Online Reviews Survey). Did you know that 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?

Add Reviews to Your Site

If that wasn’t reason enough, 72% of consumers take action after reading a positive review. You don’t have to offer thousands of products or a catalogue of services to benefit from featuring customer reviews on your site, yet only half of small businesses think positive reviews are actually important (Yodle: Small Business and Online Reviews Survey).

Read on for a rundown of the top 5 reasons why a business of any size can benefit from adding reviews to their website…

1) Increase your sales
Reviews give the customer valuable product information from a fellow consumer; a personal, honest and unbiased analysis of how a product meets the needs of the consumer can give a customer the confidence to make a purchase. Your product description alone quite frankly can’t compete with this thumbs-up endorsement, it’s a powerful tool. Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers. Not only do reviews help your customer in their decision making, but they can offer you valuable feedback about the products and services you offer.

2) Validate your website
Reviews help to prove that you have a customer base and a sales history, it can give customers confidence in your business and offer some peace of mind that they will receive the goods they pay for! Don’t be too hasty to remove the odd bad review for certain products: according to Harvard Business Review a $60-a-bottle Tuscan wine enjoyed a 5% spike in sales after a popular online reviewer likened its aroma to “stinky socks.” This isn’t to say that your poorly reviewed products will become your next best seller, but seeing both good and bad can further validate your site and lead the customer to trust the legitimacy of your reviews.
(Obviously a string of negative reviews can be damaging so be sure to closely monitor the reviews on your own site as well as business testimonials on external reviewing sites)

3) Gain loyalty through customer engagement
Anyone that gives up a few minutes to write a good review on your site is instinctively going to feel more inclined to use your business again in the future. To maximise on this be sure to respond, even if it’s just to say thank you, e-commerce can be a faceless business and even the smallest interaction can help you to stand out from your competitors. Other browsers of your website can also see your response which assures them that you are active and are more likely to respond to their customer queries, in fact site visitors who interact with both reviews and customer questions are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting.

4) Help your SEO
Reviews don’t just help your relationship with your customers, they help your relationship with Google too You stand to dramatically improve your search engine ranking as a result of regular, fresh and relevant content provided by customer reviews. Customers are now frequently searching for ‘product name + reviews’ and reading product reviews before purchasing is a part of the buying journey for a vast number of consumers. However don’t try to be too clever, make sure that your reviews are in text format on your site and not disguised within images or flash elements as these will not be recognised and will only hinder your crawlability.

5) Reviews breed reviews
Just as we instinctively see an empty restaurant as a sign of a bad restaurant, make sure you get off the ground with reviews and contact your customers for their feedback. Once you have a few reviews, others will follow, and soon so will the benefits. Stats reveal that 47% of Britons have reviewed products online which suggests there is no shortage of people ready to provide their opinions. (eConsultancy)

Read our next blog for ideas on how to encourage customer reviews on your website.

Virtual companies can benefit from a virtual assistant

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

A new breed of business is springing up around the country, created by the power of the internet and the cloud, and the boom in outsourcing and remote working. They allow young geniuses, or experienced executives, setting up their own company in the UK to create a global business with programmers in India, a supply chain to China or Taiwan, and with creatives, accountants and sales people all over the world.

While many of these businesses rely heavily on their websites for sales leads and customer contact, there is still a huge percentage of the population that would prefer to talk to someone on the phone. A virtual receptionist allows these types of business to have a reliable and friendly person available 24 hours a day. They can answer clients’ and potential customers’ questions and take care of order taking and payment processing.

Ignoring people who prefer to use the phone could seriously be damaging your bottom line, and the inexpensive cost of a virtual receptionist could bring in sizeable amounts of revenue. Not only does a virtual receptionist save you having to hire a real one, it can provide a point of contact should your website go down or your email service get hacked.

If your business is a small one, then the service can also act as a professional messaging service, rather than just defaulting to your voicemail that you probably rarely have time to check. Adding that extra layer of gloss to your business will improve customer perception and increase the chances of you keeping their business.

With all of these advantages, is it worth risking ignoring income by failing to take advantage of what is still one of the most popular methods of communication on the planet? Whatever type of business you run, having a real person available at the end of your contact number can make a huge difference and help to bring in customers, especially those who dislike the impersonal sign-up web form or need specific information not found on your site.

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