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Online Reviews: The Best Endorsement for Your Business Establish Your Brand’s Personality

Online reviews

Why are online reviews important for my business?
How can I effectively respond to online reviews?
How can I use online reviews in my marketing?

These days, people like to do their research. Before they commit to buying, they look for information and opinions that will help them make informed decisions.

Obviously, a good or bad review from someone a customer knows personally, like a friend or colleague, can sway their decision to buy from your business.

But what about an online review from someone a customer doesn’t know? Surely prospective customers wouldn’t trust strangers’ opinions…or would they?

88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. This means online reviews can have a big impact on whether or not people become your customers.

Online reviews are so powerful that they helped tour agency Kayak Adventures Worldwide stand out from their competition.

Kayak Adventures Worldwide noticed that many potential customers would mention online reviews when calling for information. So, they started using reviews to learn how they could improve their tours and customer service.

Using email reminders and thank you notes, they began encouraging customers to write online reviews. They also personally responded to customers who left negative reviews, addressing their concerns.

Kayak Adventures Worldwide’s strategic use of online reviews helped them stand out and grow their business. Over half of the people who booked in the pre-season said that they found the company through an online review site.

Just like Kayak Adventures Worldwide, you can use online reviews to your advantage.

Online reviews can be a great way to get exposure and earn free publicity. That’s because your business name and address appear on websites that publish reviews, like Google My Business, Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, and more.

Also, having a lot of positive reviews shows that your business has a genuine and loyal following. This might cause a potential customer to think, “People seem to really like this business. I might like this business, too!”


To keep up with customer reviews, routinely search online to see where people mention your business. Compile a list of these sites and apps, and create a search engine alert using a tool like Google Alerts so you can monitor reviews as soon as they’re posted.
Treat reviews like conversation starters. Follow up with reviewers and address their feedback.

When responding to a review, remember that you’re representing your business. Keep your response professional, no matter what the reviewer wrote.

If someone leaves a positive review, let them know how much you appreciate their feedback. Make your response as personal as you can. For example, if the person mentioned his or her name, include it.

And remember, this is not the place to pitch your products or get sales. It’ll make your business seem opportunistic and insincere.

Not many businesses, if any, have a 100% rating, so you might get a negative review at some point. The key is not to panic and to respond in the right way.

If you don’t handle negative reviews properly and promptly, it can hurt your reputation. So always address any concerns customers have, and show them you’re listening and improving.

Start by thanking the reviewer for their feedback. A dissatisfied customer is still a customer. Then, address the problem in a sincere manner and explain what steps you’re taking to resolve the problem.

When responding, stay calm, be positive, and acknowledge the customer’s feelings. Don’t get defensive or sarcastic. Yes, having an online brawl might be cathartic, but it’s simply bad business.


Consider creating a dedicated email address to handle responses to reviews. It can be This helps your business look professional, and makes it easy to organize customer feedback and handle it efficiently.

To avoid a public tête-à-tête with an unhappy customer, try to sort out the matter privately over email or over the phone.

If you manage to resolve the situation and the customer seems satisfied, you can ask them to revise or remove the negative review.

If you have the customer’s address, consider sending a handwritten note. You might decide it’s appropriate to send a coupon or gift certificate to show you value their feedback and business.

Even if you delivered as promised, sometimes people just can’t be satisfied. If that’s the case, respond publicly and briefly explain your side of the story and how you addressed the situation. However, don’t get into the blame game.


There are some cases where a review is irrelevant, off-base, or simply spam. Report inappropriate reviews to the website they’re published on. However, remember that most websites won’t remove them unless the review violates an editorial or content policy.
Online reviews are more than just a way to have a conversation with your customers. You can also use them to attract new customers.

Don’t cross your fingers and hope for positive reviews. When customers have a good experience with your business, actively ask them to leave feedback.

Use reviews as testimonials. Publish them on your website, and on printed materials to demonstrate customer satisfaction. Just remember that you need to get permission from customers before using their reviews in your marketing.

You can also use them in internal presentations as proof of success. Getting real-world, positive feedback motivates employees, helps keep team morale high, and is encouraging for stakeholders to see.


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