Star ratings are nothing new. We have been seeing them flash across our screens since the dawn of the Internet Age. Thankfully, stars haven’t lost their power, and are possibly even more important than the actual words a customer uses in a review. Why is that?
According to Steve Wyer of Third Coast Interactive, star ratings are powerful because they are easy to read. They provide a glimpse into the overall quality of a business. And if you are a business owner, they determine how many new customers you’re likely to engage.
What’s For Dinner?
Restaurants are one area where it is easy to see how star ratings affect business. More than one-third of hungry searchers will not even consider making a reservation at a restaurant with less than four stars. Evidence suggests that even a partial increase in these visual ratings can equate to revenue for eateries hoping to keep the kitchen busy. Filling in just half a star can boost consumer confidence, making it 30 to almost 50 percent more likely that a restaurant will fill its seats during peak dining hours.
Manage Your Star Count
Online reviews matter, and your business’ star rating shines brighter than ever before. Today’s buyers are time-conscious and will keep scrolling if your front-facing image — your star rating — isn’t impressive. Here are a few tips on how to build a solid 5-star reputation:
- Claim your auto-generated sites. Virtually all businesses have an online presence that they didn’t create. Facebook publishes pages based on user activity, Google uses directory information to add your business to its search function, and Yelp isn’t shy about inserting your business’ info and letting diners review you. If you do not claim these listings for yourself, the public will, and then you lose a valuable opportunity to own your online real estate. Claiming these pages also gives you a chance to listen and respond to feedback.
- Keep an eye on review platforms. Although Yelp, Google, and Facebook are well-known, they are far from the only review platforms out there. TripAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, and Healthgrades are just a few examples of industry-specific sites that you need to monitor based on your services offered.
- Respond diplomatically. Make a point to respond regularly to reviews, both positive and negative. For the former, a simple thank you will suffice. For the latter, however, be diplomatic in your response. Apologize for any perceived infraction, and invite them to contact you directly to rectify the problem. Do not be combative, and avoid the temptation to blame the customer for their negative experience.
- Get more reviews. One of the best ways to increase your star rating is to simply ask your happiest customers if they are willing to leave a review. Do this at the time of service, and they are more likely to oblige. By encouraging your customers to go public with their feedback, you capture more reviews and have a better chance of expanding your customer base.
Today’s online shoppers want convenience, and that is evident in the way they read reviews. Your star rating matters more than you know, and it is up to you to encourage your happy customers to post their opinion. Remember, someone who has had a negative experience is more likely to take to the internet to air their grievance, and asking for instant feedback from satisfied patrons can help balance the scales.
Latest posts by Steven Wyer ( More about this Author )
- Why Aren’t 4 Stars Enough? February 16, 2020
- Who’s Listening to Your Private Conversations? February 5, 2020
- Flip the Script: How to Combat Negative Reviews January 31, 2020
- Be the Star of Your Own Reviews December 18, 2019
- What Are Fake Reviews, and Why Should I Be Concerned? July 3, 2019
- FTC Strikes Blow to Fake Reviews, Amazon Shoppers (and Sellers) Will Benefit June 6, 2019
- FTC Targets Paid Reviews; Calls Out False Product Claims May 23, 2019
- Replies Made Easy Via Google Maps May 7, 2019
- Yelp Today, Gone Tomorrow? April 22, 2019
- Google Revamps My Business; Rivals Facebook Pages March 9, 2019