The short answer is most likely yes. Even if your competitors aren't using reviews, get ahead of the game and find out why you should.
Hands up those who have at least once in their lifetime looked up a frenemy on social media, done some research on your team's opposition, or searched for a competitor online to see how they rank compared to your business? We all compare how we're doing one way or another, and there's no shame in looking.
As the proverb goes:
“Know yourself, know your enemy, and you shall win a hundred battles without loss.” - Sun Tzu
Although you're not fighting a war, it sometimes may feel that way, so that's why it's best to do your research and step-up your own game using reviews.
The main advantage of comparing oneself against a competitor and their reviews is to gain insight. This can be done in a multitude of ways - that can also be applied to your own review strategy - including problems and pain points, customer favourites and trends, and most importantly reputation management.
Issues & complaints
Through reading competitor reviews you can highlight any grievances or product and service issues, and see if they apply to any areas of your business. You may feel smug seeing some of your competitor's negative reviews or complaints, but these objections allow your competitor to address these concerns and do better in the future, counterintuitively boosting customer confidence in their brand.
Can you say the same? By not only determining your competitors problems to develop your services, collecting reviews yourself gives you deeper observations into any issues as and when they arrive, to really strive to do better as a business, and ultimately improve for your customers.
Favourites & trends
You can also garner product or service appreciation from competitor reviews. See what their customers like and want and apply those factors - where possible - to not only benefit your current patron base, but potentially expand it to a wider demographic.
Through your own review collection you can hear affirming praise for all your hard work, and showcase those shining reviews for other customers to see, strengthening trust in your brand image.
You can also establish trends by reading competitor reviews. Trends, as is their nature, come and go quickly, so need to be taken advantage of there and then. You may have been pushing the wrong products, but through your competitors custom, you may determine favourites and therefore put these front and centre.
That said, doing such research and comparison is to not simply copy. You still need to be innovative, because if you're only copying your competitors areas of excellence and avoiding their mistakes, you're not ahead of the game.
Gaining knowledge about your competitors customer's thoughts through their user generated content can help spark new ideas and concepts. You may have held self-limiting beliefs essentially holding you back, but with fresh eyes through theirs and your own reviews, you can reinvigorate interest and drive more traffic towards your business.
The last insight you can reap from a competitor's reviews is how they are managing their online reputation. Reputation management is pertinent in cementing trust for your business and retaining and driving new customers, therefore it should be a top priority for your business also.
Although you have learnt about any problems as well as appreciation from competitor reviews, you can determine how your competitor responds to these instances.
Despite a competitor collecting reviews, they may not be utilising them thoroughly enough, allowing you to fill that space. Simply having feedback through a review is one thing, but how you display your reviews, respond to them, and manage your online presence is another. So what can you do?
Reviews.io has the answer
You've seen your competitors reviews, they may be radiant, they may be tarnished, or they may be so-so. But whatever reviews they do have, they still have them, period. This is made even more salient by the fact that 92% of consumers now read online reviews.
If you're not collecting reviews, you instantly handicap yourself against the competition. As discussed, you can't present all your customers praise, readily identify problems and rectify them, nor determine your online reputation from a shopper's perspective.
Your stars in Google
The first and foremost benefit from review collection is being able to display your Seller Ratings and stars in Google.
Although you may see a competitor has 3 stars online, yet you steadfastly know you're better than that - potential customers don't! If they can't see an average rating for your services created by individuals similar to themselves, what motivation do they have to give you a go?
Google licensed Review Partners, such as Reviews.io, enable your Seller Ratings to appear in the Google SERPs in your Google Ads, as well as your stars in organic searches.
Your ratings in Google immediately improves visibility, giving you the edge over a competitor. With 68% of consumers reading reviews when compiling a shortlist, don't give your competitors a helping hand by not being on that list.
Your Seller Ratings and stars not only help solidify trust, but they encourage greater click-through rates, helping to drive traffic. 87% of consumers say that a business needs a rating of 3-5 stars before they will use them, and those who visit a site and interact with reviews spend 11% more than those who don’t, ultimately improving conversion, and thus revenue.
So without reviews, only 13% of consumers would even consider your business, and even then they may not purchase anything, yet with reviews you increase positive WOM spreading your image, as well as see more in your wallet!
Once a consumer lands on your page, they need to be able to see why others have rated you so wonderfully. Freely displaying your reviews on your website allows customers to further inform themselves and their purchase decisions, and makes you appear open and trustworthy in their eyes.
With Reviews.io you have your very own company profile page, such as the one below, which displays all your reviews, your overall seller rating, and your recommendation percentage.
We also have a wide range of SEO friendly badges and widgets, allowing you to display your reviews easily on your site. As such, through the use of specific rich snippet widgets, your reviews are then crawled by Google, helping you to rank in the SERPs.
Responding to reviews
Reviews not only offer feedback to do better as outlined, they open up dialogue between you and your loyal customers. This is salient when your customers have any issues, and may not have had the experience they paid for.
Negative reviews are a beneficial factor in review collection, and are not (as many are led to believe) a reason to shy away from reviews. Problems and complaints provide a platform for you to address concerns and improve your services - like you gained from your competitors - and turn an unhappy customer into a continued user.
If all else fails, your response to a negative review can do wonders. By offering an apology, customers see you are sincere when there are issues, and can rely on you to be there if there are pain points in their buying journey. Without reviews, how were your customers previously determining you reliability?
With our review notifications and alerts feature, you can keep on top of your reviews in real-time, addressing issues as and when they arise to provide your customers with a great and focused service.
Collecting Local Reviews
Lastly, unique to Reviews.io, our Local Reviews solution helps you crystallise that final and most significant point: securing your online reputation.
You're doing all you can to provide great services, checking up on any bad experiences and resolving them, as well as displaying that great seller rating for all to see on Google, but your online reputation has taken a hit. You may be collecting, but individuals here and there will leave reviews for you on channels of their choosing.
These reviews are unverified, and more often than not damaging to your reputation due to their less than positive nature. You have no control in order to rectify the problem, or reach out publicly to demonstrate your concerns. Instead, these reviews drag down your overall ratings, injuring your online reputation for all to see. Seem fair?
With our exclusive Local Reviews solution, you can collect across many channels, including Google, Facebook, Yelp, and even Tripadvisor. This reach enables you to improve your reputation on these channels, and thus your overall rating reestablishing trust.
You can change the percentage of reviews left on your website and local review sites, and you can then determine the percentage between those sites themselves. It's as simple as that, yet the rewards are tenfold. A secure reputation putting you in control, allowing you to monitor and manage all your reviews across the web. From this and your new Seller Ratings, you get greater click-through rates, conversion, and revenue.
Competitor reviews can be used to your advantage, providing you with feedback to do better. However, you can't sit idly copying old ideas, nor can you simply use competitor review data alone.
Use competitor feedback to inspire you, and begin your own review journey today. Reviews offer great insight into snags in your services or hiccups in customer experience, to then make amends and improve for the future.
This user generated content can also be proudly displayed on your website, as well as your Seller Ratings and stars in Google, to not only benefit your customers with the information they provide, but to also offer you SEO friendly data to help you rank in the SERPs.
With Reviews.io you can reap all these amazing review benefits, at affordable and transparent prices. We don't believe in long contracts, with our rolling monthly payments leaving you the freedom of choice, but with thousands of happy customers so far we know we'll be right for you too.
Not only that, we're the only review platform to offer Local Reviews, enabling your business full control over your online reputation. Check out our homepage to see all our great solutions, or try them today by clicking the button at the top of this page for a free trial!