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Why you shouldn't fear customer reviews

Adrienne Stillman
Jul 26, 2016   |   Adrienne Stillman Recommended for:   Marketing
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Customer reviews aren't as scary as they seem. Here are 3 reasons adding reviews to your winery’s website benefits your business - and tips on how to handle negative ones.

We've all heard the horror story: a customer writes one bad review and the business goes under. This makes businesses afraid of using reviews, fearing that one customer with a personal vendetta will bring the whole thing down.

But one negative review isn’t a reason to let a few bad eggs spoil everything for the rest of your customers. Shoppers actually want to see reviews on your site, and the happy ones leave positive feedback. Here's why you shouldn't be afraid to incorporate reviews and testimonials into your winery's website:

They're beneficial for SEO

Google uses customer ratings to determine how relevant a business is to a particular search query. The search engine lists the top three results for local search, so customer reviews can help get your winery in front of the eyes of wine enthusiasts in your area.  With Google's recent push for quality and relevant content, this is definitely not a statistic to ignore.

They're what customers want

A 2015 BrightLocal survey found 92 percent of online shoppers read reviews. This is up from 88 percent in 2014. Most people only read a handful of reviews before forming an opinion, but many said star rankings are the most important element.

Customers also trust reviews from their peers more than they trust product descriptions. You could go into the most beautiful description of a wine's aroma, but a review saying, "I really liked this wine, and their delivery was quick" could be what ultimately convinces someone to make a purchase.

They increase your credibility

Customers value transparency and are more willing to trust a winery that's open about every aspect, even the negative. Opening your website to customer reviews shows that providing value to your customers is a top priority. This increases the public's perception of your winery overall, giving you an edge over your competitors.

But what about negative reviews?

Don’t be too afraid of fake, old or bad reviews. Customers are increasingly aware of the possibility of fake reviews and therefore don't depend exclusively on reviews when making purchase decisions. In addition, customers understand that older reviews might discuss something that no longer applies to your winery. According to the BrightLocal survey, 44% of respondents said they thought reviews over a month old weren't relevant anymore.

If you do get a bad review, there are a few ways to handle it. First of all, it could be a learning experience for your team and a way to identify areas of your customer service that need improvement. Take the time to publicly respond to each review, even if the topic of discussion is out of your control. This way, other customers see you take even the most critical opinions seriously. 

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