Online reviews are especially important in the wedding industry. They can benefit everyone from wedding planners and photographers to caterers. Think of them as the first impression couples will have of your business.
They will be more likely to let you plan their special day if they have a good impression. But without them, they may decide to choose competitors over you. This, in turn, could affect your revenue, growth, and profits.
By the time you finish reading this article, you'll know the importance of online reviews. And you'll also gain actionable insights on how you can get more of them.
Why you need business reviews in the wedding industry
We live in an era of smartphones and social media. People are more connected than ever, and information travels fast. If a customer has a negative experience with a product or service, they can let the world know about it. Similarly, if they have a great experience, they'll likely tell others.
In a competitive industry like the wedding industry, reviews matter — a lot. According to a 2020 study by Wedding Wire, most customers look at reviews to find out about:
The study also found that most couples leave reviews within 2-3 weeks after their wedding. And if they don't, 20% will leave a review when asked.
Wedding professionals are also aware of the importance of reviews. 79% said that reviews are a vital part of their business. But out of those surveyed, 48% mentioned that collecting reviews was hard to do.
For wedding businesses, reviews are critical because they allow them to:
Let's explore each of these benefits in more detail.
To Collect useful feedback
Online reviews are an excellent way to learn what your customers think. You can find out what they like or don't like, and discover ways to improve.
Let's say you get the following reviews for your wedding business. Each one mentions that your company’s customer service is lacking. How would you react?
If you were like most businesses, you would ignore the reviews. Or conclude that your customers are impatient. But that would only make you miss out on an opportunity to improve your service. A better approach would be to act on the feedback.
For instance, you could use text messaging to provide quick updates to your customers. Or add a FAQ section on your website where they can get answers to common questions.
By taking action, you'll make your business better. You'll also show your customers that you care about their opinion. And this can go a long way in building trust with them.
To relate with your customers
The wedding industry is all about relationships. Couples want to work with professionals who understand them on a personal level.
They look at reviews from previous customers to find out their experiences. And they may even reach out to them to get more details about how their wedding day went.
A business with lots of positive reviews will have an easier time getting new customers. But that doesn't mean that critical reviews will put you out of business.
In some cases, taking the time to respond to all reviews can be better than having lots of positive reviews. According to recent statistics, 89% of prospective customers read review responses.
Another survey found 70% of people change their perception of a brand after they read their reply. 41% say that responses make them feel that the brand cares about them. 35% say it shows excellent customer service, and 22% say it makes the brand trustworthy.
To increase search engine ranking
Besides improving customer relationships, reviews can also boost search rankings. MOZ's Local Search Ranking Factors Survey shows that reviews influence rankings by 6%.
Although they have a smaller impact than other variables, reviews shouldn't be underestimated. A 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors study revealed something fascinating about online reviews.
It looked at how businesses performed in the “Local Pack,” the box of local search and map results. And it found that reviews with the search terms included were the second-most important ranking factor for a local business. The first factor in the Local SEO Guide study was the total amount of additional organic rankings.
This means that if a site already has excellent organic rankings, it's more likely to show up in the Local Pack. This can lead to higher click-through rates and more traffic. It's also not ALL just about Google. It's important to build you review site listings and earn wedding industry reviews on Yelp, Wedding Wire, The Knot, and recommendations on Facebook
To increase sales
The most important thing for any wedding business is revenue and sales. The good news is that reviews have the power to influence both.
Research from Northwestern University found that reviews have a significant impact on buyers. But the effect depends on factors such as star ratings, number of reviews, and price of an item.
When businesses show reviews, conversion rates increase very fast. A product with five reviews, for example, has a 270% greater chance of getting bought than a product with no reviews.
After five reviews, the marginal benefit of each new review goes down, as shown in the following graph:
How to encourage more reviews
Looking at the data, it's clear that reviews can drive real business results. But how do you get them in the first place? Here are a few ideas you can try out:
These strategies work for all types of wedding businesses, including wedding planners, caterers, dress designers, florists, and photographer. Let’s look at an example of a real review a customer left a wedding planner on Yelp.
In the above screenshot, we can see that the customer left a positive review. The business owner then acknowledged the positive feedback by adding their response. As a result, customers now have a better idea of what it would be like to work with them.
Final thoughts on reviews in the wedding industry
Reviews have the power to transform any wedding business. They can help you build trust, increase sales, and find areas for improvement. They can also help you grow your online visibility and traffic to your site.
You can start the process of collecting reviews today. Make a plan to dedicate 10 minutes every day to reviews. Reach out to old clients, reply to reviews, and update your site with the latest reviews. When customers see that you deliver what you promise, they won't hesitate to do business with you.