As customers, we’re constantly looking to learn more about what we buy, from how it’s made to who makes it. In an age where people are using smartphones and tablets to research products, there’s no better way to maintain your online reputation through positive customer reviews.
Easy access to the Internet has drastically changed how people shop today. From mobile services, travel to grocery – Internet has the answer for everything. Which means more and more businesses are shifting to the Internet and maintaining their online persona.
Hence, it is crucial to maintain positive reviews for your business because consumers these days do not just believe in everything they see on a company website. They tend to evaluate and check other customers’ reviews and thereafter make their purchase decision. Studies say that negative reviews have prevented 94% of online shoppers from visiting a site.
For a brick-and-mortar business, the power of having good reviews is not unknown. People want to support the businesses they love, and when people love a business, they’ll tell others about it. So, to run a business, one must have a solid review strategy in place.
Here are 7 reasons why customer reviews are important and why you need to start putting more thought into your customer review strategy.
1. Drive Social Proof: People Trust Reviews
Online reviews have a great effect on customers’ research process, guiding their shopping decisions and thus shaping the user behavior. You can drive social proof by encouraging users to read other people’s reviews before deciding to purchase your product. But how to get more customer reviews for your website? By asking users to share their experiences and the journey, they took on your website. By doing this, you can gain a large pool of content and reviews to help build credibility and trust.
When people feel that others are successfully using the product, they’re more likely to try it themselves. This will drive more purchases from consumers who want to follow the crowd. It also helps in creating an overall brand perception.
2. Create a Connection with the Buyer: Reviews Help Build Trust
This is another great importance of online customer reviews. Reviews are a way to build trust and eliminate any doubt in the viewer’s mind. The more your traffic sees authentic customer testimonials or reviews on your website about your services, automatically a sense of trust and confidence will grow in them.
When you ask your customers to review your product, it gives you a window into who they are and what their experience was like. Business thrives when customers share their experiences with others. You can even incentivize people to do so.
For example, Starbucks Rewards members earn points for each item they purchase at the coffee chain. The more points they accumulate, the more money they can spend at Starbucks.
3. Help Improve Product Quality: It’s the Right Thing to Do
There are plenty of online resources and tools that will predict if a business is doing well or not. They perform SWOT analysis based on some key metrics that give a premonition of how a product or a brand will perform once it rolls out in the market.
But what can be done to improve the quality of the product and keep customers coming back for more? Is there a way to ensure this?
Well, read the reviews of your product. It will give you an unbiased analysis of your product, the true user experience, even better than your own testing team. And ultimately, with each passing day, you shall reach one step closer towards perfecting your product or service, creating a better user experience per se.
However, do not feel discouraged by negative reviews. Take them as healthy criticisms and find out where exactly you went wrong. The trick is to focus on the negative aspects and learn from those and make the customer’s experience better.
4. Boost Brand Authority: Your Level of Authority will Set the Tone of your Brand
Authority comes from recognition. It’s not just the number of positive reviews that matters, but the fact that they’re coming from real people who have been there, done that, and bought – matters.
Consumers are willing to trust a brand more when they see reviews from people they know. People want to buy from brands that have an established reputation and credibility in the market.
60% of consumers read restaurant reviews before even booking their table. 95% of online buyers seek product-specific reviews. For medicines and health-related queries, more than 84% of patients check for reviews about doctors and physicians before selecting one. Even job seekers evaluate reviews before applying for a job in a new company.
So, you can understand how much brand authority you can generate with some authentic note of appreciation from customers on a positive note!
5. Increase Brand Awareness: Making People Aware of your Brand is Great
Showing positive customer feedback of products can increase brand awareness and encourage potential customers to purchase.
As an example, IKEA was the first furniture retailer to use social media to display customer reviews on its website. They started by allowing their customers to leave reviews on Amazon, but this method only garnered a few dozen reviews per month. So they turned to Facebook and Google+.
Now, IKEA has millions of reviews on both platforms. The reviews aren’t always positive, but they do help increase brand awareness. One cannot expect people speaking only good things about you (unless those are ‘paid reviews’); there will be some ‘not-so-positive’ reviews too. But at least you can rest assured that more people are talking about your brand, thus escalating your brand awareness amongst your target audience.
6. Enhance Sales Conversions: Consumers Trust Positive Reviews
Reviews have an enormous impact on sales. Positive reviews increase the perceived value of a product, which in turn leads to increased purchase consideration. On the flip side, negative reviews decrease the perceived value of a product, which in turn decreases purchase consideration.
This is why most e-commerce site owners spend a considerable amount of time and energy trying to get and keep their reviews as positive as possible. But there is a limit to how much you can control the content of your reviews. Customer reviews on website and social media channels are entirely user-generated and may sometimes turn south. But don’t stop using them for your own benefit. Ensure to respond to each of them politely and professionally.
7. Increase Referrals: Good Reviews Help You Grow
There’s nothing more effective than word-of-mouth advertising. And the most effective form of word-of-mouth is referrals. This is why many online businesses and brands encourage their customers to share their experiences with others.
Reviews and testimonials are some of the most powerful tools for referral marketing because they-> • Give people a “feel” for what it’s like to do business with you. • Provide proof that your product or service really does work. • Give you another opportunity to sell your products or services without the expense of a direct sales campaign.
When used in the right fashion, reviews from customers are conversion machines. Having your customers talk about you in a positive way is a great thing when everything you do is actually targeted towards them. These are the proper UGC (User Generated Content) that you may get without even investing a dime but can be leveraged to generate a considerable ROI.
And it goes without saying that online customer reviews are permanent; they are not going anywhere and the more you start encouraging them, the higher will your online visibility be eventually.
In conclusion, reviews are the lifeblood of any healthy business and are the most underutilized marketing tool at the disposal of every entrepreneur. Benefits of customer reviews are manifold; you just have to channelize the right one for your brand or business.
So start encashing these subtle yet effective content types and start your trust-building activities today. And if you need any help in strategizing your content marketing improving your online marketing strategy, we are just an email away!