Customer reviews are becoming increasingly important — even the negative ones. With platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook, and others, it’s never been easier for consumers to leave a review about a product and/or business.
If you’re already collecting customer reviews for your business or if you’re still thinking about it, it’s a good idea to back up and see how customer reviews help and why they matter.
1. Influence on buying decisions
Product and/or customer reviews have a huge influence over the buying decisions of prospects. In fact, there are lots of surveys that prove this.
For one, a December 2016 survey from Fan & Fuel revealed that 94% of customers typically read written customer reviews before making a purchasing decision. A 2018 local consumer review survey from BrightLocal also showed how 86% of consumers read online reviews for businesses.
Whatever reviews customers read about your product or business will have an impact on their decision. According to BrightLocal’s 2014 Survey, most people see customer reviews like a personal recommendation. So if prospects find the reviews relatable, realistic, positive, and accurate, they would probably listen to them.
2. Peek under the customers’ minds
Customer reviews are windows (and large ones at that) to the minds of your customers. The reviews they leave are literally what they think about your product or service.
There are different reasons why customers leave a review. Some of them include:
- Out of brand loyalty
- Out of happiness from the product or service
- Out of dismay and disappointment
You can expect some of the reviews to contain the ‘whys’ — why your product or service is good or bad. With that, you’ll know what to improve, modify, promote, or even what product to offer next. Suffice to say, customer reviews — especially the negative ones — could help your business.
3. Polish customer service
By understanding customer reviews, you’ll be able to gauge customer satisfaction. And when that satisfaction plummets, you’ll know what to resolve and how to do it.
In this case, negative reviews play an important role. When negative reviews are handled incorrectly — or not handled at all — they may cost you your business. The effects could be dramatic, detrimental even. Imagine, 40% of customers will avoid buying from a business with a negative review according to BrightLocal.
That’s why customer service, like replying to negative reviews, is important. Womply’s analysis of their transactions showed that businesses that reply to reviews at least 25% of the time average 35% more revenue.
Your replies to negative reviews won’t be for naught. For example, 33% of Yelp users would likely change their review if a business would reply to a complaint within 24 hours. You can’t ignore those reviews especially with 89% of consumers reading the replies to those reviews.
4. Healthy for SEO
Customer reviews are strong ranking signals. According to Search Engine Watch, review signals account for 9.8% of the total ranking factors. Reviews are a huge benefit to your site visibility especially if your e-commerce site is still new.
Customer reviews are user-generated content which could greatly boost your long-tail keywords. In addition, positive reviews and ratings improve your site’s authority in the eyes of search engines like Google and Yahoo.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of consumers research first before bringing in a vendor. As people start searching and reading for reviews, your site’s rank will rise higher leading to more visitors to your site.
5. Increases credibility and social proof
There’s no denying it — customer reviews do elevate your credibility and increase the social proof of your business. The most common and effective social proof is one that’s coming from the customers themselves.
By nature, humans are social creatures and opinions from peers have a great influence over the buying decisions of their co-customers. According to G2, 92% of B2B buyers are more inclined to buy after reading a trusted review.
Furthermore, a recent update from Google Shopping now allows customer-submitted photos to be shown on product review pages. This further elevates social proof especially that prospective customers are able to see pictures of a product in a non-promotional way.
6. Marketing purposes
If you think about it, positive customer reviews are the most effective and enticing marketing campaigns you can use. And you can use them anywhere — on your site, ads, sales pages, and others.
It may not be that obvious, but customer reviews can also be used for visual marketing. As you collect them, you can use them alongside customer written reviews. In addition to your product photos, customer submitted-photos would be a refreshing breeze to prospects and see how the products look like in real life.
7. Competitive insights
Who says that customer reviews are only for customers’ eyes? What others say about your competition is a valuable insight.
By reading the online reviews of your competition, you’ll also be able to understand how to improve your own product or business. That gives you a competitive edge over them.
Simplify with TrustSpot
All of which we mentioned above can be achieved using TrustSpot. Aside from collecting product or business reviews, you can also use customer reviews for marketing purposes to grow your brand.
TrustSpot could also help you drive more traffic with customer reviews using rich snippets, inline SEO, and dedicated reviews profile page. With this, you can expect a 17% average increase in CTR and a 22% average increase in organic traffic.
No matter what, customer reviews are important for your business. There’s none to lose and so much more to gain by implementing a customer review strategy. They are as vital to you as they are to your prospective customers.