The internet has opened a gateway to how consumers shop. With access right at our fingertips, it’s easy to hop online to Google an item or service you have an interest in. With that comes the ability to read or leave a review. At least 90% of customers will not purchase an item without reading at least one review*. If your business hasn’t given much thought to online reviews, here are 3 reasons why online reviews play a significant role in shaping your business in the digital marketplace.
1.) Online Reviews Help Develop Your Customer Service
Providing great customer service means understanding your customers, your audience, their needs, and their wants. Therefore, paying attention to your online reviews will help tailor your services to better suit your customer base. Great customer service also means meeting and exceeding their expectations every single time. As 95% of consumers are more likely to share their negative experiences with their peers**, it’s imperative that businesses reach out to disgruntled customers and address the situation right away. Using a customer’s negative insight as input will allow you to improve customer service by quickly and efficiently resolving the issue, thereby creating a positive experience for the consumer.
2.) Online Reviews Improve Your Credibility and Social Proof
If you think your audience is not paying attention to online reviews, then think again. We are inherently social creatures who are always curious to know about others’ buying experiences; more so if the purchase we are making is at a higher price point. Nowadays consumers are more demanding in terms of their requirements and expectations when shopping for a certain product or service. They want to match their expectations to the level of satisfaction of the other customers. Online reviews provide a showcase for the number of customers you’ve serviced, products you’ve sold, or users you have, and it also proves that your business is seasoned and knows what they’re doing. And as many shoppers distrust businesses that have ratings below four stars, having a steady stream of positive reviews can help build your company’s online identity.
3.) Online Reviews Demonstrate Customer Loyalty
Online reviews are the “word of mouth” for the digital age. Much like your parents (or grandparents) asked their family and friends for recommendations regarding their purchases, online reviews are today’s equivalent. Consumers who take the time to leave an online review of your business are far more likely to feel a certain loyalty to you. This is because the act of leaving a review establishes a relationship with your business as the consumer is able to provide feedback in a positive and meaningful way. And typically, when a business has already received online reviews, it encourages other visitors to leave their own feedback. Furthermore, a proactive and receptive attitude towards customer reviews (yes, even the negative ones) will help create brand awareness and encourage loyalty.
If your business has not been encouraging your consumers to leave online reviews, then don’t delay. Businesses overlook a major opportunity when they don’t engage with customers to leave reviews as they are the primary source of information that consumers use to decide where, what and when to buy. Some ways to collect reviews are as follows: share customer experiences via social media; promote your Google My Business profile; have a special feedback button on your website; incentivize reviews through loyalty programs; or send an email inviting them to leave a review after their purchase.
*we got this fact from here: https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey
**we got this fact from here: https://cdn.zendesk.com/resources/whitepapers/Zendesk_WP_Customer_Service_and_Business_Results.pdf