Did you know ... 88% of people trust online reviews?
Staggering, isn’t it.
First of all, we feel that it is important to define what constitutes an online review. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Online Reviews provide consumers with information about products, services and business based on the experiences of other consumers. Reviews are designed to be presented by independents who offer genuine insight to help others make a more informed decision.
As a small business, company or organisation, negative, impartial and solid reviews from customers are GOLD! And guess what? Leaving a review, doesn’t cost you a cent.
With re-emerging and sporadic lockdown measures in place, businesses are looking to the online sphere. This means less face-to-face interactions, less in-store experiences, and less opportunities to ‘try before you buy’. Instead, consumers rely on easy-to-navigate online stores, quality website imagery and most importantly REVIEWS!
90% of people check out online reviews BEFORE making a purchase.
People want to know they can trust the brands they are purchasing from to deliver quality products & services. And the most reliable way to ensure that this is the case, is to listen to what previous & current customers have to say.
Now, we must remember that the majority of people who leave reviews are either ‘extremely satisfied’, or ‘really dissatisfied’. Generally speaking, customers who are simply satisfied that a product or service met their expectations, don’t usually go out of their way to leave a review. So it’s important to keep this in mind when perusing the reviews.
When we refer to ‘reviews’, we don’t JUST mean positive & glowing reviews, we also mean honest, constructive criticism. While some companies & businesses are terrified of getting negative reviews, they can actually be a blessing.
How? You might ask…
Negative reviews give businesses the opportunity to fix, improve and respond in a proactive manner.
By receiving negative feedback from a customer, you are given the opportunity to reflect on your product or service and improve it for future clients. You are also provided the chance to demonstrate quality customer service, by responding to the client in a respectful and helpful manner to resolve the issue. An appropriate response to a bad review, can either make or break the relationship. You can choose to ignore & deny, resulting in the loss of a customer and escalated bad feedback. OR, you can approach the situation with genuine care and turn the customer around.
There’s nothing’s more encouraging then seeing a helpful & proactive response from a company to some negative feedback. This also acts as a reminder that there ARE humans behind the brand that DO put in effort!
At the end of the day, we are ALL human… mistakes happen, and errors are made, finding out where improvements can occur is actually a fantastic growth tool!
With this in mind, looking at more recent reviews of the company, product or service is an important approach, as it reflects more of the CURRENT quality & service that is being provided.
Did you know that conversion psychology says that people prefer to make safe decisions vs. taking unnecessary risks with their time and money? This is known as “Risk Avoidance”.
It seems logical, doesn’t it?
I am sure we would all rather steer clear of risks, negative experiences and bad encounters?
As a business, there are several things you can do to accommodate building trust via reviews.
Display verified customer ratings & reviews on your website. These reviews might come from Google, Bing, Facebook or other providers, however, displaying these ratings & written reviews on your website increases your credibility & provides consumers with the opportunity to hear from others. Depending on your website provider there are several ‘widgets’ that can be ‘plugged into’ your website to allow these reviews to appear.
Kindly request customer reviews. This might be in the form of a follow up email to your customer about their experience. Alternatively, you might choose to send out a ‘Thank you’ card with each order, that kindly asks your consumer to leave a review. Perhaps, you prefer the social media sphere? You could request that clients tag you in a social media post to let you know that they love your products or services. This is a GREAT way to not only get some feedback, but also encourage the circulation of positive feedback about your brand, product or service within your target market.
Incentivise. If you have the available budget & capacity, incentivising customer reviews is also a great way to get feedback from your clients. People LOVE getting a bargain! Perhaps, you will offer customers a 10% discount for leaving a review. Alternatively, maybe their review is an entry into a giveaway you are running? OR, maybe you will send a FREE gift to say thank you? Either way this not only encourages more reviews, but also more meaningful engagement with your target audience.
And the benefit of all this?
Increased exposure & revenue. At the end of the day, the more reviews, the more your online store will appear in searches (SEO), the more people will trust your brand and ultimately, the more sales you are likely to attract.
As a consumer, it is important to understand the value of your feedback. So often we forget that there is a person behind each business, brand & online store. And people LOVE getting feedback!
Not only that, but your review is not just empty words or a insignificant stars, businesses acknowledge those who take the time to leave a review and sometimes you might even get something out of it. Maybe it’s a discount? Maybe it’s a freebie? Maybe it’s a ‘thank you’?
We ALL benefit from reviews… businesses AND consumers!
So the next time you purchase a quality product or service that you are satisfied with, don’t forget to take 30 seconds to leave a review or rating. Your review could be the difference between a business struggling & a business growing!