Making customer reviews a business priority will have immediate, positive effects on your future growth.
Why? Because potential customers use reviews to find out what existing customers think about your business.
For better or worse, customer reviews directly influence whether people buy your products and/or services or not.
Customer reviews are any kind of feedback that your customers leave regarding your products and/or services.
Having more reviews, especially positive ones, attracts new customers which, in turn, helps your business grow.
The data behind this is convincing - one study found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.
These reviews can be found on various online mediums - your website, your social media channels, or even on third-party review sites.
Such third-party review sites can be found with a quick Google search. Industry leaders like Yelp or Amazon should be the first on your list, then any and all online forums popular with your customers.
In this piece, we'll dissect ten reasons why customer reviews matter, then leave you with some final thoughts.
The top ten reasons customer reviews are important are:
Social proof is the psychological and sociological phenomenon where consumers look to their peers to see how they are acting, then follow suit.
This behavior is human nature. We feel assured by, and trust in other peoples' experiences, then use them to inform our own actions.
You can see social proof in action with customer reviews and the influence they have on potential customers.
When a potential customer reads a positive review from another customer, there is a high chance they will believe that recommendation and go ahead and purchase.
In one US based survey, 90% of customers claimed that positive reviews they read influenced their decision to buy.
The social proof phenomenon backs up the claims your customers make about your business. It makes them more believable, and your customers are more likely to base their business decisions based on these claims.
Having more reviews in the public sphere inherently makes you more visible. It also makes it easier for potential customers to find you.
Even a few negative reviews sprinkled in amongst positive reviews is better than having no reviews on your Google business page.
This is because more reviews makes it more likely that you'll appear high up in search engine results page (more on that to come).
In general having more content online leads to more traffic heading to your website. Reviews act as that content, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Businesses that have more reviews attract more attention, rank better, and convert more customers.
Customer reviews serve as great publicity, with customers trusting other customers' opinions.
What's more, asking for and giving reviews is completely free.
One of the first places that people see when they search for a product or service is its Google My Business listing. Google business profiles are completely free, and can provide great publicity.
Yelp and Amazon are also places where customers could be contributing to your marketing efforts for free with positive reviews.
Here's an example of a great Amazon review:
Investing time in building up the number of customer reviews you have allows you to spend less energy on in-house marketing strategies.
This can simultaneously protect your bottom line and increase your profits. It also frees up your teams and resources to focus on more value-adding endeavors.
Studies have shown that businesses with more reviews than average generate 54% more revenue.
This is because positive customer reviews persuade customers to buy more.
This makes sense when we connect it to the idea of social proof covered earlier.
When a customer reads positive reviews about another product or service, it gives them the confidence they need to purchase without worrying they are making a mistake.
So, more reviews lead to more conversions, which lead to more sales.
When building out your product roadmap you want to make it as customer-centric as possible.
This means building a customer journey based on insight you've obtained an effective Voice of Customer listening campaign.
If your products are developed with your customers wants and needs in mind, they are more likely to be useful to your customer.
In turn, customers will then be more likely to repurchase and recommend your products and services to their network.
Feedback found in customer reviews can also help you change course by making tweaks to any product features that aren't working for your customer base.
There is no better way to understand your customers' needs than by listening to their feedback, and extracting their sentiment - sentiment which can often be found within customer review.
By reading and responding to reviews you can then apply the insights you collect towards creating a better customer experience.
The golden rule for customer reviews is to respond to all of your reviews - good, bad, or indifferent.
When you respond to reviews, or better still, when you act on the feedback within those reviews, you open a conversation with your customers.
In opening this conversation you start to build a relationship with your customers that will make them want to continue doing business with you.
If you don't have a sizable number of reviews, you're missing out on an important conversation channel with your customers.
As we've seen, when you engage in conversation with your customers and hear them out, they feel valued.
This then leads to increased satisfaction levels, increased loyalty, and lower rates of customer churn.
Loyal customers are the holy grail of business growth. This is because they tend to come back to your products and services time and again, and are even more likely to try new products.
There is also a higher chance that they will recommend your products and services to their network, increasing awareness of your brand.
More reviews equal a better ranking on the results page, particularly in popular places like Google My Business and Yelp.
Algorithms like Google's pay attention to the number of reviews your business has and treat it as original content.
They also take into consideration the quality and content of your reviews - as seen in the sample search below.
Ranking well means an increase in the traffic to your website, giving your business greater visibility, increased exposure, and boosting future sales.
This is why it's so important to actively encourage your customers to leave online reviews after doing business with you. Neither asking for a review, nor leaving one costs anything, so there is no harm in asking.
Customer reviews show you where your customer experience is lacking, as reviews, if interpreted effectively, can provide accurate, actionable insight.
This makes it very important to read and analyze all of your reviews.
When you've analyzed your reviews, you can then isolate any issues your customers are facing with customer service. You'll also stumble upon insights into their customer experience as a whole, which will let you correct further friction points.
Once you've made changes based on customer reviews, it's important to go back to your customer and let them know that you've not only heard them, but addressed the problem.
This increases trust between you and fosters a positive emotional bond, which will pay dividends over their customer lifetime.
A benefit of having a substantial number of reviews is that they attract even more attention.
As we've also seen, the more reviews you have, the more traffic you will draw. This will then lead to more reviews and the cycle will continue.
It's also important to note that you remember to ask for reviews at every significant customer touchpoint, such as a purchase, successful delivery, or customer service interaction.
It doesn't always occur to your customers to leave these reviews, so make sure you are requesting that they do so when the interaction is fresh in their mind.
Customer reviews are indisputably important for any successful business. Not only do they help to increase your visibility, promote you to new customers, and lead to increased loyalty, they also help you increase sales and grow your business.
A crucial part of your review strategy however needs to be effectively processing reviews.
However, this can be a daunting task when you have tens of thousands of reviews to parse.
In this case, you'll need a tool to help you with automation. Using the power of AI, MonkeyLearn can help you automatically process thousands of customer reviews in a matter of seconds.
MonkeyLearn then enables you to gather and visualize all your results in one easy-to-view dashboard, as seen here:
Sign up today for your free MonkeyLearn demo and start making the most of the insights hidden within your customer reviews.
August 31st, 2022