In today’s internet era, two things spread like wildfire, namely news, reviews, and ratings. Yes, we live in the knowledge era where opinions and experiences are shared online and single bad customer experience can sometimes ruin an entire brand.
Studies have shown that more than 80% of a consumer’s buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. We just can’t ignore or underestimate the power of positive testimonials and social proof.
These days online reviews and ratings are considered an extension of customer services due to the high-ranking nature of these review websites. In the last year alone, many companies were seeking help in dealing with review related posts. This is supported by some interesting insights from the previous years.
- 93% of people who use mobile to research go on to complete a purchase of a product or service. Most purchases happen in physical stores. (Google/Nielsen).
- 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. (Podium).
- 90% of users need less than 10 reviews to form an opinion about a business. (Martech Zone).
In this age where negative and malicious content can be posted and shared by anyone in an instant, taking a proactive approach is a must. Here are some of the steps you can follow.
- Create an account on trusted review websites
- Make sure you display the right product portfolio
- Encourage viewers to display their discontent
- Respond to their views diligently, to reinforce your brand ethos.
One important aspect most of the marketers forget about is how reviews constantly reinforce the positive or negative thoughts about a brand. The more the satisfied customers, the more the positive reviews which in turn can tempt an interested person to try out that specific product. Negative reviews can break or make a brand. Whether it’s negative or positive, reviews can do wonders to build the trust factors between the companies and their consumers.
Reviews offer more insight into your business processes, and quality, right from conceptualisation through to the delivery. By providing a snapshot of the current situation, we hope this article will help you understand the power of reviews and how you can leverage them to your advantage. Let’s look at the reasons why reviews assist in building your brand.
Reviews turn customers into brand ambassadors
Earlier, it was easier to engage with people, however, due to the content overload brands find it difficult to constantly engage and entertain their audience. Here it would be wise to turn your customers into brand ambassadors.
Product reviews will break the barrier between your brand and the customer, and empower them to behave as the brand ambassadors. Their experiences are more genuine, non-conventional, and sound very real. Making your customers in charge of your brand is extremely important for the long-term success of your organization, as there is an ever-growing competition on the web.
Your customers can run a blog about your product on your site, a few customers might be interested in tweeting about your product or posting stories relevant to your product on Facebook/Instagram.
They are a vital part of your customer’s decision-making process
A brand that wants to increase your online visibility must be constantly proactive in encouraging different ways the customer talks about their product. In this scenario, social media is an amazing tool, but you must ensure they talk about you on other channels/mediums as this is a crucial component of your presence.
About two-thirds of shoppers consider online reviews an essential part of the decision-making process. When consumers want to know the best places to visit for purchase, they are more likely to search it in Google than search in the newspaper or even consult with their friends or relatives. By creating a steady stream of product reviews, there are more chances of your brand popping up when customers are making their next shopping decision.
They make your business look more genuine and trustworthy
As discussed earlier your brand can build significant credibility from a steady list of positive reviews. Recent research studies have revealed that reviews are powerful tools in building your brand’s online identity. That doesn’t imply that negative reviews won’t help a brand. Negative reviews in fact help the brand to identify the gaps and faults in their approach to the business which they can rectify in their future.
Most of the shoppers don’t trust brands that have ratings below four stars. This leaves very little room for error at the top. Companies with better ratings are more likely to see views converted into traffic and then sales. In this way, customers are more likely to talk about your organization which would result in a higher positive footprint which will eventually help you to drive more sales.
Spreads the conversation about your product in the online realm
Reviews whether it is good or bad have a way of quickly spreading like wildfire. When people have good things to say about your brand or your product, they are also more likely to share their reviews on Google and external websites such as FourSquare and Yelp.
These are vital for building your presence in Google, which collects the data from these websites as they structure the results ranking. Every individual can make a difference, even one positive review can help push further reviews.
More reviews = More visibility
If you want to be successful, you must also be visible. Prospective shoppers will search on engines like Google and even on Facebook when they want to purchase a specific product. Some of these websites have their own ways of indexing content such as the unique Facebook marketplace. But most importantly they review if these products are original and organic which will keep your brand more favored by the algorithms.
Online Google customer reviews will offer you a steady pipeline of positive or negative content that search engines tend to value when they choose which results are set to return.
When your product is ranked higher compared to the competition, the algorithm and the people tend to view your website as a market leader in the industry which also leads to more exposure.
Impact your sales
Reality is often blurred and doesn’t always follow logic. Therefore, case studies could be misleading. Nevertheless, there is a growing consensus among the majority that positive reviews do lead to increased revenue generation. There is a growing body of benchmark data that proves it. According to the best B2B lead generation companies, there is a growing body of benchmark data that proves it. Harvard Business school’s study has found that online reviews can impact your bottom line. Brands that were viewed positively had better sales, which means even an improvement on your star ratings can have a positive effect on your sales.
It has been found that 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review (G2.com) and a staggering 94% of them were convinced that an online review convinced them to avoid a business (ReviewTrackers).
Your reviews impact your social media presence
These days social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter are popular spots for customers to talk about certain products and leave their views there. By collecting and consolidating positive customer reviews, you can reshare them on your official Facebook or Instagram photos. This will redirect more traffic to your official website.
Adding testimonials with a customer’s picture review or a video review will help in connecting more with the customers who like your products. Currently, video engagement is a hot trend and video testimonials are very effective on social media. Brands are also increasingly leaning towards influencers to market their products rather than reputed actors. It has already proven that influencer marketing is one of the most effective methods to promote brands and increase their awareness. So, if you want to use this type of marketing for your brand, you can find influencers by scraping Google.
This is just a glimpse of what reviews can do to your brand. But how do you leverage these reviews to build a reputation? Let’s have a look at some of the techniques you can utilize on your customer reviews for its maximum potential.
1) Responding to the reviews quickly
Show your customers that you absolutely care about them! And this includes both positive and negative reviews. Take notice of the reviews and respond to them quickly.
Encourage your customers publicly to contact directly, so that you can discuss the problem with them. Show them that you are willing to do everything to rectify the problem. This will boost your customer’s trust and sets you apart from the competition. Even when a neutral come across the review, it will be implied that you had tried to resolve the problem at the earliest.
2) Keep checking the review sites often
Currently, review sites are the local directories that will allow people to share their experience with various brands. By searching a particular name of a business or product, visitors will get access to reviews and ratings along with the product listing.
This is an easy way for prospective customers to know what other buyers think about your brand. The internet is filled with review websites that encompass almost all the products right from automobiles, mobile phones to even livestock. You can find personal experiences shared by consumers in Reddit forums which have become quite popular in the consumer World. So, for starters, creating an account on all these sites will help you look better. And let’s not forget about the importance of picture reviews. Consumers give more weightage to reviews that will help them connect visually with the product. Interested buyers can visualize how the product will fit into their own life.
3) Making the review process less complicated
Let’s be honest, customers don’t appreciate review forms filled with unnecessary fields. You just require their name, their email address, a review and finally the rating
If you feel it’s necessary, you can ask the customers to provide a broad location (such as a city and/or state) from where they belong. If you want customers to include images or videos, you can use an upload function so that you have tested it on all devices.
The quicker you make it for customers to submit the reviews, the more reviews you will receive.
4) Offering quick incentives
Incentives are another great way of letting people get excited about sharing the information. This could range from offering rewards for reviews onto an existing rewards program, or creating new selective incentives for reviewers.
Here are plenty of other ways to incentivize, including:
- Contest entries – Specific contests for new entries
- Coupons – Issuing a 10% discount coupon on their next order.
- Discounts — offering an immediate $5 off discount in exchange for a review
- Gift certificates – They are restricted to reviewers who submit detailed reviews accompanied by images or videos.
While incentive types aren’t the same for every store, any eCommerce website can increase the possibility of gaining reviews by using incentives.
5) Conducting contests and minigames in exchange for feedback
Customers always love the idea of winning something. You don’t have to give away freebies or expensive gifts like a car/motorbike. Instead, you can give out something simple and unique, such as a store gift voucher or a showpiece.
Some popular giveaway ideas include:
- Store gift certificates/vouchers
- Popular store items
- Gift coupons for restaurant or coffee chains
- Limited-edition items or complimentary gifts
Brand building is a long-term process and to be successful, one must proactively listen to your customer’s concerns. Reviews are today’s way of spreading the news about products. We hope this article shed some light regarding product reviews. If you are still wondering about how to make use of your product reviews, you must check TargetBay’s BayReviews. This is a highly intuitive application which will help you in leveraging the full potential of your reviews and help you in analyzing your buyer’s behavior. Currently, it’s available for a free trial, this is just a limited time offer, so click here to start your 14-day free trial now!!
What techniques do you follow for channelizing your product reviews? Share it in the comments below.