In this age of digital marketing, a lot of businesses still fail to understand how powerful word of mouth advertising remains. The increasing dependence of people on social media and other digital information platforms such as blogs and resource websites has given them a new tool to practice word-of-mouth marketing in the form of customer reviews.
Gaining positive customer reviews is an excellent way to increase a brand’s popularity. If you can get a significant number of customers sharing the same positive sentiments for your business, there’s a good chance it will translate to more sales, too. After all, based on the “Online Shopping and e-Commerce” survey conducted by Pew Research in 2015, customer purchases are strongly influenced by online reviews.
Statistics Back Up the Strength of Customer Reviews
Studies about customer behavior and their buying habits have generated enough statistics to prove how relevant customer reviews are. For starters, research says that half of the adults under the age of fifty regularly check online reviews before buying. At least 53% of people within the age demographic of 18 to 29 consumers routinely read product or service reviews before committing to a sale. This means that having positive client experiences on your website can significantly affect a customer’s decision towards purchasing your product or not.
The customer review system isn’t just a one-way street. Aside from relying on these reviews for their potential transactions, people are also keen on leaving online reviews about products or services they’ve used themselves. While only 1 out of 10 Americans will consistently post an online review on the business’s website, 4 out of 10 will still share their opinions about the product on their own social media pages.
The consumer industry is slowly but surely trending towards the digital experience of mobile shopping, and online customer reviews are becoming quite influential in the process. Statistics show that 40% of customers are able to complete a purchase once they’ve gone through one to three customer reviews posted online.
Only Market Authentic Customer Reviews
Using social media and free websites centered on collecting customer reviews such as Yelp and Angie’s List, customers can easily post about their experiences regarding a brand or service. These reviews are shared not just with their friends and social media contacts but with anyone who tries to research the product concerned. Given how wide the reach is and how impactful the reviews are, some businesses choose to falsify their product reviews to make sure that they control their marketing image in the right direction.
Many people know that customer reviews can easily be fabricated to give potential buyers the perception that a product has a high approval rating. It’s easy to hire writers who can create several versions of glowing reviews to hype up a brand or business. However, fake customer reviews are not only dishonest, but it’s also significantly less effective than authentic opinions.
Consumers have an eye for detecting if a review is authentic or not. For starters, an authentic feedback section will most likely contain negative reviews, too. As good as a product is, an honest review board should have at least one to two suggestions on how to improve some aspects of the brand. Reviews should also show a particular variation depending on the customer’s age, ethnicity, and language, making consistently-toned reviews all the more suspicious.
Regardless of the review is good or bad, it still counts as word of mouth advertising, and therefore provides value for the organization. It is essential for a business to learn how to handle authentic reviews so that they can take bad feedback and improve on it, while also acknowledging the positives and strengthening them further.
How Should I Share Customer Reviews?
There are several ways to share customer reviews on your company website. Some businesses create a dedicated page on their site for sharing customer experiences regarding their products, together with a rating system to gauge customer satisfaction. Other businesses prefer having separate customer review sections per product offering for a more specific marketing strategy. Existing customers can share their honest reviews on the product pages so that potential buyers can see the advantages of purchasing it.
Using a testimonials page to market your brand is also a good idea. Once your website visitors see encouraging feedback for your products, it pushes them towards the right direction in availing of your services. However, be prepared to answer negative feedback as well. Your marketing team should be well-trained to handle negative customer reviews to make your clients feel that they are in your best interest.
Whether a customer leaves a positive or a negative review, it’s important to make sure that you respond accordingly. If a customer is happy with your product, don’t hesitate to thank him or her for enjoying your services. If the customer feels that there’s room for improvement, acknowledge his or her opinion and try to offer mediation to solve any issues promptly.
Remember that while the customer reviews are essential to your business, how you respond is just as crucial in building your image and winning your customers over. No matter how casual you want to market yourself, always keep your responses polite, positive, and helpful for the customers. Never go for copy-paste replies because they give off the vibe that you’re not sincerely interacting with the client base.
A Final Word on Using Customer Reviews For Effective Marketing
It’s important to understand the weight of customer reviews in marketing your business. Not only can they help improve sales and brand awareness by word of mouth advertising, but honest reviews can also help you improve your product quality by learning about customer preferences that you might not have considered before.
A business should make sure that its customers are aware that their feedback and suggestions are highly encouraged. Negative comments can be viewed as opportunities to make the customer experience better, so try not to edit customer feedback to only show good reviews.
If your business needs help turning customer reviews into an effective marketing strategy, then you should contact Review Llama and get the best business review management software. With Review Llama, you’ll be able to convert happy customers into positive reviewers, and we will also help you recover unhappy customers early to lessen negative reviews and prevent reputation damages.