At the heart of every successful business is the ability to effectively satisfy the ever-changing demands of their clients. Consumer satisfaction is paramount and happy customers are the cogs turning the wheel of any thriving enterprise.
With almost every business now operating online, reviews are the best tools for gauging customer reactions to a product or service. They serve many other functions and are essential for engaging with customers, brand development, and business improvements.
Online reviews also benefit the consumer and can be important driving factors when making a purchase. They are fundamental to how we shop online, and as integral as price or design when deciding on a product.
Without the information on a product/ service offered by online reviews, the substandard offerings are almost indistinguishable from the best.
The effect of online customer comments isn’t limited to conventional goods and services, and they affect all companies operating online.
Ultimately, businesses that don’t effectively utilise online reviews are neglecting a huge opportunity for growth. This article explains why online customer feedback is essential to every business.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of customer reviews is the added appeal they can bring to a product.
Even if strangers, the opinion of those around us can significantly influence our own. Positive reviews reinforce our thoughts on a product/ service being a worthy investment.
Before the internet, this would have been the recommendation of a friend or family member. Nowadays, online feedback is how we are most influenced by the purchases and opinions of others.
Lazy shoppers aiming to avoid hours of mindless scrolling may simply purchase the first product with positive reviews.
Customer reviews also make a product stand out in a mass of similar-looking products all claiming to be superior. Hundreds or even thousands of reviews will instantly draw the eye, with quantity itself being attractive for shoppers.
Studies have found that anything over 100 comments gives an impression of credibility to potential buyers.
On the other hand, those without many reviews are mostly overlooked and scrolled past without second thought. Even if a product without any feedback looks appealing, we often still choose to look elsewhere.
Research confirms this, with almost 90% of people requiring a minimum three-star rating to consider a product.
An example of where reviews help decision-making is within the online casino industry. There are thousands of gambling providers operating online and players may sometimes feel overwhelmed by which site to choose. Reviews are extremely helpful to online casino gamers, guiding potential players on the best slot bonuses to claim as well as any other casino bonuses and features about the site such as security, payment options and games available.
Visibility and Reach
With the innumerable amount of distinct companies present on the internet, drawing attention to your business is often very difficult. Online reviews instigate a conversation surrounding a business, ultimately increasing its exposure.
This exposure is magnified by positive feedback, as good reviews are essential for gaining favour with search engine algorithms.
As a result, shoppers are conditioned to view the results near the top of a search result as superior. Positive reviews allow a business to appear closer to the top, increasing traffic and the likelihood of a sale.
Positive reviews garner trust in an online space in which customers are often skeptical about what they read. Online products are notoriously misleading and it’s easy to paint a preferable picture when advertising online.
Similarly, the quality of service is only evident afterward and dissatisfaction can be especially complicated in such instances. It’s generally accepted that all companies use somewhat hyperbolic and exaggerated language in their marketing.
Whilst consumers accept this, a disappointing product or service can draw accusations of misleading advertising. Customer reviews are the best solution against this and help to validate any claims made in advertising.
However, many consumers are often equally sceptical about the presence of fake or paid reviews. There must almost be an equilibrium between a believable amount of negative and positive reviews
Some negative reviews amongst the positive do give an air of authenticity to your product. Having an entirely positive reception to a product or service is almost impossible and seems disingenuous.
Around 2/3rds of customers trust sites more if they have a mixture of both good and bad reviews.
Customers don’t expect their comments to go unanswered and reviews offer a direct means of communication between the two parties. How a company interacts with reviews can be telling of its quality and how it values customers.
A customer will appreciate a business that gives thanks to positive reviews and tries to rectify any criticisms. They are integral to overall brand appearance, with friendly, transparent, and communicative brands faring much better according to research.
Ultimately, customer feedback offers a clear path of development for a company and drives improvement in what they offer.
Encouraging customers to leave comments regarding a product or service is as vital as responding to those who do so willingly. A common strategy is to offer a coupon on a subsequent purchase for leaving a review.
A Podium report showed that 77% can be encouraged to leave a review if prompted by the company.
The Importance of Customer Reviews
Companies expend huge amounts of resources on attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Online reviews are an ideal way of achieving this as well as being mutually beneficial for the customer.
Through reviews, companies can convey trust, interact with customers, and much more. It also makes their site much more appealing compared to those who have neglected to pursue feedback.
Although seemingly trivial, online reviews can prove decisive in the competitive business world.