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Why are customer reviews important?

Nowadays, you can accomplish a whole load of research on any product on the internet. You can compare prices, find the closest mortar and brick retail stores, compare the customer satisfaction data between two stores, and more importantly, find out how the product or service you are interested in can benefit you. All these are benefits a consumer can take advantage of from reading a couple of customer reviews online.

What are customer reviews?

These are customer feedback on the service they receive from your business or the benefits of the product, the deficiencies of the same, or any other information they deem important. This feedback is usually aimed at the company providing the service, congratulating them on a job well done, or asking them to rectify a wrong. Additionally, online customer reviews can be aimed at consumers to either encourage or discourage them from seeking the same service from the company.

Not all reviews are the same. Each type of review provides feedback on a specific aspect. For instance, shop reviews give feedback on the service you provide on your e-commerce store or shop. On the other hand, local reviews provide feedback on physical stores in a specific locality. These appear in local search results, for example, in TripAdvisor. Lastly, product reviews provide feedback on various products. Some of the information you may find on such reviews include the ease of use, benefits, and what a person loves or dislikes about them.

Why customer reviews are important

There are numerous reasons why you should consider collecting customer reviews. For instance, you can collect feedback and respond to the customers on a personal level. Or you can do so to simply find out the level of service you provide and the customer satisfaction levels of the same.

However, these reasons don’t highlight the entirety of the importance of customer reviews. Here’s everything you need to know:

1. Influences consumers buying decisions

At least 97 percent of consumers agree that customer reviews influence their buying decisions. Additionally, at least two-thirds of consumers take these reviews as a critical part of their purchase decision-making process. By encouraging more and more satisfied shoppers to leave a review, you can create an impressive steady stream of online reviews. A good example is amazon reviews. These can come in handy in influencing a buying decision from your potential customers. 

2. Influences your bottom line

It’s expected that brands with more positive reviews can make better sales. Additionally, your customer reviews can influence your star ratings, and this, in turn, can impact your bottom line. For instance, a study shows that even a single-star improvement on a Yelp review can boost your sales by at least five percent in a short period. Interestingly, this can lead to:

  • increased revenues
  • improved repeat order rates
  • increased customer conversion rates 

3. Impacts SEO ranking

Reviews can improve your brand’s visibility. Depending on the type of reviews you get, it can influence your brand image in a negative or positive light. For instance, if you have a steady stream of positive consumer reviews, search engines can rank you higher. That allows you to appear on the first page of related search results, and algorithms can see you as an authority in your business industry.

While it replaces the more traditional word-of-mouth ads, it’s still as effective and far-reaching in comparison. They spread quickly, and search engines such as Google can also get wind of your good reviews (or bad ones). The review system influences the ranking factor in numerous social channels including Facebook, FourSquare, and Google+ hence increasing your multi-channel footprint. 

4. Reviews are social proof and can impact your brand image

94 percent of consumers read reviews when they are available.  Additionally, more than 88 percent of people trust positive online reviews as they would a friend’s recommendation. You can look at it as a far more effective way of passing the information to friends and families about a great retail store you had the pleasure of shopping at.

This kind of exposure is certainly what you need to become successful. Additionally, this is your shot at building a trustworthy and credible brand. With average ratings, people can trust you to provide top-notch service and in turn, boost your sales. 

5. Connects you to consumers

More and more consumers expect you to respond to their reviews. While it can be a daunting task, it’s rewarding in the long run. For instance, it allows you to reinforce any positive reviews you get by either awarding your consumers with a discount or merely thanking them. You should ensure your responses are frank, friendly and show an openness to feedback for your brand.

Moreover, it’s your chance to rectify any bad review you got especially if it was a fake review, unfair, or spam. That can give you a head start before the 82 percent of shoppers who out rightly seek negative reviews about a service or product find them. It also allows you to improve the aspects of your business that are ill-performing. 

6. Allows you to improve customer service

Reviews serve as a medium for consumers to tell their buying story. They can tell their experience, make personal recommendations and mention the highlight of their experience. Visitors to your social media product page can tell what to expect from your services and the benefits your products afford them. Additionally, the more reviews you have, the better your chances of improving credibility, building consumer trust and improving customer engagement. You can offer an incentive like coupons and discounts to get more reviews.

Final thoughts

Whether it’s local reviews, shop reviews, or product reviews, each customer feedback provides interested parties with a glimpse of your business. They are vital in passing the information clients need to push them to make a buying decision. Additionally, reviews can tell you what your business needs to grow and succeed and the aspects that need improving. You should take reviews seriously as they can be your downfall or your boost to success.

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