Searching for online reviews has become an essential part of the modern customer’s buying process. A recent study found that the buying decisions of 90 percent of customers who read online reviews are influenced by positive online reviews, while almost 86 percent of customers are influenced by negative online reviews.
New customers read reviews to determine the quality of a product or service. In fact, according to research, customers are more likely to spend more if the product or service has been recommended by other users. Most potential customers will not even consider buying a product without checking out its online reviews. The promise of quality and value that comes with highly rated products or services encourages potential customers to pay more than they usually would.
Excellent online reviews will not only help you increase conversions but can also make you stand out from competitors. Having a steady stream of online reviews can help your business improve its brand image, thus creating a bigger demand for its offerings. The fact is, potential customers are putting more faith in existing customers’ opinion and less faith in paid advertisements. What this means is that customer reviews and testimonials are more influential than ever before and are serving as a marketing tool for businesses of all sizes.
Why your business needs reviews
Customer reviews are no longer just an option; they are vital for running a profitable business. Customer reviews act as endorsements for your business by customers who have already used your products. These evaluations play a major role in getting potential customers to try your offerings.
Reviews lead to more sales and an increase in the number of return visitors. The latest statistics and trends reveal that 90 percent of customers read online reviews and more than 88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In other words, more customers read online reviews before buying a product or service.
Online reviews are related to customer spending
According to a study by Zuberance, online reviews influence purchase decisions of almost eight of ten customers. This statistic should be sufficient enough to understand the value of customer reviews. Here are a few supporting facts about online reviews and the power they have on customers’ buying decisions:
- Nearly 90 percent of new customers read online reviews before buying a product.
- Almost 92 percent of customers will contact a business only if it has at least a four-star rating.
- Customers are likely to spend 31 percent more on businesses with excellent reviews.
Managing negative reviews
Receiving bad reviews about your business is a tough pill to swallow. However, you must deal with negative reviews head-on. Even though it may be painful to face scathing comments, you will be worse off if you snub them.
Try approaching bad comments with an open mind and see them as learning opportunities for your business. This can also be your chance to show your customers that you care for them and value their continued business.
Using encouraging reviews to your advantage
It is a good idea to acknowledge and respond to positive online reviews and customer feedback. Interacting with your customers online will increase engagement level and help you build relationships on an individual level and as a community.
There are many ways to utilize positive reviews to your advantage that will help you grow your business. One of the best practices is to consolidate your best reviews and seek permission from the reviewers to post their comments and name on your business website. Be sure to highlight the positive comments that show visitors how you conduct business and why customers enjoy working with you.
Hundreds of potential customers are ready to buy but are looking for businesses like yours. All that they need is a signpost directing them to your office. That signpost is an excellent five-star rating and a handful of encouraging reviews.