Last November, my former coworkers and I were having a discussion about improving the company brand image. The issue was that the business (one of the divisions of a call center) had only two reviews on the Yelp website. If that was not enough, the reviews only offered two stars. Trying to remediate the situation, the vice president was in search of a trustworthy review website that could help with the task. Between scheduling demos and searching for websites that offered the service, a light bulb turned on. How about giving clients incentives to write testimonials on the website?
What happened there was not far from normal. In this day and age, reviews are becoming a high-demand tool, and companies are leveraging that resource to bring attention to their brands.
Take a look at the plethora of sites. You will see testimonials sprouting everywhere. Companies are not wasting time. Whether small or big, they have been using this resource as a means to market their service and improve their brand’s perception.
Even more so, businesses are aware of the power of good content and are working their socks off to display testimonials and manage the commentary section in a sustainable way (this is without even mentioning how happy Google and your SEO are for it).
Surprising? Not really. If you take a look at the statistics, you will understand why.
A study from Consumer Affairs showed some consumers value content more than star ratings. The data shows
- 60% of customers care more for comments
- 29% of customers equally value comments and star ratings and
- 11% of customers care more for star ratings
Among other statistics,
- 88% of shoppers rely on online testimonials for buying decisions.
- 63% of customers are more apt to buy from a business with user reviews.
- More than 50% of consumers read over four reviews while 16% read two or fewer.
Positive and Negative Reviews
Furthermore, positive reviews are seen as an asset for a business. From a marketing perspective, obtaining reviews benefit marketing efforts and helps to establish the company brand. Not only that, but customer reviews boost sales by an average of 18%.
For you entrepreneurs, the chances of boosting your marketing strategies and consequently your sales through reviews are limitless.
For you authors, book reviews are like a gold mine, for they help you increase your rankings in online retailers—Amazon in particular.
As everything is not a rose garden, there is also a downside to the process. Negative reviews can create an opposite effect on clients, as predicted. A majority of customers believe company reviews of its own are advertising instead of testimonials. Only a small percentage (24%) believes advertising.
Regardless of whether they are good or bad, reviews influence customers and help in decision-making indeed. Now it’s up to you to take advantage of this tool and use it in a way that benefits your business.
Do you know what is behind the psychology of reviews? Why some people share and others not? What does that mean for business owners and authors?