Online reviews are one of the first things prospective customers look for when shopping on your company’s website. They want to see how others felt about your product and whether it’s a hit or a miss. Besides, no one wants to buy a car, for example, without test driving it!
The importance of online reviews can’t be ignored. In fact, the following statistics will do a great job of convincing you to seek online reviews to improve brand trustworthiness:
- In 2017, 37% of people said they would visit a website after reading an online review. In 2018, this became 50%.
- In 2017, 10% of people claimed they’d contact a business after reading a positive review about it. In 2018, that went up to 13%
- 73% of customers will trust a local business after reading positive online reviews about it.
Online Reviews and Establishing Trust with Customers: Why You Need Them
The statistics above are proof of how an online review can influence positive engagement with your brand. In fact, here are more reasons how online reviews can make or break your company’s trustworthiness.
Online reviews are written by real-life customers who other customers can relate to. Being able to relate to someone influences behavior. In this case, a 27-year-old reading a positive or negative review by a 32-year-old will most likely consider what’s being said.
Social proof is a way for prospective customers to gauge whether or not they should invest in your products and services, and whether they’ll have a positive experience or not.
Increased Online Presence
Before making a purchase, customers will use search engines to look up your products, and this is where online reviews come in handy.
They give you a steady stream of positive content associated with your brand name and product/service quality. A higher ranking also enables you to turn up in top searches – and guess what higher rankings are? Positive reviews!
Essential to Decision Making
Online reviews are a way for companies to see which of its products were a hit or miss. By expressing personal sentiments and opinions online, customers drive a company to invest in the most sought after product and/or make amendments to things that were not popular.
In other words, online reviews are a way for clients to be heard – and make them feel heard.
Important for Customer Engagement
Online reviews don’t go unanswered anymore. Companies can use the opportunity to thank their customers and reinforce their positive features.
The reviews give companies a chance to interact informally with their clientele, which is vital in building a trustworthy relationship between the customer and the brand.
Impact on Sales
One of the most obvious effects of online reviews is that they can drive sales. Positive online reviews result in better sales, more customer retention and customer loyalty.
In fact, a study quoted that a one star improvement on Yelp can lead to a 5 to 9% increase in sales. However, negative reviews can seriously affect business, too.
Online reviews make your brand look credible, especially if the reviews are positive. Research recently found out that online reviews build a brand’s online identity, which affects the brand’s trustworthiness and sales. In other words, the more customer testimonials you have, the more likely your brand will look trustworthy.
How to Establish Trust with Your Customers
Establishing trust with customers is a critical factor in determining the success of a business. In fact, if customers consider your brand trustworthy, then there are higher chances of customer turnover, increased revenue and increased presence.
Make sure that your brand is accessible via various mediums, like social media accounts, email, support chats, and even call centers. It’s unnerving to many customers when they can’t get a hold of the brand when they want to report faulty products – which can ultimately diminish any chances of them ordering from you again.
Customers are likely to spend time on your webpage and explore products if your page is easy to navigate. When designing your website, make sure that it’s simple, yet evokes emotions and catches attention with beautiful aesthetics.
Engage With Your Customers
Whenever customers interact with your brand through social media, respond quickly. Replying to their comment or tweet, or even sharing their message if it’s a positive one, can help you increase engagement rates with your customers. This ultimately helps to build trust.
Keep waiting/hold times to a minimum. Customers aren’t fans of waiting. It’s best to invest in automatic call-back services to get back in touch with your customers and show them that they mattered.
Ask Your Customers to Post Reviews
Asking your customers to write reviews for you shows that you have faith in your customers, and are delivering the best service. Not only will it make your customers feel special, but it will also increase their loyalty and trust when it comes to your brand.
Share Older Testimonials
Remind your customers about your quality service and products by sharing testimonials and positive online reviews that you have received. These will help to reiterate your brand’s positive image and increase rapport with your customer base.
The moral of the story is simple. Good customer service is always rewarded – and that reaps more rewards!
The power of online reviews is very apparent in how the online world of marketing functions, and according to recent behavioral patterns of shoppers, it’s apparent why all brands should focus on getting positive online reviews!