Reviews are quickly gaining popularity as a strong determinant in making purchase decisions. You can find them from Google Star ratings to Amazon to pretty much everywhere you look. Even the testimonials on a website are a form of review.
But what fuels the need for reviews? To understand that concept, you will have to look at the numbers. Up to 92 percent of online business customers will go through reviews. Out of that number 72 percent will go ahead and make a buying decision after having read 6 or less reviews.
Without doubt reviews are important to customers which makes it incredibly crucial for business owners to manage them. But the real question is, why do customers value reviews so much in the first place.
Reviews Are Like Word of Mouth
More and more businesses are directing their marketing resources to digital methods of doing business. These include using tools like social media and SEO.
The main drawback with this method of doing business is that it has almost completely eliminated the human factor. Granted sending that add can catch someone’s attention but reading a personal statement about another customers experience with the product is the closest thing to word of mouth that you can find online.
Advertisements will mainly focus on a product’s strong points. Clients only see the good. But the reality of the situation is that all products have their own set of pros and cons. In a review, customers can learn about the downsides of the product and make a more informed buying decision.
Clients are aware that the person who left the review did not get any benefit from it, and that is what makes the opinions trustworthy. As the wall street journal puts it, the behavior of individuals is shaped by those around them and what they consider appropriate.
Word of mouth causes potential buyers to make a choice, one which they believe is the correct one based on the opinions of others.
What About Negative Reviews
It’s easy to think that bad reviews will drive away customers but this is usually not the case. In fact, customers are more likely to trust the review when it shows both the positive and negative features of a product as opposed to just the good points. This creates more transparency.
Not every customer will give a 5-star feedback and yes, too many negative reviews will indeed discourage customers. But a few negative points about the product will emphasize on the transparency of the business.
And for the business, responding promptly to any complaints will create an opportunity for even more satisfied customers which will help you form a loyal client base.
The Individuals Need to Belong
With Social platforms changing the way people communicate, individuals seem to want to have their own social ranking and thus lay out their views about a product.
Not only do customers crave reviews, they also want to voice out their opinions about a product.