We’ve long been told that “the customer is always right.” Whether or not that’s true, the customer definitely rules the roost in these times of social media and online reviews.
Online reviews have become more important to consumers, with 87% saying they read online reviews in 2020, compared to 81% in 2019. Online reviews became even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers say they only read recent reviews from within the most month (73%) in 2020 and almost the same number (72%) claim to have left an online review in 2020.
But how do you choose what is useful from the tsunami of online reviews out there? Discover how from these 5 lessons on reading and extracting information from online reviews.
- Product/service perception. While you can’t expect erudite prose from all online reviewers, you can get some reviews that are detailed and thoughtful, providing specific information on what’s good or bad with their experience. Some reviewers will even offer suggestions for improvement.
- Building emotional connections with consumers. Most companies consider customer experience to be one of their primary factors, if not the main factor, in making decisions. The most important way to providing excellent CX is to build an emotional bond with consumers, as consumers value human interaction and friendly service. However, there’s a fine line here: Don’t try to manipulate consumer emotions. Consumers will turn on you quickly if they feel like they’re being manipulated.
- Embrace negative reviews. Face it, you’re not going to please everyone every time. How you respond to negative reviews is key. Customers want to know how you respond to negative comments to help them gauge your reliability and responsibility. They will be skeptical if your reviews are all or almost all positive. Star ratings between 4.0 and 4.7 (out of 5 stars) are more likely to increase purchase decisions. Oddly enough, ratings closer to 5.0 actually decrease purchase decisions.
- Boosting online presence. Online reviews can improve online presence by boosting SEO and creating brand ambassadors. Online reviews show up in Google searches, which gives access to new customers. When good reviews appear on multiple specialty sites, your ranking will increase.
- Evidence of social proof. Opinions from credible sources like influencers, celebrities, experts and friends leads to greater trust. This shows evidence of your organization’s product or service being worth the consideration of customers.
Remember that “tsunami of online reviews” we reference earlier? Well, it’s true – there are so many sources of online reviews now that it’s practically impossible to keep up with all of your reviews manually. This is why social listening is so important. There are social listening platforms available that can crawl the internet and gather this information for you. These platforms can also analyze the data they find, organize and store it and build metrics for you.
How is your organization managing online reviews?