Word of mouth is just as important today as it was to consumers centuries ago.
We are more connected than ever, and have access to the insights and experiences of countless people we may never meet in person or interact with. Online reviews have become an increasingly important part of the consumer journey, with word of mouth becoming increasingly popular.
In honor of the first year National Leave a Review Day on June 8, Chief Marketing Officer Liz Carter of Reputation and Senior Director of Product Management Rachel Bentley of G2 met to discuss the increasing importance of online reviews in recent webinar. If you haven’t had a chance to find it yet, this article will explain some of their technology and provide practical tips to expand your collection.
Why modern consumers and consumers rely on reviews
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve shopped online in the last year. It’s hard to ignore how much customer reviews have become synonymous with the internet.
Reviews go beyond consumer products. From travel to healthcare, dining to apps, and more, consumers and consumers now rely on reviews to help them make decisions. Therefore, businesses should view customer feedback as a valuable asset.
“Reviews can be the lifeblood of a marketing agency. You’re trying to meet more customers every day. Reviews allow you to do that.”
Chief Marketing Officer, Reputation
When you buy something online, you expect the product to work. Making the purchase decision is the first leap of faith because no one wants to waste time or have unfulfilled expectations.
The financial impact of customer reviews
Reviews are about more than helping consumers set expectations. Let’s look at four ways to show how important it is to consumers and companies.
An important learning tool
One of the best ways reviewers can help consumers is by providing information and potential stories. In-depth reviews can help educate consumers about ideas and concepts they might not have considered before.
During the webinar, Rachel Bentley of G2 shared his experience when he was looking for a new refrigerator. He noted that several reviews mentioned whether the refrigerator is noisy or quiet. Before reading these comments, he was not looking at the sound of the refrigerator.
Rachel’s experience is a great example of how reviews can educate consumers about what they are buying. Knowledgeable customers know what they want, which can lead to better shopping experiences.
A source of useful information
Every business needs to pay attention to the customer experience. Customer reviews are often unbiased, honest that help judge overall opinion but are also important in revealing opportunities for improvement.
Small changes, big improvements
Liz Carter shared the story of a client from the UK who works in the hospitality industry. This customer received a comment criticizing the tomatoes on one of their sandwiches.
Based on these negative reviews, the company removed the tomato from this sandwich. In making one change, the company said the following:
- An increase in all comments
- Developing a positive feedback loop
- Reduced prices in all areas due to limited supplies
An opportunity to discover
When consumers can’t trust the recommendations of close friends, family, or co-workers, they often turn to online search engines to find products and services. Search engines like Google and Bing appreciate the impact that reviews can have on their users, which is why you’ll often see results showing reviews from many sources.
Reviews can help businesses stand out among their target audience, regardless of industry or vertical.
Confidence in purchasing and decision making
One of the most important reasons consumers rely on reviews is because they boost their overall confidence. As mentioned earlier, reviews can be your most persuasive tool to prove why your offer is right for your customers by learning from past customer experiences.
“Reviews help consumers make more confident purchasing decisions and ensure they’re getting the right product.”
Sr. Director of Product Management, G2
The more money a consumer can spend on a product or service, the more information they need to help them make an informed decision. This is especially true in industries such as healthcare and B2B software, which are at high risk due to high costs.
Expert advice for increasing feedback collection
Reviews can have a huge impact on businesses looking to attract new customers. Companies may understand the importance of feedback, but many do not receive it in practice. Experts Rachel Bentley and Liz Carter share tips to get the most out of feedback and start gathering information.
1. Just ask
Most customers are willing to leave reviews. All they need is encouragement.
Request for comments on the action
Liz shared some interesting facts lesson looking at their Intermountain Health clients. An integrated health care system with locations in several states has been plagued by low ratings in online surveys.
The solution was to implement a new system to increase review requests and distribute additional review responses to be made available online. The results of these efforts are as follows:
- A 156% increase in year-over-year reviews
- 510% increase in review volume over six months
- 3.7 to 4.5 aggregate improvement stars
Volume is an important part of the review because consumers get a full picture of what others have experienced. We all have different opinions, and many reviews provide the most accurate way to form their expectations.
2. Different methods of collection
There are many ways to get feedback. One idea to keep in mind when collecting collections is to think about different ways to present requests to customers.
For example, you can get great deals by sending emails asking for reviews. But consider that some customers respond better when asked in person or on TV.
3. The results of the recent
Another factor that makes reviews more meaningful to consumers is recency. Did you know that? 85% of consumers Don’t read comments older than 3 months?
A review from three years ago is not as important as one written a month ago. A company may experience significant changes over the years, so the latest plays a major role in the buyer’s evaluation. The truth is that gathering feedback is not a one-off process – it needs to be done continuously.
The parking lot saw a 150% increase in the month. Learn how Combination of Pendo + G2 he helped them to do this by simply collecting reviews using internal guidelines.
4. Accepting everyone’s comments
Chasing perfection when it comes to analytics is a mistake companies make. It can be painful to admit that not every review will be positive.
Many businesses don’t realize that embracing feedback – both good and bad – helps establish credibility and make it real. According to lesson and Northwestern University, consumers consider companies with 4.2 to 4.5 stars more trustworthy than a good 5-star rating.
Reasons for accepting positive and negative reviews
It can be difficult to ask for more feedback because you don’t have much control over what is coming. While positive reviews can be huge in winning over buyers, there is value in every review you receive.
By favoring real, honest feedback from your customers, companies can expect to benefit from several of the following:
- Build trust with customers and prospects
- Personalize your brand
- Keep progressing where possible
- Get exclusive insights on the best parts and value propositions
- Show hope that you care about issues and listen to customers
View the National Leave Day Checklist
June 8, 2023, is the first National Leave a Review Day. The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of what Liz Carter calls “return money.”
“You have to understand the voice of the customer to run your business,” says Liz. “Comments play a big role in that.”
Whether you’re celebrating the first National Leave a Review Day or starting to think about how to prepare for next year, let’s explore the key points shared by G2 + Reputation.
- Reviews are growing in importance for businesses. Buyers and consumers rely on reviews from their peers and existing customers to have greater confidence in their purchases.
- Customer reviews provide an opportunity for improvement. Prioritizing regular feedback helps companies use this feedback to identify areas of growth.
- Generating feedback requires careful planning. Collecting reviews is an ongoing process, so you need to develop skills to maximize these efforts.
Ready to improve things with your feedback management system on G2? Join G2 University and hit the books to learn the best strategies and tips that can be done.