Here’s why you should take customer reviews into account and how to do it in order to improve your marketing strategy.
Nowadays, brand reputation and feedback are mainly driven by social medias. However, in many sectors, forums and review sites determine a company’s reputation. In fact, according to GobalWebIndex, 43% of Internet users read customer reviews to get information on products. This tendency makes reviews the third channel of information search on a product or a service, right after social networks and search engines.
Moreover, according to the Spiegel Research Center, sharing customer reviews can increase your conversions by up to 270%. Even the negative reviews are essential since they deliver transparency and therefore reassure the Internet user of the sincerity of your company. According to Trustpilot, 68 % of Internet users state they trust more companies that share negative reviews.
Then how can you improve your strategy in order to obtain as much customer reviews as possible?
Customer reviews: definition and implications
Customer reviews are comments which evaluate the quality of a product, a service, or a company. They are addressed to other potential customers.
Customer reviews represent:
- A way for customers to give their opinion;
- A channel for companies’ customer relations (to take opinions into account and to reply to them);
- A promotional tool for the company;
- An indicator of customer satisfaction.
Customer reviews reassure the future client. They are essential for your company, in terms of brand image and turnover.
In fact, according to a study carried out by IFOP (the industry benchmark for opinion polls and market research), 88% of Internet users consult online customer reviews, blogs, or forums before buying something. According to Bright Local, 88% of internet users trust online reviews as much as their friends and family’s opinions.
Furthermore, according to American Express, 34 % of consumers think that positive reviews are more likely to trigger a purchase than promotions or special offers.
Customer reviews also have an impact on your brand’s visibility. On online review sites, not only the quantity, but also the quality and date of the comments are ranking criteria. In addition, Google analyses these reviews to understand your activity. Therefore, having several reviews improves your natural referencing.
Increase your conversions thanks to offsite customer reviews
Offsite customer reviews are pieces of advice which are posted on a channel other than yours. According to Grizzlead, sharing offsite reviews can boost conversions up to 270%.
Basically, an offsite mark or review is a detailed comment which gives much more information than a traditional comment. Some customer review campaign platforms such as Octoly encourage detailed reviews thanks to a minimum of 200 characters, which makes consumers go more into detail.
Reviews are posted on different websites by “panelists” who test and evaluate your products or services. Thus, they feed the “customer reviews” sections of e-tailers, marketplaces, and rating platforms (Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Appstore, etc.).
Offsite reviews will soon be part of social networks. Product users and testers will be able to write their reviews on social media platforms, both on their own feed and on brands’ feeds.
Provide users with incentives
To significantly increase the participation of your customers when it comes to giving reviews, just follow this simple advice.
Offer your customers incentives: giveaways, free samples, exclusive offers… Your customers will be glad to get some sort of reward for the review they have given.
The pieces of advice that customers find useful
According to a survey carried out by Linkproved, based on 550,000 comments on 4 leading e-commerce sites in Europe, most of the reviews posted by Internet users are positive (64% have a 5-star rating).
Though negative reviews (1-star ratings) are the most important, meaning that Internet users find them “interesting”.
Moreover, according to a study by TrustPilot, 5-star and 1-star ratings are considered to be reliable. In Europe, most customers say they make their purchase decisions according to negative reviews. In fact, 71% of them consider negative reviews to be more useful.
According to Trustpilot, Internet users are 86% less likely to make a purchase if they read more than 3 negative reviews.
Though you need to keep in mind that negative reviews “reassure” most of Internet users of the authenticity of reviews. In fact, your brand must share some negative reviews, which you will have taken the time to respond to. Above all, you need to avoid blaming the client.
A good reply can transform a negative comment into a positive one. It’s all about the ratio of positive to negative reviews and the response to users’ insecurities.
How to use your customer reviews
Asking your customers for reviews is essential to be close to them. Reading customer reviews and replying to them allows you to provide your clients with an authentic and positive experience.
By sharing your customer reviews on review sites (Verified Reviews, TrustPilot, TripAdvisor) and through Facebook or Google My Business posts, you’ll reach a large panel of consumers.
Customer reviews put you in the spotlight! They improve your natural referencing and therefore the volume and quality of your site’s traffic.
You can include widgets or an app that communicates with your site’s source code. Thus, whenever reviews on your brand are posted, they will be automatically shared on your website.
Moreover, customer reviews can improve your CRM, so that you can accompany satisfied or non-satisfied customers. They also enable you to self-assess and to implement a brand advocacy approach, in order to improve your brand image.
A continuous analysis of customer reviews is particularly useful because it allows to:
- Complete, confirm or disprove insights from consumer research;
- Improve your customer service information by identifying the emerging sources of satisfaction and complaint;
- Collect spontaneous information in real time;
- Collect data to optimize your campaigns, to develop your products or to adapt your offer.
How many reviews shall your brand generate?
There’s no exact figure regarding the optimal number of customer reviews. According to a study carried out by the marketing agency RevLocal, a positive review can increase sales by 10%, while about a hundred positive reviews can increase this rate by 37%.
Search engines consider reviews as dynamic content since they create interactions on the brand. In fact, the more reviews a brand gets, the better the natural referencing will be. That’s why the recency and therefore renewing your reviews is as essential as quality and quantity!
Likewise, Internet users will tend to consider a rating based on several hundred reviews as more relevant than a rating based on a few dozen. According to TrustPilot, 20% of consumers consider the publication date to be the most important element. According to 20% of the Internet users, the number of reviews is the most relevant element. So, you mustn’t only focus on the quantity of reviews but also on their publication date.
Create customer review campaigns
Customer reviews provide the Internet users with feedbacks from the brand’s buyers.
Though it is not always easy to regularly collect customer reviews!
Consumer review campaigns are a device for generating reviews. They can take different forms, such as sending an email to customers after a purchase asking them for feedback on the product and their experience. Review campaigns can also consist in sending free products to loyal customers. In return, the latter must write detailed and precise reviews.
Platforms such as Octoly allow you to interact with a community of more than 300,000 consumers who are interested in your brand and products. Customers share their impressions and create reviews on your website or your distributors.
The aim of all this is to share authentic opinions, written by clients who actually tested your products.
Using the generation of customer reviews via a platform means taking advantage of a tool that connects you with consumers who are part of your target.
It also means being able to measure your performance, without having to take care of your products’ shipment. And of course, it means having many customer reviews that will make your prospects want to make a purchase.
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