Studies have shown that customers are more inclined to trust other customers more than leading professionals. Although nearly half of consumers would agree that customer reviews are trustworthy, there are a few that do not fully trust customer reviews.
In a survey asking over 1,800 consumers from the United States about how they find and choose businesses, only 12% believed in expert reviews, as opposed to customer reviews.
For small business owners, connections and reviews are a strong asset when it comes to customers who are looking at reviews and recommendations from peers. With pride in their connections, businesses encourage top customers to write positive reviews in order to be seen as a trusted brand to potential future customers.
While consumers can speculate about reviews, there are a few things that make a review more reliable. In a survey, nearly 77% found it important for a review to have specific details about the product or service, while only 46% needed photos for proof. 46% also found that a reviewer was seen as more reliable if they had purchased from the business more than once. Only 44% states that the review had to appear more neutral, meaning it should not sound overly positive.
The main trouble with reviews for a business is the inability to control how a person responds to products or services, but there are a few ways businesses can influence responses and how other customers may perceive a review.
Monitor By Responding
Most customers read the most recent reviews, which is why it is important to ensure the first review reflects a positive response. When possible, make sure to respond to reviews to show greater customer satisfaction and higher engagement with new and loyal customers. If the review is more lengthy and positive, you can ask the customer for photos or more details to showcase the positive aspects of your product or service. Nearly 20% of customers look for negative reviews first, which is why you need to monitor and respond quickly to any negative feedback in the reviews. Keep in mind, the customer who left a negative review may not be lost yet, it may just take more positive communication or a remedy to the situation that could solve the issue quickly.
If you need to offer an apology, let the customer know that their response is valuable. If the review is past the point of no return, try reaching out through a private message in order to offer a refund or discount.
Be Proactive With Customer Reviews
The key part of having positive reviews is to make sure your customers are happy with their choices in product or experience with the services provided.
Studies show that customers are more likely to write negative reviews if a store seems neglected or if the staff come across as rude. To avoid those types of reviews, be careful in your hiring practices to ensure you have great employees who hold the expectations of your company and how they should conduct themselves around customers. By putting guidelines in place, you are able to manage your storefront better with the right people.
Positive reviews often come from the above and beyond experience for customers. For food service, this may look like a free appetizer or visit from the head chef. In retail, this could look like flexibility in return policies or a free gift. Take time to review your business practices and customer service techniques to look for ways to ensure a positive experience for all customers. Whether it is utilizing a referral program or developing rapport with loyal customers who generate more positive reviews, there are multiple ways to reward customers for more reviews that can grow your business.