A customer review is feedback of your product or service by your customer.
When it comes to making decisions, we humans aren’t always independent thinkers. We depend on our network of friends, family, and colleagues for opinions, advice, or perspectives to enrich our decision-making.
The Internet extends our human network as we are no longer limited to our sphere of influence, the network gets broader. We can learn about what people all around the world think with just a quick Google search.
Customer reviews hold serious weight with prospective customers. Online reviews—either positive or negative—can impact over 93% of customers’ decisions. They are very important for business growth. Here are some reasons why;
As mentioned earlier, we depend on the opinions of our network to make decisions, we are social creatures. Social proof can make customers who are on the fence about buying a product make a purchase or consider other alternatives. Customer reviews validate a product or service. This validation from positive feedback builds a strong brand for your business.
Without customer reviews, a business can not know if its customers are satisfied or not. Customer reviews keep businesses aware of the quality of their products or service as well as how to serve their customers better.
Voice of the Customer
Through the act of leaving a review, customers feel like they have a voice, that even behind a desktop, mobile, or tablet screen, they provide feedback. This helps to give a sense of loyalty to customers who drop positive reviews and customers who have their complaints properly attended to when they drop a negative review.
Customer reviews appear to be the most prominent ranking factor in local search. It helps businesses rank well and stand shoulder to shoulder with the more established competition.
Customer reviews affect the marketing strategy of a business. While a lot of money can be spent on ads, promotions, or publications, customer reviews are cheap and are the basis of marketing. Positive reviews are like micro–marketing campaigns that keep working long after the online review has been posted, providing a constant positive image to prospective customers and creating a continual brand awareness that benefits the business for both the short and the long term.
How to get Customer Reviews
- Ask for it. At the end of a sale or service, request the honest feedback of your customer.
- Create social media communities where your customers can drop reviews and interact with each other.
- Write it. Share an experience with a customer on your social media platforms and blog.
- Get it from the comments they made while delivering your service or product. They can be used as testimonials on websites and across social media platforms.
How to Respond to Customer Reviews
Reviews—either positive or negative—should not be one-way communication. The way you respond to customer reviews matters.
In the case of positive reviews;
- Respond immediately, at least a day or two.
- Appreciate the customer for taking out time to review your product or service. This encourages them to patronize your business again and drop more positive reviews.
- Leverage the opportunity to point your customer to other products or services you offer.
- Ask if you can publicize their review.
For negative reviews;
- Respond immediately!
- If the review was public, apologize publicly and initiate a conversation with them privately. Do not delete the public post.
- Appreciate the customer for their honest opinion.
- Turn the customer’s complaints into happiness!
Basically, customer reviews—either positive or negative—have a ripple effect on business.
Reviews bring more reviews!
Asking your target market to buy from you without any reinforcement from other customers is expensive and drilling. Make the most of the reviews you get from customers to learn, grow and make profit.