SUMMARY: 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day and 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up from 81% in 2019. Nearly nine out of ten (89 percent) consumers worldwide make the effort to read reviews before buying products (Trustpilot, 2020). Consumer reviews can make or break your product/brand.
Although the power of online reviews still lags behind that of personal recommendations from family and friends, it continues to hold much influence over consumers, except for the older generation. As many as 62 percent of consumers say they will not support brands that engage in review censorship (Trustpilot, 2020).
Online reviews are a key ingredient in your marketing mix and maybe the most important consumer touchpoint, yet too many brands ignore them. A product question asked on Twitter that is unanswered for hours or days can do a lot of damage to brands.
Social media has emphasized Internet time, which means that brands need to respond to consumers’ questions and comments as soon as they are posted. A consumer posting that takes over three weeks to get a product they ordered online will kill future orders.
It’s important to understand that online reviews aren’t just a way for consumers to express their opinions about a product or service. Reviews can also influence a business’s search ranking. They can even be leveraged as marketing tools to improve reputation and revenue.
53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within 7 days. Often, they are left disappointed. As much as 63% of them say that a business never responded to their review.Review Trackers
Consumers aren’t restricted online and can share their experiences as they want to. They’re free to say truthfully what they thought about the product and what they believe is essential for others to know before making a buying decision. They often don’t limit their opinion to “This product is good” or “I didn’t like this product” — they will explain why. And that’s where these reviews come in handy. By having opinions, businesses will know what to improve, the details to change, and the advantages of your product to emphasize and promote. Even negative reviews are helpful as they tell you what needs to be modified to offer a better product.
So the key question for your business is are you prepared to respond to online reviews?
Online reviews are part of your brand to consumers. If your brand doesn’t have a process to respond to both negative and positive reviews, you’re losing customers.
When so many consumers are purchasing products online, the effect of online reviews is becoming more important. You need to have people who can become the voice of your brand and respond to disgruntled customers. Saying nothing is not an option.