What’s the first thing someone does when considering a purchase, whether that’s choosing a restaurant, booking a holiday or even selecting a mortgage adviser? Yes, they find out what other people thought, either by asking friends or reading reviews. We all seek independent validation or reassurance, no matter what we’re buying. In fact, the more expensive or significant the product or service, the more important a review will be.
We believe reviews are so important because they:
1. Can make or break a business - it’s hard to argue with the metrics. Reviews on sites like Trip Advisor and Facebook produce an average 18% uplift in sales and consumers are likely to spend 31 per cent more because of positive feedback.
2. Validate a prospect’s decision - these days, people are glued to their smartphone or tablets. A recent survey by Podium found that 60% of consumers look at online reviews weekly, while 93% say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. A review can act as the tipping point from consideration to purchase.
3. Give you credibility - if you don’t have any reviews at all, it looks like you’re just starting out and people may not be willing to be your guinea pig. Bear in mind that 68% of millenials trust online reviews, as opposed to the 34% who trust TV advertising. In addition, consumer reviews are almost 12 times more trusted than manufacturers’ information. We all want to hear what people who are similar to us thought of their experience with you.
4. Create noise around your brand - and increase the likelihood of you getting noticed online. If you’re worried about someone posting something negative - don’t be. We all know the saying - there’s no such thing as bad publicity. The best course of action if you’re faced with negative reviews, is to tackle them head on and improve the service. Research has shown that a third of customers will either delete their original negative review or replace it with a positive review, if their issue is dealt with.
5. Help you stand out from the competition - faced with pages of similar offerings, those gold stars have a tendency to shine out! Not surprisingly, it’s been shown that given equal pricing, guests are 3.9 times more likely to choose hotels with higher ratings than lower ratings. Research has also shown that for every star a business gets, there will be an approximate 5-9% increase in business revenue.