How a Brand’s Engagement with Reviews Shapes Customers’ Perception
According to a Nielson study, up to 92% of consumers trust family and peer recommendations above all other forms of advertising. This directly correlates with the social proof theory that suggests people are automatically drawn to things that they know others already like and trust. People trust people, this means that customer-generated content, and specifically customer reviews, has a direct impact on purchase decisions.
Over 53% of millennial consumers say that peer written reviews have made a direct influence on their choice to purchase in the past year according to BazaarVoice. As a result, brands with consumer-generated reviews that are visible in search results tend to see a lift in search rankings, an increase in click-through rates, and more sales.
Why Do Brands Need to Engage with Reviews?
If a customer’s propensity to purchase is impacted by reviews, it’s simply not enough for brands to just have platforms to connect and even solicit reviews (when permissible); brands also need to engage with this content to establish trust. Consumers see a brand’s engagement with reviews as a sign they care about their customers
Taking the time to respond to negative reviews can prove to consumers their concerns are being heard, and that the brand is taking steps to improve and right any wrongs. It can also allow a brand to express their voice and prove that a specific review experience was an isolated occurrence, thus preventing future consumers from being deterred by negative reviews.
Does the Data Support the “Best Practices”
According to a recent LocalClarity survey, when asked “when a business responds to customer reviews, I feel like they care about their customers,” 62.6% of those surveyed either strongly agreed or agreed. While 24.6% were undecided, and only 12.8% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Responding to customer reviews becomes a relatively straightforward and simple way to have a dramatic impact on consumer perceptions of a company – from national chains to local shops. Customers expect it (validated by an upcoming LocalClarity research release) and it can have a fundamental impact on your bottom line.