Online customer review or customer feedback refers to how a product or service is viewed through the eyes of the consumer who has purchased it or has experience using it.
If you are a business owner, you would know the importance of the customer reviews. The ratings, thoughts, opinions, and genuine reviews provided by a customer is very crucial for improving your product or service. Peering through the customers’ point of view, you will be able to determine their satisfaction levels, what they liked or didn’t like about your product and find out ways to improve your services to better cater to their wants and needs.
Importance of responding to customer reviews
Obtaining customer feedback is great. Learning their behaviour and understanding their thought pattern is also great. But in this day and age, it is not enough.
As a business, you need to start responding and interacting with your customers and their reviews. Talking and replying to them creates a bond which will help you improve your brand image. It is a subtle way of providing enhanced customer service. Taking the time to acknowledge the voice of the customer and responding to their reviews in a timely manner is essential to gain trust among customers.
When customers see that your business is responding to their queries, they immediately consider your brand to be more consumer-friendly. Creating a loyal customer base involves listening to and communicating with them. The digital world we live in today has made many things easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection, including online customers reviews. People can find and read product reviews to help them with their purchase decisions. This aspect of transparent reviews is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, reading positive reviews will help other potential customers trust your product or service, while the negative feedback and ratings will bring doubt in the consumer’s mind driving them away from you and hurting your online reputation. This is why it is absolutely important to respond to these reviews.
Positive reviews can be responded to with a simple ‘Thank you’ or a customized message which will truly give them a wonderful customer experience. You should deal with negative reviews much before positive ones, as they are the ones that hurt your social media reputation and image on other platforms. You must try your best to help these dissatisfied customers and provide them with solutions as soon as possible to change their opinion about your product, service or business. Doing this is a big part of online reputation management.
The positive impact of responding to customer reviews
Now you might wonder if it’s so important to respond to online customer reviews, how much of a positive impact will it really have? Well, some of the many positive effects it can have on your business are as follows :
- Improves your brand image
- Enhances your social media reputation
- Helps create a loyal customer base
- Responding and solving customer queries helps you to gain trust among customers
- Boosts overall customer experience
- Improves local SEO performance
- Helps overall online reputation management
After realising the importance of online customer reviews in a customer’s purchase journey, marketers did not refrain from getting paid, biased reviews. However, e-commerce platforms were quick to react making the process a lot more difficult.
According to research, whether it is a product or a service, over 97% of customers report that they factor online reviews into their buying decisions. Not only this, but research also reports that 92% of consumers hesitate to purchase a product or service if there are no customer reviews.
While the presence of a review can help you sell your product or service, the absence of online customer reviews would mostly hamper your sales. Research suggests that 35% of people do not buy a product if there are no reviews available.
Modern-day customers have become sceptical. While a majority of customers rely on online reviews, they also look for negative reviews. Instead of trying to take down negative reviews from your e-commerce platform, it would be more beneficial if you could demonstrate exceptional customer service to your prospective customers. Research depicts that around 34% of consumers like to see a mix of both positive and negative reviews.
The importance of online customer reviews cannot be stressed enough. It is among the most essential factors driving customer purchase decisions. Therefore, if you have a small or medium business, investing in a good online review management service would be a good idea to boost your online sales.
Negative effects of ignoring online reviews
If you are still sceptical about the need to respond to customers, maybe seeing some of these negative effects you may face for ignoring their online reviews will change your mind:
- Lack of trust
- Not responding to reviews on time can lead to losing a customer
- Ignoring reviews and customer issues will degrade your brand image
- It hurts your chances of gaining new customers, as they will see the lack of response to existing customers, giving them a negative viewpoint of your business
- Results in poor customer experience
- Negative reviews spread more easily and have a deeper impact on the reader’s mind
- Leaving more and more reviews unattended, can seriously affect your business in a negative way in the long run
Example of Importance of Customer Reviews
A study performed in the U.S. for selection criteria of theme parks showed that online reviews were considered as the most important factor while choosing a theme park followed by the price and type of theme park. The results of this analysis held true in the U.S. but could also have similar implications internationally.
Read our case study on Georgia Aquarium
Tatvam is a very dynamic platform which offers many features and software applications to your business such as reputation management services, social media analysis using social mention tools that will help your business figure out where your brand is being talked about, and whether it is positive or negative.
We provide top of the class tools to help you analyze visitor impressions and improve SEO performance by showing you important keywords and phrases related to your business that you might not be aware of, so you don’t miss out on opportunities to enhance your content.