The Truth About Reviews And Their Importance
Are you wondering why reviews are important? In this post we will uncover the truth about consumer reviews, if they are trustworthy, and why you need them whether or not they are completely real.
If you are wondering if reviews play an important part in your business or your buying decisions as a consumer, this post is definitely for you. Here, we will go over the truth about reviews.
In addition, we’ll talk about all the nitty gritty details no one’s every explained in depth. Some of the details you may not even know (and they’ll probably surprise you quite a bit!). So let’s get right to it!
Reviews Are Everywhere (And People Read Them!)
Did you know that reviews are everywhere? Did you also know that most people read them?
So, whether or not a review is real or fake, most consumers are persuaded by customer reviews. Additionally, consumers use customer reviews as a guide in determining whether or not to choose a product or service.
For businesses, the fact that reviews are everywhere and everyone is reading them is vitally important to your business. However, this simple fact is crucial for several reasons you may not have known. So, before you delete your yelp account, let’s get to the point and discuss why you might not want to!
Some of the reasons reviews are important for businesses:
- they help customers decide on your service
- they prove that you are credible
- they prove that you are (or are not) trustworthy
- they improve your SEO and place you in front of consumers
For consumers, reviews are equally important and can persuade you in your purchasing decisions. Most consumers are aware of the fact that reviews could be embellished. In fact, most people have written a review that was exaggerated in one way or another. Yikes!
But nonetheless, reviews are an important indicator to consumers as to whether or not to purchase a service. Here’s why!:
- they present worst case scenarios to consumers
- they show that a business is real
- they prove a business is invested in maintaining its reputation (or not)
- they validate purchasing decisions
DID YOU KNOW: Most people have written a review that they knew was exaggerated or untruthful in one way or another.
Reviews Are The Written Form Of Influencer Marketing
Reviews are the written form of influencer marketing. Better yet, they’re like a modern day infomercial!
When you see a product that is being promoted by a celebrity or an influencer, it effects whether or not you want to purchase the product. However, most people are aware of the fact that the product may not have ever been truly used by the consumer.
So why is it that a consumer would want to purchase something that is being endorsed by someone who is essentially lying about using the product? Well, the answer is quite simple.
3 REASONS INFLUENCER MARKETING WORKS
- It puts a product in front of the consumer
- It makes the product seem more credible
- It helps consumers feel more connected to the product
Even though people know an influencer may not have actually used a product they are endorsing, they feel more connected to the product. This results in increased comfort in buying a product that has been endorsed in this type of way. The same goes for customer reviews.
Whether or not customer testimonials and endorsements are real, consumers are trusting your judgement anyway. People are lazy and assume you wouldn’t post a testimonial for a terrible business- whether or not you actually used the service.
Ratings Give You More Exposure Online
The amazing thing about online ratings is that they immediately give you more exposure in your industry. They do this in a number of ways.
But what this means is that the system isn’t really fair. And it’s not just digital marketers and businesses that take advantage of it.
THINK ABOUT IT: If you have a business that is online, you are pretty much completely dependent on reviews to begin to get exposure. If that’s what you need to show up online, what are you going to do?
Sites Filter Good Ratings (Unless You Pay Them!!!)
Another important thing to take note of is this:
Not only is the system (search engines) unfair because you basically need reviews to show up online. But sites, such as Yelp, My Moving Reviews, Angies List, and others, filter companies’s positive reviews unless the company pays them for “marketing”.
PICTURE THIS SCENARIO: You’re a business owner who works unbelievably hard at maintaining good customer relations and running a good business. However, as you know, that doesn’t mean that things always go perfectly.
You end up getting a negative review online. Following getting that review, all of your positive reviews fall off the site. So now you have a 1 star rating.
You call the site on which the rating was posted. They tell you that in order for that to stop happening you need to fork over close to $500 a month for “marketing”.
How does that change the way you feel about many of these sites where people can leave their experience? It isn’t really fair, is it?
We All Play A Part!!
It is probably clear to you that everyone plays a part in this scenario. The person who didn’t read the fine print and has chosen to leave a bad review because they’re angry at themselves. The business that is asking for paid reviews. The people who are leaving the paid for ratings. The site which is asking for money to make the good ratings “stick”. Google and the search engines who have decide your business is reliant on your customer feedback.
Ratings Will Always Be Important
The simple truth is that ratings and reviews will always effect consumers. But the choice you need to make, as a business and as a consumer, is to decide how you’re going to make ratings work for you.
TRY THIS SIMPLE TEST: The next time you need a product or service, go to Google and do a simple search much like you would on any other occasion. Pay close attention to your purchasing behaviors.
Take note of the following things:
- What do you notice when you do your Google search?
- Are you motivated to look at the ratings of the products you are considering?
- Do you choose a product that has a high (or low) rating?
- What do you ultimately decide to purchase?
- How did you come to that decision?
In many cases, you will notice the same pattern. Most people do pay close attention to online reviews and in most cases, they are a huge proponent in their decision-making process.
Don’t Depend On REVIEWS (Make Them Work For You!)
The answer to all of your problems on the subject of ratings is this. Don’t depend on reviews. Make your reviews work for you!
What this means is this:
IF YOU’RE A BUSINESS
If you’re a business reading this post, there are things you must decide and steps you should take. Below I’ve outlined a few.
- Use tools that prompt customers to leave a review for your business
- Respond positively to all of your customer feedback
- Try to provide a top notch service and make it your mission to serve your customers
- Use your ratings to improve your local SEO
- Enlist the help of reputation management services when needed
- Choose what you’re willing to do and where you will draw the line
IF YOU’RE A CONSUMER
- Consider the reviews you leave and how they can impact a business
- Read reviews with an open mind
- Pay attention to negative reviews
- Take positive reviews for what they are (marketing)
- Be aware that the system is messed up
- Learn more about the way review sites exploit negative ratings
If you do these things and follow these steps, you will have a better understanding of the bigger picture.
Ratings and customer feedback is what helps businesses develop more productively. In addition, a business’s ratings help consumer make proper buying decisions.
Being aware of common pitfalls with relying heavily on consumer feedback is crucial to making a more informed decision about how to handle the reviews you read. Additionally, it may help consumers be more aware that it’s up to them to research a company thoroughly in advance (and in multiple ways).
We hope we have answered why reviews are important and wish you luck with your business and purchasing.