A study published by the Journal of Consumer Behaviour states that an individual needs to feel they belong to a group within their community. By interacting with online feedback forums such as Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor, customers satisfy this need to belong. This sense of belonging then influences them to continue to engage in positive word-of-mouth behaviour and share their opinion about a product online, to help others in their digital community.
Over the past two decades, online reviews have noticeably increased. This increase has caused excessive competition between companies and brands, as well as completely changed the marketing strategy an organisation uses to connect with their customers. In today’s business world, if a company isn’t managing their online reviews, then they could be losing potential customers.
But why are online reviews so important? Do they really have that much of an impact on the success of a business? The answer is, yes!
In today’s digitally savvy world, online reviews are more important than ever. SearchEgineLand found that 92% of customers check online reviews when undertaking research on a local business. A total of 73% of these customers made this decision after reading just six reviews or less. Not only are more potential customers heading online to see reviews, they are now psychologically craving them as they trust what they have to say. Online reviews are incredibly important and essential for any business to succeed. Most companies today incorporate their online reviews into their marketing strategy and individual marketing campaigns to convert leads into sales.
So why do consumers crave online reviews? Here’s a closer look at some of the psychological reasons:
1. Word of Mouth
With the rise of social media and the influence and reach it has to connect with potential customers, companies and businesses have placed a large focus and chunk of their marketing budget on online marketing. Although this has been a necessary move to ensure companies remain competitive, word of mouth is still one of the most powerful ways to market a brand today. In fact, 92% of people seek recommendations from their family and friends and online reviews as they are deemed the most credible source of feedback.
When customers are exposed to an advertisement, they are seeing what you want them to see, however when they read an online review they receive what they understand as an honest opinion from a user of a product. It is these online reviews that help shape their opinion on this product and whether they choose one company over their competitor.
2. Transparency is Key
After reading about the importance of online reviews you might be thinking you have to avoid a negative review, but this isn’t always the case. Revoo found, that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there is a mix of positive and negative online reviews. In fact, 30% of customers in the same study, found that when they only read positive reviews they suspected censorship or false reviews have been published to improve a company’s online rating.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for 100% positive reviews. It does, however, show that transparency is important, and you shouldn’t look at bad reviews as only a negative. The key is to ensure you have the right strategy in place to respond to negative reviews.
3. Social Acceptance
Not only are customers heading online to read reviews, they are also part of the community creating these reviews. This online community creates a feeling of acceptance and belonging that humans crave, as well as fosters the desire to communicate with others and share their opinion.
This sense of belonging and communication provides a positive reinforcement for the person writing the review as they feel they are helping solve a dilemma for family and friends, but instead through an online forum. So, they are actually reaching a larger audience and are helping a wider community through writing an online review.
Integrating an effective strategy to manage online reviews might seem like an impossible or costly task to seamlessly integrate into your current marketing strategy, however, Jago has been following these online trends and has created an app that offers a solution that is custom designed to suit any businesses needs and easily connect with customers writing online reviews. Jago will let you know how happy your customers are, and how likely they are to recommend your business to other people. Book a demo today.