You likely hear about it a lot. But, just how important are online customer reviews for your business? What’s the impact of these reviews on the average business, and how much would you theoretically lose without reviews?
Fortunately, INVESP has the answer. A recent study whose findings are now available on INVESP shows that customer reviews can make or break your business. The value of every review becomes apparent once you read the report.
Online Customer Reviews Study Takeaways
- Up to 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business: This means you’re completely out of the equation for 9-out-of-10 online shoppers if you don’t have at least a few customer reviews.
- Customers spend 31% more on businesses with positive reviews: This makes sense, given that shoppers are more likely to trust you with their money if previous customers constantly rave about your exceptional services.
- About 92% of users will use a local business with at least a 4-star rating: Many people prefer perfect businesses, i.e., those with a 5-star rating. However, you’ll still do well with a 4-star rating. Unfortunately, trust levels drop massively at 3-star ratings or lower.
Check out the rest of the report to find out more reasons why customer reviews are critical to your business. Also learn how many stars you need to earn the trust of local customers.
Customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is currently one of the most vital metrics for enterprises. A high CBBE means that the brand’s name alone carries a lot of weight in the market. Consumers quickly recognize and resonate with the name.
The results? More word-of-mouth, recommendations (from individuals, experts, and even influencers), as well as positive sentiment in social spheres (both online and offline).
As such, more and more businesses are seeking ways to build their brand equity. The Keller Model, devised by marketing Professor Kevin Lane Keller, can help you build substantial brand equity for long-term growth.
Understanding the Keller Model
The main objective of the Keller Model is to help brands understand what their customers want and need, way before the customers even buy the product. It can also help you predict what customers need before the customers themselves know that they need the product.
The model is designed in the form of a pyramid with four levels. At the base of the pyramid are foundational salience concepts to help you build a strong brand identity. At this stage, you want customers to know;
- Who you are
- What makes you unique
Once you’ve established a strong customer-based brand equity foundation, you can move through the next steps in the pyramid. Check out the rest of the model to learn about key takeaways and implementation strategies for each level.
Thanks to the folks at Chattermill for this useful infographic.
Retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones, so if you’re running a small business, you should allot more resources on earning your customers’ trust and eventually, their loyalty.
Earn Customer Loyalty
The good news is that many people prefer to patronize small businesses instead of big corporations. According to a survey, 86% of respondents said they’re fine with paying a little more to work with a small business. In fact, 47% are also willing to go out of their way to shop from a local seller. If they’re happy with their experience, 59% always tell other people about it. These statistics show that the odds are in your favor.
Deliver Great Customer Service
But that’s only one foot in the door because great products and services aren’t enough. To actually retain customers, you also need to consistently deliver great customer service that’s timely, relevant, and effective. Respondents of the aforementioned survey have different reasons when asked about what earns their loyalty, but great customer service still nabbed the top spot.
Create a Personalized Experience
Next on the list is a personalized experience. People appreciate it when businesses make them feel special and seen, and not just another sale to add to a quota. They like memorable interactions, exclusive events, tailored discounts, sneak peeks, and early access to new inventory.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. To delve into how to earn customer loyalty in more detail, refer to Salesforce’s infographic.
In a typical online shopping situation, customers pay for their purchases first via a digital payment system. Then, they wait for the seller to ship their goods to them. Thus, trust is a big component of e-commerce, especially from the customers’ perspective.
To make customers trust your business before they even buy anything, here are a couple of key activities you need to do:
Don’t wait for customers to ask you for details they need. On your page, make sure the following information is easily seen: your customer service channels and hours; number of customers served; year when your business was established; list of accepted payment methods (highlight Paypal if it’s included); and any form of verification from the brand you’re selling if you’re a reseller. Even if people haven’t heard of your business before, seeing these details will make them trust you more.
Share credible testimonials from satisfied customers. Knowing other people already had a good experience with will make prospects more inclined to become customers themselves. If you’ve been featured by a publication (whether offline or online), make sure to cite that as well. People need to get reassurance from an authoritative third party before they’ll take a chance on your business.
Trust is hard to build at first, but start it right and you’ll get it in time. Thanks, Kissmetrics for this amazing infographic.
It’s easier to destroy something than to build it, which is why a seemingly simple mistake in customer service can ruin your business’s reputation. Don’t want to get on the bad side of your customers? Then avoid the following:
Speed is essential when dealing with customers, especially those with complaints. The longer it takes for you to reply, the angrier they get. And even those who weren’t upset, to begin with, will get impatient if you make them wait too long. Note that 77% of adults in the US feel that valuing their time is part of good customer service.
Companies keep their word only half the time, resulting in irate customers. Thus, don’t tarnish your brand’s reputation by making promises you can’t deliver on. Otherwise, people will lose their trust in you. For example, if you say shipping takes one to two calendar days, then ensure purchased items reach their buyers within that time frame. If you can’t fulfill that, set more realistic expectations.
Your customer service agents should be the experts, so “I don’t know” is not an acceptable response. Even if they don’t know the answer, they should tactfully frame their response like “I’ll look this up and get back to you.” Customers don’t like it when they know more than the agents.
Thank you Jitbit.com for this great infographic!