The Importance of Reviews and Why Your Opinion Matters

Customer reviews are now the most important part of a brand's marketing strategy yet still many consumers don't realise the power they have.

Using laptop in the park

Earlier this month, The Consumer Voice published an infographic that shows just what impact customer reviews have on sales. The findings are sure to astound but they'll also make you realise why many of our survey companies are prepared to pay for your opinion.

In the infographic it shows that 68% of women and 66% of men will look at customer reviews before buying a product. Quite simply we trust strangers over brands as we know previous customers tell the truth. With the world of information at our fingertips we've become used to seeing what others think before buying online, it's our way of recompensing for not being able to touch and feel live.

The infographic also shows that 82% of people will buy based on a positive review, whereas 30% won't if they see a review that's negative.

Yet many shoppers still don't realise how important they are, especially in the UK, where complaining seems rude. The online review system is amazing for the public now, it means that we can have control over the quality of goods we receive and we can ensure that only those who have respect for the customer thrive.

How Brands use Your Opinion

If knowing that your opinion counts towards sales isn't enough, there are many other reasons why your reviews and opinions matter.

Big retailers use your feedback to enhance their marketing campaigns, even bad feedback can give them an opportunity to boost their brand if handled correctly.

For instance, feedback in the ecommerce world is big business. No longer is it enough to simply shout about a product or service, to increase conversions customers must want to engage with the retailer, they must want to share their content, and they must quite simply like the brand.

Good feedback enhances their reputation while giving the advertising experts an unrestricted view into the minds of the customer. This information is gold. Once a marketing team understands how their target market ticks, they can appeal to them in all sorts of psychological ways to ensure success throughout.

How Does Bad Feedback Help?

Peter Jones once said, "There is no such thing as failure, only feedback" and this is true for any business. A savvy retailer will obviously be disappointed with bad feedback but they will see it as an opportunity to improve.

They can do this in a few ways. For example, if they have bad feedback about a product through a survey before launch, they can adapt to avoid the negative press. If they have bad feedback about a product after launch, they can issue statements to show they're addressing the issues and once fixed it will be bigger and better than ever.

Now, customer service is a different domain altogether, but as the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity. Obviously if a brand continues to make mistakes and never learns their lesson, they will eventually fold but if they use complaints as a way to engage with their audience they can thrive.

For example, a customer complains about horrible service in store, 45% of people will also tweet about it or tell friends on Facebook. Businesses have alerts set up for when their name is mentioned.

Now if the brand handles it correctly, satisfies the customer and leaves them feeling good about the resolution, the brand could well earn the respect of everyone that's seen that complaint, along with the complainer's friends.

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