Today, most consumers first check online reviews before they try out a product. Take finding the best restaurant, for example. One positive review can make a customer travel a few extra miles just to check out a new café.
This, in turn, has made business owners obsessed with earning positive reviews. And yet, they forget all publicity is good publicity.
See, any type of review—good or bad—can be beneficial to a business. It only depends on how the owners react to those reviews.
Online user reviews are thus an excellent way of increasing customer engagement.
1. They help businesses to rectify their mistakes
The main idea behind online user reviews is social engagement. At their core, user reviews are types of viva voce communication. Still, unsatisfied users are a common feature in marketing. You may find them even in the review sections of well-liked products.
Yet, responses to negative reviews may have significant impact on future perceptions. Research shows that users find most managers’ responses to positive reviews as disingenuous. Some even liken such responses to shallow acting. By contrast, managers who respond to negative reviews show that they care.
So, negative reviews may actually help a business to grow. See, complaints point managers to areas that they should improve on. And when customers observe a positive change, they are likely to share it through word of mouth. This enhances a business’s reputation, which results in increased loyalty.
2. They inform pricing strategy
New products suggest their quality through their pricing. Premium products, for instance, communicate a high ability to satisfy their buyers.
But the actual quality becomes clear when users start reviewing such products. Granted, first-time buyers may have some bias. This is because of the excitement of trying out a new product. And there’s also a risk that the next buyers may under-report the quality.
Still, these self-selection biases may help a business to price their products strategically.
Here’s how it works:
- When putting out a new product, a business should lower the pricing. This creates a low quality expectation. Hence, the satisfied users are likely to leave glowing reviews.
- The positive reviews will then influence more people to buy the product. At this stage, the business may increase the pricing. And since positive reviews suggest quality, the higher prices would be justifiable.
I know, you may wonder whether this a sustainable strategy.
See, this would work because most reviews are usually extreme. People who are neither too impressed nor too disappointed tend to not post reviews. That’s why most online reviews contain either high or low ratings. The moderate ones are usually fewer.
3. They shift brand loyalty
As we’ve seen, online reviews help businesses to engage more with their customers. User reviews also inform pricing strategies. When firms get these two aspects right, they are likely to win a loyal customer base.
So, online reviews are an excellent way for businesses to influence buying decisions. They nudge people to try out products, which they may have never even thought of.
But, there’s also a danger in businesses trying to influence reviews. It is not uncommon to find companies posting fake reviews, for example. Yet, when customers find this out, they may keep away from the products of such businesses.
In an interview, David Anderson, the author of IHateWritingEssays blog about best writing services said: “It’s better for customers to find out about particular products from their peers. People distrust corporations.”
User reviews help businesses to get visibility and win new customers. They drive growth because they suggest that a given product offers value.
Moreover, businesses need to embrace reviews regardless of whether they’re flattering or not. Remember, even the most disparaging may give managers a chance to engage with their customers.
So, now you know how important reviews are. Thus, It’s time you start thinking of ways of making your customers review your products more frequently.
Author’s Bio: Carol is very keen on sharing her knowledge and experience. When not freelancing and blogging on marketing and education-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling. She takes immense pleasure of visiting new countries.