Today, consumers seem to prefer using the Web to research about a company and its offerings. In fact, a poll carried out by the Wall Street Journal showed that more than 90% of customers trust information they find on the Internet more than any other sources. In that same survey, 78% of consumers said that television ads no longer have enough information they need. In another study done by Businessweek, it was found that 70% of consumers consult reviews or ratings before purchasing anything.[youtube:kW6o3WIbLb4;[link:http://online-review-repair.com];http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW6o3WIbLb4&feature=related]
One can find reviews in various websites which include those operated by consumer protection agencies, or those specifically made to compare products and services. They can also be found on web forums, and review aggregator websites. Research has shown that 64% choose to read reviews they discovered through search engines, 58% on shopping websites, and 47% on the company’s official website.
What these studies basically show is that consumers prefer to read reviews made by other consumers. It comes as no surprise that businesses that have review systems in place enjoy better sales than those that don’t. It is also revealed that reviews increase the duration that a customer browses a company’s website by 100%. In a separate survey, it was also found that company websites that displayed consumer reviews were more likely to convert visitors to actual paying customers.
The use of social networking sites to talk about consumer experiences is also an emerging trend and businesses that do so enjoy increased traffic to their own websites, and in turn, better sales. People who read reviews also tend to share these with friends, family and colleagues further amplifying their impact.
For many people, a good review is almost as influential as price or special offers when it comes down to making purchasing decisions. This is mirrored in an online poll conducted by Webcredible, a customer experience agency, found that 29% of consumers consider positive reviews as the most important consideration when making purchases online.
There are things you can do to entice customers to make reviews for your company or offerings. One would be directly soliciting for reviews. For example, you can print the URL of your corporate website on your receipts, or include this on any emails you send to your clients. Using incentives can be an effective way of enticing customers to review a company and its offerings as well. This would include handing out coupons or giving discounts to customers who submitted a review. Make sure to respond to the reviews, whether positive or negative, in a professional and timely manner. This will show that you care about your customer’s experiences and you’re committed to improving your services.
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Businesses that make use online reviews as part of their marketing plan see a rise in sales of at least 18%. Visit here to read on why online reviews are important for your business