Customer reviews have existed for practically as long as print media has been around. Everything from Consumer Reports to the book reviews in the Sunday Newspapers; these are all forms of customer reviews.
However, customer reviews weren’t viewed as their own marketing force until the Internet came along.
On the web, it’s easier than ever for a customer to write a review that will reach a wide audience. This is basically the same power of having a mass-distributed newspaper at your fingertips (only way more powerful).
For many local businesses, such as restaurants, day spas, hair salons, and others, consumers use sites such as Google, Facebook and Yelp to leave feedback for businesses. For books, there is Amazon.com… and there are a slew of other forms of reviews that can be found online.
These days, customer reviews are everywhere and if a customer wants his or her voice heard, all it takes is a few strokes of the keyboard and a couple of clicks of the mouse. This can be good or bad depending on their experience with the company.
Why are Online Customer Reviews So Important?
Customer reviews are important because people trust them to an insane degree…
Did you know?
97% of people read reviews for local businesses. BIA / Kelsey
90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.Dimensional Research
The Cost of Negative Reviews
Only 13% of consumers will consider using a business that has a 1 or 2 star rating.SearchEngineLand
The Value of Positive Reviews
Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.Invesp
For a long time, marketing theorists considered word of mouth - when you hear something positive about a product or service from a friend - to be the holy grail of promotion.
It was free to have someone else recommend a product, and unlike an advertisement, people were more likely to believe it if a friend said it. Customer reviews on the Internet have flipped the script a little. The Internet and customer reviews have become word of mouth.
These statistics show that every company, regardless of its activity or size, must position itself in the new marketplace and use new tools, not only to manage and control its reputation but also to use its excellent reputation for purely commercial means. That’s what is called Reputation Marketing.