Why Customer Reviews Matter?
The rise of review websites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Zomato has begun years ago. Many businesses are listed with customer reviews on these websites and other review platforms like Google and Facebook, but simply being there is not good enough anymore. When your brand is no longer only belonged to you, you might want to have a closer look at the impact that consumers can bring to your business, for example, the importance of customer reviews.
The era of skeptics
Having the internet has been indispensable for today’s people. With the popularized internet accessibility, it empowers consumers with information they want to know and the ability to evaluate the information given by businesses. In nature, consumers have the tendency of trusting people on the same side such as family, friends, and other consumers rather than the businesses. It is one of the reasons why businesses are serious about social media where consumers love talking about everything in their life including brands they are using. After the growth of social media, review websites have also become something you cannot ignore. Recent research indicates that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and authenticity is the most important factor affecting their trust.
Consumers care about online reviews
With the ease of accessing internet and online reviews, 92% of consumers now read online reviews. Reading online review seems to become an essential part of consumers’ shopping process. According to statistics from BrightLocal, reviews help consumers form their opinion about businesses and positive reviews can make consumers trust a local business more because of their trust in online reviews. In fact, online review isn’t just affect consumers’ perception and trust to a business, it also influences consumers’ decision making. Research from Moz.com shows online reviews impact over 67% of respondents’ purchase decisions and nearly 55% saying they are very important to their decision-making process. In addition, star rating has been a critical factor for consumers’ decision-making. Statistics indicates 94% of consumers will consider using a business with a four-star rating while over one-third of consumers won’t eat at a 3-star rating restaurant.
The real impacts to the businesses
Online reviews not only have impacts on consumer behaviour but also on business revenue. Especially to hospitality industry, online reviews can make a real difference. Research has identified a significant relationship between a restaurant's average rating and its revenue. A restaurant has a half star higher rating is more likely to be full during the peak hours than the one with a lower rating. Yet, having positive reviews can help a business’ SEO and its customer acquisition, it might not always positive to a business. If all the reviews are positive, the business is likely to be distrusted by consumers because of their doubt to the review accountability.
For today’s businesses, customer reviews are not just words from customers. They are the reputation of the businesses which every business should take it seriously and be mindful about.
After all, it is what others say about the brand the consumers care about.