Customer reviews make a difference. You could even say they play a starring role in the customer journey.
But if you’re wondering just how much influence customer reviews have over purchase decisions, then take note:
In research conducted by Dixa this year, 93% of customers will read online reviews before making a purchase, with 47% spreading the word about a positive experience and a striking 95% shouting from the rooftops about a negative experience.
And research published by G2 notes that consumers not only want to see reviews on your products and services, but they also look for the nitty-gritty details in your customer reviews. Consumers are interested in learning about the experiences and problems customers have had, how you’ve responded to complaints, consensus on whether or not the product or service lived up to your claims, and so on.
In fact, according to their data, 97% of participants said customer reviews factor into their buying decisions. And 92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase when there are no customer reviews.
Needless to say, reviews are very important. But how exactly do they influence purchasing decisions? Here are 3 ways:
1. 79% of customers put as much weight on customer reviews as they do personal recommendations
Word-of-mouth has consistently been a critical consideration when it comes to the credibility of a business. However, with the growing number of people who are *very* online, customer reviews made by strangers now carry as much credibility as a personal recommendation from someone you know. The important thing to remember here is that consumers will trust a review that is both high-quality and authentic. If it seems spammy or paid for, it’s likely to have the opposite effect and turn customers off.
Customers are more likely to purchase from a website that has customer reviews than a website that doesn’t. Displaying reviews on your website gives potential customers more confidence in their purchasing decisions and reduces doubts, leading to a higher conversion rate. It can also help strengthen your brand’s credibility and reliability. All of this results in more sales which comes from an increase in conversion rate, visitor return rate, and average order size.
Unfavorable customer reviews negatively impact your business. A bad customer review reflects poorly on your product or service’s quality and reliability. However, there’s a very important caveat to consider: the complete lack of negative reviews on a product or service page will diminish its credibility as well. All positive reviews make it seem like the entire page is inauthentic, whereas one or two minor negative reviews actually highlight that you’re a real business. No one’s perfect, and consumers will respond better to a healthy mix of 3, 4, and 5-star reviews, than only 5-star reviews.
Think of your less desirable reviews as an opportunity to let your customer service skills shine, so be sure to respond to reviews publicly. Being able to resolve the issues presented in negative customer reviews can end up having a positive effect on potential customers in the end because it shows you are accountable and care about your customers. On the flip side, leaving negative customer reviews unanswered will only hurt your reputation and your relationship with your customers.
Customer reviews empower consumers
Quite simply, customer reviews are often a deciding factor for a lot of consumers buying online. Customer reviews help build trust between a business and the public. A large number of reviews, with a healthy proportion of postive to less positive reviews, will help to build immediate trust that will ultimately convert casual online visitors to actual paying customers.
Now that we’ve established that customer reviews influence consumer purchasing decisions, find out how to deliver customer service that drives great customer reviews in our new report, 5 CX Trends to Supercharge Your Customer Service in 2023.