In some way or another, we are all influenced by the opinions of others. Whether it’s friends, family or coworkers, we value their advice and appreciate an outside point of view. This has much to do with the psychology of influence and one of the Six Principles of Influence, behind it.
Created by Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, one of the principles “relies on people’s sense of ‘safety in numbers,’” referred to as social proof. “Here, we’re assuming that if lots of other people are doing something, then it must be OK.”
Word-of-mouth recommendations and customer reviews fall into this category since both are great influencing factors that prompt people to trust an organization and purchase its products and services.
Think back to the last time you heard someone you know rave so much about a product or service that you decided to try it for yourself. Now, consider if you are browsing through websites in search of that same product. If you stumble upon a website that displays customer reviews, it’s likely that you’ll scan it for valuable recommendations. If reviewers are noting that it’s one of the best on the market, you’ll waste no time pulling out your credit card.
The lesson here is simple: word-of-mouth coupled with customer feedback, in the form of customer reviews on your website, is a powerful tool.
Boost Conversions and Drive Sales
“According to Reevoo stats, 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.” While, “63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews. (iPerceptions, 2011).” So, if driving desired actions and sales are a top priority, and they should be, encouraging customers to leave feedback on your website should be at the top of your to-do list.
Customer Feedback That Connects
By providing customer reviews on your company website you can connect with customers on different levels – and mainly build a relationship by creating more value in the form of information. Customer service expert Rick Tate suggests: “Perhaps it’s time to consider that our communications problems lie not in ‘how’ we communicate, but rather in ‘what’ we communicate. Is the customer’s voice and evaluations the core of the information we channel through our organization?”
If you are fortunate enough to learn how your business operations are perceived through the eyes of another person and then communicate it back to your general audience you are intrinsically creating more value. And companies that create more value end up with more sales.
Customer Reviews and SEO Perks
Customers unknowingly use similar keywords and keyword phrases in customer reviews. Thus this type of user-generated content can easily be picked up search engines. And with enough use this can add tremendous benefits to your local search engine optimization (SEO) efforts — and potentially rank your website higher in search results.
“Local search engines love online reviews for one primary reason, consumers love online reviews. They’re in the business of providing people on-the-go or at home with the most accurate information to help them predict and make decisions around their future purchases. The faster they can do that, the more consumers will turn to them time and time again.” (Source: Shopify)
A ‘Mixed Bag’ Builds Credibility
When business owners think of bad reviews, they often cringe as it is generally considered taboo and a shining example of unsatisfied customers. However, less than great customer reviews can actually be a good thing. Receiving poor customer feedback and transparently showing it on your company website suggests to shoppers that you have confidence in your business and address problems that are bound to exist.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Kara Spadone is an SEO copywriter and editor for J.M. Field Marketing, a one-stop shop for fulfillment services, e-commerce solutions, web design and inventory management. She’s passionate about writing content that revolves around business, technology, social media and entrepreneurship. Connect with @jmfmarketing on Twitter.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.