Why Are Online Reviews Important to Your Client’s Credibility?

BY Rachel Cagle
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Online reviews are an absolute must if your client wants to gain consumer trust and meet their sales goals. Let’s discuss.

Why Are Online Reviews Important to Your Client’s Credibility?

User-​Generated Content > Brand-​Generated Content

Online reviews are a HUGE part of user-​generated content (UGC), which is extremely important to consumers doing pre-​purchase research. According to a previous SalesFuel blog based on research from Bazaarvoice, “74% of consumers trust UGC more than brand-​generated content. Additionally, 55% claim that they’re unlikely to even consider making a purchase without UGC.”

Why? Most brands will present their products and services in the best light possible to make sales. Consumers know that a primary goal of brands is to make sales. 

How are consumers supposed to know if the content brands make about their offerings is honest? 

Enter reviews from consumers just like them who have already made purchases. Everyday consumers have no loyalty to brands that was not earned. Therefore, they have no reason to write positive product reviews unless they’re true.

Reviews’ Impact on Sales

According to research from BrightLocal, 43% of consumers say that they regularly read online reviews when doing research on a brand. Another 33% say that they always read reviews and 22% say they occasionally do so. Only 2% of consumers never read online customer reviews.

How often is all that in real time? BrightLocal says that consumers search for online reviews:

  • Multiple times per week: 32%
  • At least once per week: 24%
  • Every day: 21%
  • At least one per month: 14%

And consumers aren’t limiting their research to reviews on your client’s product pages. BrightLocal says that consumers also look for what online reviewers have to say on:

  • Google: 87% of consumers look for reviews here
  • Yelp: 48%
  • Facebook: 46%
  • Tripadvisor: 29%
  • Better Business Bureau: 24%
  • Apple Maps: 15%
  • Healthgrades: 10%
  • Yellow Pages: 9%
  • Angi: 9%
  • Trustpilot: 7%

If your client needs help with online review management and monitoring, add these sites to your to-​do list.

Online Review Management

Speaking of managing online reviews, it’s important to note that effective managing doesn’t mean getting rid of bad reviews. There’s no such thing as a product or service that makes every single person 100% satisfied. 

If consumers only see positive reviews, they will know that brands are tampering with them or worse. They may think the brand is only publishing positive reviews that were written by employees.

Encourage your client to respond to negative reviews or comments to try to make things right. Fixing problem as they arise can turn potentially lost business into loyal customers and inspire trust among potential customers.

Inspiring Positive Reviews

In addition to creating the quality products and services your client’s brand is known for, online reviews provide brand insight. Here are a few other ways BrightLocal says positive online reviews are earned:

  • Overperform to ensure that customers have exceptional experiences: 81% of consumers agree that they’re likely to leave positive reviews when this happens
  • Turning negative experiences into positive experiences: 79%
  • Making your business eco-​friendly/​sustainable: 60%
  • Having employees ask customers to leave reviews of their experience: 57%
  • When applicable, highlighting that your business is LGBTQ+-, women‑, black- or family-​owned: 53%
  • Sending emails or texts requesting that customers leave a review about their experience: 51%

You can also get a better idea of what will inspire your client’s target audience specifically to leave good reviews. Look up audience data on what they’re looking for from businesses on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel.

Online reviews are incredibly important to potential customers. Make sure your client is putting their best foot forward in 2024.

Photo by: Cookie the Pom