It’s harder than ever to ignore online reviews. Whether you are searching for a product or service in any industry, authority sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp have placed reviews and ratings in plain sight.
And these have a major influence on consumers.
As someone who runs a business, you might have wondered: Do consumers trust online reviews?
The simple answer is yes. Consumers trust other consumers and their online reviews. Sure, they might be strangers, but they are real people who have had first-hand experience with a product or service.
At the same time, consumers are more likely to trust consumer reviews more than what any business itself says it offers. That’s nothing to frown at, as it is only natural.
Nearly 80% of consumers even say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
But it’s not just about trusting online reviews but trusting your business as a brand. Specifically, the trust a customer has in knowing they are getting exactly what they are being promised in exchange for their money.
After all, a business’s online reputation, when it comes to reviews, can be indicative of the trustworthiness of its service.
It might not seem like it at first glance, but whether consumers trust online reviews is a valid question – and it has more layers than you might think.
Below, we explain how trust can drive purchase decisions and increase sales, but more importantly, how you can get more reviews that consumers will trust.
Do Customer Reviews Drive Purchase Decisions?
Customers trust online reviews, but a purchase decision is whether the customer decides to actually buy or not.
And as for whether reviews can influence the customer’s decision to buy, the answer here is a solid yes. This is because:
- Reviews can provide specific details that customers are looking for.
- Reviews can back up what your business says that it offers.
Ultimately, positive customer reviews will inspire trust and confidence. And, as a result, the drive to buy into your service and rest assured that they are going to receive what is being promised.
Similarly, positive and negative ratings can also affect purchase decisions. 5 stars will influence the customer’s decision to buy (with confidence), while 1 or 2-star reviews will make customers think twice… or just ignore the business altogether.
Do Customer Reviews Increase Sales?
Customer reviews can increase sales – as long as the reviews are positive and trustworthy.
Why is this the case? The reasons are:
- Positive reviews establish authority against your competitors.
- Having many positive reviews can help your business to climb local search rankings, as well as rank higher on review websites themselves.
Both of these can increase sales because they make your business more visible (SEO-friendly), more authoritative, and more trustworthy.
Of course, when you rank highly on websites and search engines, customers will be led to your business organically.
And by having more positive reviews, more customers are likely to buy into your service, therefore increasing overall sales.
The Value Of Real Reviews Vs. Paid Reviews
Circling back to the main question, customers trust online reviews – but more importantly, customers trust reviews that are real and authentic.
How do you tell if it’s an authentic customer review? In general, authentic reviews will be more specific in terms of detail. They might also include pictures of the product or service (such as the outcome of a renovation) that they received.
As for fake or paid reviews, things to look out for include blank customer profiles, praise that seems exaggerated, and a large number of perfect 5-star reviews posted at the same time.
We don’t have to tell you that the former is the best kind of review you can receive.
Fake reviews can actually work against you, as they have the potential to arouse suspicion, get removed from review sites, and even cause review sites to post warnings on your business profile, alerting readers to not trust your reviews.
So, the best method for establishing trust and authority for your business is to strive to get real reviews from genuine, satisfied customers.
This is possible by providing the best customer service that you can. But you can also do this by adopting a strategy that both simplifies the review process and encourages customers to leave a review.
The Best Way To Prevent Negative Reviews
We can’t talk about positive reviews without talking about negative reviews. Like it or not, negative reviews are inevitable, and also have significant influence over consumer trust, purchase decisions, and sales.
Unfortunately, customers will pay as much attention to a negative review while browsing positive reviews.
At this stage, this can’t be helped, and it is important that you respond to negative reviews in a manner that expresses an apology and the action steps you’re taking to resolve the issue and to improve.
In that sense, negative reviews can be beneficial – because they are a way to hear what your customers are saying and learn where your service needs improving.
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this has to be done publicly.
In fact, dealing with an unsatisfied customer before they post their experience in the form of a negative review is a solution that prevents negative online reviews altogether. It’s a way to fix the problem at its earliest stage.
But how do you do this? The answer is by changing the way that you receive online reviews from customers.
Build Trust With Real Positive Reviews From Your Customers
Building online trust and authority by collecting positive customer reviews is not only a slow process but one that can require a lot of manual effort. At the same time, negative reviews can feel like a punch in the gut, with the potential to set your business back.
ReputationStacker is a solution to this – a reliable method for getting positive reviews while enabling you to deal privately with unsatisfied customers.
It’s fully automated, requiring little effort on your side. All you have to do is choose which review websites you would like ReputationStacker to direct your happy customers too.
Put simply, ReputationStacker offers an easy yet genuine method for your business to limit negative reviews as well as get more reviews. But not just reviews – authentic, positive online reviews that consumers can trust.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.