Throughout business development, the one ‘eventuality’ that every entrepreneur works towards is customer satisfaction. We all remember the day we landed our first client and the first dollar that popped into our bank account. Every step we have taken from that point on is to ensure that we can provide the same level and quality of service to subsequent customers.
The Impact of Reviews on Customer Behavior
Your entrepreneurial sense already knows how important reviews can be for any business. To help you further reinforce that thought, it might help to know that almost 99.9% of consumers will consult reviews when shopping online. 98% of these people consider reviews as an absolute essential when they are making their purchase decision.
Psychology of Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that describes how people rely on the actions and opinions of others to determine the appropriate behavior within a given situation. When people (your customers) are uncertain about what to do, they will look towards others (your customer’s review) for guidance. Three types of social proof will ultimately strengthen your business’ foundation.
Expert Social Proof
This type of proof comes from influencers who endorse your products or services. Their followers will trust their opinion, and their endorsements will become a huge positive driving force to improve conversions for your website.
User Social Proof
Consumers that utilize your products or services will share their experiences through reviews, ratings and testimonials. Building the momentum for this is relatively tough, but once the wheel gets spinning, it’s up to you to maintain it!
Wisdom of the Crowd
The sheer number of people that take a particular action or make a particular choice concerning your product will ultimately create a ‘correct’ or ‘popular’ choice that others will want to follow.
Why is social proof so popular? Well, there are a number of factors at play here:
- Humans generally have a strong need to conform to the norms and behaviors of the groups they belong to. Social proof provides a sense of safety and belonging by aligning our behavior with that of others.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful motivator that drives people to take action (in this case, on your product) to avoid feeling left out. Social proof creates a sense of urgency by highlighting the popularity or scarcity of your product.
- The availability heuristic is also an important factor at play: a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate the likelihood of an event based on how easily it comes to mind. The presence of social proof can make a choice more salient and memorable.
CRO Essentials: Best Practices for Incorporating Ratings and Reviews
Keep ‘Em Up Top
Testimonials regarding your business’ products/services should be kept as visible as possible, preferably on the top, so when someone opens the website, they’re able to see it instantly. A customer journey can be cut brief if they’re not able to find important information instantly. The moment they try to search Google again for an alternative result, that’s when you will have lost one potential client, making a negative hit on your overall conversion rate.
Don’t Remove the Negative Reviews
Keep it realistic. By having negative reviews visible, you’ll be able to keep yourself grounded and balanced. Customers will be more likely to believe you. Other than that, always try to address your customers’ complaints, as their follow-up feedback will be extremely beneficial in affirming your future customers’ beliefs regarding the support you provide.
Did you know? Almost 70% of consumers will trust reviews more when there’s a mix of both GOOD and BAD reviews present.
Allow Visual Content
The photos that your existing customer base will provide as part of their feedback will allow numerous other potential customers to gain confidence regarding their purchase. Almost 90% of customers are looking for visuals to assist their decisions. Reviews with images can provide a 70% improvement in conversions compared to the ones without.
About Negative Social Proof
By having multiple products, chances are that you might have reviews on some and none on others. This may often give off the impression that such products are sub-par. You can provide incentives on products with no reviews and add text like “Get 25% off, and be the first to leave a review!”
Writing a Review Should Be Easy
As a customer, we like our websites to load fast, and the rest of the check-out process should be seamless. The same goes for customer reviews. The more hoops someone has to jump through in order to leave a review for you, the less likely they will do it.
You could give customers discounts on a future purchase upon leaving a review. Give them exclusive reward points for your website or even gift certificates.
Timing and Follow-Up Strategies
When a customer has purchased or interacted with your product, sending them follow-up emails or surveys (with incentives) might be a good idea to gain reviews. While you’re at it, you might want to create a chain of emails to ensure your audience stays updated on everything related to your brand.
More Reviews, More Sales
The content for your reviews is important, but let’s divert ourselves to discuss volume in specific. As would be fairly evident to you, a large number of reviews will result in a better conversion rate, thanks to your positive social proof. Content from multiple sources allows readers to get as much information as they need before finally making their purchase decision.
- With reference to PowerReviews, when shoppers were exposed to product pages with one or more reviews, the conversion rate increased by 52.2%.
- Pages with more than 11 to 30 reviews saw a conversion rate more than two times than the product pages with 0 reviews.
- When you cross 100 reviews, you can expect conversion rates to exceed 250%!
User Reviews Will Improve Your Search-Engine Optimization
Search engines like Google consider a number of factors when determining which websites to show on their first page. Reviews ultimately contribute to your authority in your niche. Your business will gain relevance as the quality of your website improves, thanks to user-generated content. Not only are you increasing your credibility, but you are also allowing your website to gain fresh new content without creating it yourself.
Leveraging Feedback for Continuous Improvement
As we’ve already established, feedback is a crucial component of your customer’s journey and the lifeblood of any business. It’s a valuable resource of information for improving your business. You can identify your own weaknesses to strengthen certain aspects of your products and services.
There might be problems in your overall delivery infrastructure, or maybe the quality of your product, the customer support, or even the website itself. We’re not perfect, and sometimes the best way to improve is to look through the eyes of your critiques.