You’ve probably heard it before. Reviews are a huge deal. Eighty-six percent of people looked at an online review in 2018, and I predict that number will stay about the same throughout the next couple of years.
Many of us are dependent on reviews to influence our purchasing decisions, regardless of whether we believe it.
For example, some people won’t purchase from a business if it has too low of a star rating, and others must read as many as ten reviews before they can trust a business.
Online reviews are now trusted as personal recommendations from friends and family. Why is this the case?
Today we will explore the reasons customers trust online reviews. This will help you understand these customers and adjust your review marketing strategy.
Why do customers trust online reviews?
It’s easy to see that unhappy customers will sometimes leave negative reviews and that customers who receive great customer service will often leave positive reviews. These reasons may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s not clear why customers leave negative reviews.
We don’t always understand why customers trust reviews. This makes understanding the psychology behind their trust in reviews difficult.
However, there are two main reasons customers trust online Overeview.io.
1. Customers trust online reviews for the first reason they want transparency from local businesses.
Jan Vels Jensen, the author of Social Media Today, puts it perfectly with this quote:
“Transparency is king in the shopper’s eyes – they want to feel that the wool is not being pulled over their eyes.” Source
When we shop, we want to be informed. Prior to the internet, there were no recommendations from friends or family. Therefore, shopping at unknown businesses was dangerous.
We now have the resources and tools to make sure that we are satisfied with our purchases and have a pleasant shopping experience.
These reviews are trusted by customers because they give them more information about a company and its products and services, even if the business isn’t transparent.
2. Customers trust online reviews for the second reason they rely on others’ opinions to determine what they should do.
People will try a new restaurant if they hear great reviews. But, they won’t eat there if the service is poor or the food is bad.
ReviewTrackers’ Mandy Yoh points out this by saying:
“People are more likely to trust a complete stranger because they see that reviewer as a peer like they’re in it together.” Source
Customers trust reviews, but they trust reviewers more because they understand that they are trying to help them make the right purchase decision.
Are Customers able to Trust Reviews?
No. Some reviews are untrue, inaccurate, or fake.
However, 91 percent of people trust reviews more than personal recommendations. Nine percent are skeptical of online reviews and trust only a handful of reviews.
Also, 25 percent of people need to believe that the reviews that they read are authentic before they can believe they’re as trustworthy as a personal recommendation.
Even half of the people that read online reviews know when some negative reviews are irrational and have empathy towards the businesses that receive these types of reviews.
You don’t want negative reviews. However, if you do receive one, your customers won’t doubt your business’ quality and will most likely view it as unfair.
What kind of reviews will make a customer trust a business?
These are some of the reasons customers trust online reviews. What reviews are they most likely to trust?
Is a high star rating enough to convince customers to trust your company? It doesn’t always work.
You should work hard to maintain or build a high rating. Studies show that 57 percent of consumers will only choose a business if it has a four-star rating or higher.
Consumers trust businesses that have a lot of recent and high-quality reviews.
These statistics are worth a closer look:
- Written reviews make a higher impression on 73 percent of shoppers than just star rating
- Forty-nine percent of people look for the number of reviews when judging a local business
- Reviews older than three months aren’t relevant to 85 percent of consumers
- Customers want transparency. As we talked about, they will always be more comfortable with a long, four-star review rather than a short, five-star review that contains no words.
Even if you have 30 quality reviews from the past year, how can a customer tell if your business is trustworthy if only three reviews are from the past three months?
Now is the right time to ask your customers for reviews. Sixty-six percent of consumers have left a review when a business asked them to, so don’t be afraid to bring it up after the transaction is completed.
We may not know why customers trust reviews because people have different reasons. We can assume that customers will trust reviews to get transparency from businesses and validate their purchase decisions.
You should encourage happy customers to leave detailed reviews and respond promptly to negative reviews.
Your customers will trust your reviews more than you do, especially if your company addresses all their concerns.