The customer review is becoming a cornerstone of marketing initiatives as it ties together advertising, credible sources, and social dynamics in one platform, often serving as the reason for why a consumer or business decided to make a purchase of a particular product or service. Therefore, knowing more about how individuals construct customer reviews would be something that I and many other business owners would want to know so that we could determine how to get the greatest ROI from this type of marketing tool.
The ConsumerAffairs study shared key findings making a strong case for proactive review collection timed to allow customers time to purchase and use the products and services. This research has helped to create a complete picture of the full customer experience that is capable of offering more insights.
More than 75% of the consumers surveyed reported positive experiences
The silent majority of customers are generally satisfied, as indicated by the results of the ConsumerAffairs study. Knowing this means that I had to find ways to tap into this silent customer base to uncover more feedback and get a full picture of their experiences. With a broader spectrum of reviews, data can be analyzed to spot trends, identify systemic issues, and improve the entire customer experience.
Product function and performance plays the strongest role in earning more positive reviews
Customer service plays the strongest role in receiving negative reviews
An overall rating has the potential to amplify customer ratings for better and worse
Give customers a chance to get the full experience
Consider the ways a consumer begins to view a review as untrustworthy
Some consumers also wonder if incentives make a review less trustworthy although 31% believed it wouldn't. An interesting scientific approach was to see how consumers felt given the fact that they either knew a reviewer received money or if they weren't told the reviewer was given a financial incentive. The group that was told that the reviewer was paid believed that a slightly more positive review was more trustworthy when the reviewer was not paid. On the other hand, the group that was informed that the reviewer was not paid believed that a slightly more negative review was an indication the reviewer was more trustworthy when they were not paid. Likewise, items given as a prize or as a free product in exchange for a review was believed to be a more biased review by those consumers that participated in the research study. Cash was considered to be less bias-inducing than other actions like a donation to charity.
Considering these perspectives has helped my team to avoid selecting the types of strategies that interfere with the belief that the reviews are credible enough to influence a purchase decision in a particular product or service.
Remember to Incorporate These Findings in Your Review Strategy
- Proactive (unbiased) review collection is clearly beneficial to brands based on the sentiment of the ratings.
- The customer experience feature that plays a role in positive reviews is function and performance of the product itself while the customer experience feature that plays a role in negative reviews is customer service.
- Just requesting an overall rating without asking reviewers to rate each factor of the experience amplified the positive AND negative ratings.
- Individual ratings created dilution of sentiment, but timing the review request before a brand can recover from a bad first impression means they could get more negative reviews instead of more positive sentiment after recovering and resolving an issue in a follow up engagement.
- It is better to consumers to have a bad experience followed by a good experience than to get an overall bad experience.
- Both the content of the review and whether or not a reviewer has been incentivized in some way does impact upon a consumer's opinion about the trustworthiness of a review.