Most consumers start their customer journey with a search engine, either on desktop or mobile. In fact, 81% of shoppers research their product online before purchasing (NUASoft).
Most consumers search for a local business on a regular basis with 53% of people searching at least one time per month.
– BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey
The role of reviews is crucial to the first stages of the customer journey (discover and explore stage) and has a great impact on the success of the next ones (buy, use, ask, engage). When 91% of consumers now actively read online business reviews (BrightLocal), brands should, first, listen to their customers and focus on delivering seamless experiences that customers will want to share.
If the numbers above didn’t alert you, read on to learn how reviews can help you differentiate from competitors and maximize the value of each stage of the customer lifecycle.
Why reviews matter to businesses
When used right, reviews can help businesses in many ways. More specifically, reviews increase website traffic and conversions and help you improve shopping experiences. Also, do not underestimate the power of the negative reviews. They are a great opportunity to update your services or products or develop new ones.
Consumers today have control and voice and can very easily make or break your brands’ reputation. They are willing to share their experiences, good or bad, and expect their comments to be acknowledged and their questions to be answered.
To effectively meet these expectations, you must know your audience, their preferences, their interests, and shopping behavior. Make reviews a part of your digital marketing strategy. By encouraging your customers to leave their feedback about your products or services, you will create an open conversation between them and your brand that will drive loyalty and build trust.
Do not ignore mobile moments
Mobile is a channel that people use a lot not only when searching products and services, but also to communicate and share their experience. Given the fact that 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on mobile (thinkwithgoogle.com), brands should start focusing on this shift towards mobile to offer customers the opportunity to reach them on the channels they use and want to connect.
So, every interaction matters and it is your call to choose whether these interactions add value to your customers and are a way to make a true, loyal connection with you.
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