A recent Oberlo report has put the total number of online buyers for the year 2020 at 2.05 billion. Comparing that to the over 7 billion world population gives some 27% of people turning to e-commerce, for their recurrent transactions. This figure will increase as years roll by, especially since the internet keeps getting better and more available to many people around the world. But with online buying comes the challenge of credibility. How can consumers be sure that they are getting the best value for their money? And on the part of the sellers or producers, how can they know if they are meeting the needs of their consumers?
That is why feedback from customers is important. Both companies and consumers gain from it in many ways. For customers, it can form a subtle means of protesting an unsatisfactory product or service. At the same time, companies can use feedback from their customers to know what area of production they have to improve on or sustain. For would-be customers, they can rely on reviews to know which seller or company is reliable and offers the best experience.
The best place to read such unbiased reviews is on international review websites like Checkwithreviews. It lists all the famous companies and sellers of products and gives everyone who has had any experience with them an opportunity to make it known by writing reviews. Visitors can also read to clear their minds on the authenticity or otherwise of an e-commerce site.
How Online Marketing And Online Reviews Are Related
Marketing has gone beyond printing flyers and erecting expensive billboards; many business owners now appreciate the benefits of online marketing. Apart from the convenience, its reach is incomparably higher than offline ones, as it utilizes broader channels and tools than the traditional marketing style. But before online marketing for a business can be successful, it must be that such a company has excelled, and its owners have made for themselves good names in the form of online reviews.
If a company’s reputation based on online reviews is bad, online marketing will make little to no effect in changing the fortune of such a company. Reviews have taken over traditional designs and “sweet words” which companies normally use to attract buyers and clients. Today, people only believe in any kind of adverts after they have checked that such claims are true through online review sites. So, one can affirm that a good rating on review sites is a precursor to a good online marketing campaign.
Many smart online marketers are beginning to use positive feedback from clients as part of their marketing campaign. The result has not been less encouraging as the majority of consumers take online reviews as a personal recommendation from a virtual insider.
What is Review Marketing?
Company owners and sellers can utilize consumers’ feedback to rejig their marketing strategies. Of course, at the very minimum, sellers can see and collect their customers’ ratings (usually between one to five stars), the content of reviews, its recency, and quantity from review websites. These pieces of information, when used by producers and sellers to shape their marketing architecture, is called review marketing.
Unlike before, consumers no longer trust ads and click-throughs as they now do reviews. At least, several studies have established that more than 90% of online buyers look around for reviews before patronizing online merchants. As such, companies and businesses that have worked hard to earn enough positive reviews can take advantage of it to further upscale their business. Here are some useful review marketing strategies that companies can adopt.
Placing reviews on important web pages
These pages can include homepage, checkout page, and pages where visitors often click. The more people get to see the positive testimonies of others, the more confidence they develop in that brand, and the more they keep coming.
Utilizing Reviews in Search Advertisements.
Apart from optimization through content and adverts that some marketers focus on today, Google and other search engines also rate websites based on customers’ feedback. So, if a brand has worked hard enough to gather enough, fresh, and positive feedback, which can greatly influence their visibility.
Highlighting Customers’ Feedback in Emails
Another review marketing strategy is to showcase some encouraging customers’ feedback in emails that companies and businesses constantly send out to their clients or prospects. This approach drives home the success story of such companies and can significantly increase its customer base.
How can Companies Improve Customer Satisfaction?
The reason any customer will patronize a company in the first instance is to get satisfaction for their money. As such, business owners and companies have no greater task than to meet this demand if they want to remain in business. Without satisfaction, retention and expansion are not possible. Dissatisfied customers can even go to any length to discredit a company, which might have serious consequences on the company’s public image.
With regard to online reviews, when customers are happy with a product or service they have received, many will be willing to drop reviews even when not solicited. It’s not surprising, therefore, that many of the lines that some happy customers have used in describing their satisfaction with a company have formed the bedrock of those companies’ adverts. For companies that want to improve on their customer satisfaction, the following tips can help.
- Improved customer service
- Reduced wait time for resolution of issues or inquiry
- Staying true to the company’s ideals and promises.
- Uncompromised quality both in production and delivery
- Envisaging customer’s problems ahead of time and solving such.
- Respecting and valuing customers also increases their satisfaction.
What Drives Customer Loyalty?
The result of sustained customer satisfaction is customer loyalty. Loyalty, in this sense, means that the consumers continue to prefer and choose a brand over others even if there is a slight price hike. That is, even if the preferred brand increases its price, loyal customers will close their eyes to it and keep patronizing or striking business deals. And which company or organization does not like that – to be sure that come rain come shine, your customers are intact?
But achieving customer loyalty is not a day’s job; it requires consistency and hard work. In the years when a company is still trying to win the loyalty of its customers, it may appear as though the owners are enslaved to their clients. They have to be fanatically customer-centric in their approach to service. However, once they reach that point when a customer trusts the company enough, even if they are not giving their best as before, the customer continues to patronize.
Can a Customer’s Loyalty Decline?
Yes, it can. However, the decline process is usually slow. Just like it took a lot of effort to get the consumer loyal, so also it will take a consistent disappointment by the company to make such loyal ones reverse their loyalty. Of course, this can prove lethal to the company as such ones may write an extremely damaging report regarding the company, which may be difficult to disprove.
Who Benefits the Most from Online Reviews?
Both consumers and producers or sellers benefit from online reviews. On the part of the consumer, it guides them in making their choices of which seller they should buy from, especially since there are usually many sellers of similar products. Online reviews assist consumers from falling victim to many scam websites and dealers by bringing forth the experiences of others in dealing with these companies.
For companies, too, they gauge their performance through reviews. Some even utilize favorable reviews for marketing purposes, just as they can also get tangible data for research from it. But in all, it seems that consumers gain the most from reviews; they don’t have to do anything to improve it, and nothing as to its content or rating can affect them. But as for companies and sellers, if things should go the other way for them, they may lose their business in a day.
How should Companies and Sellers treat Customer Complaints?
Complaints on the part of consumers reflect dissatisfaction. As such, sellers must address it promptly and with the utmost professionalism. For most establishments, the customer service department is responsible for addressing issues that consumers may have while shopping online. And so, whether a company will get positive reviews from its customers or not depends to some extent on the viability of its customer service.
That is why companies must employ people that are motivated and can handle pressure on this office. Some complaints from customers can be annoying, but before they are the “king,” the company still has to address it politely as possible. It is the harsh response that customers receive from companies that often make them back off or drop damaging reviews.
But apart from responsiveness, customer service agents must also work to address complaints in time. If it takes a century for customers to get feedback on their claim, they may lose interest in the company and go for its closest rival.