5 critical insights for 2019 on the increase of customer reviews

CX has been the buzzword of the year, and trust in customer reviews has increased. Let's take a look at this year's significant insights on customer satisfaction and the trends of the current trust economy.

Reviews and ratings can be the deciding factor for most when it comes to spending money on a product or service. 92% of people trust recommendations, especially from friends and family, over any other type of advertising, according to Nielsen.

Understanding how satisfied a customer is with their experience is crucial to developing trust and loyalty. 80% of customers will switch companies after one poor service experience, especially in today's digital landscape. By gathering feedback, remedying issues, and measuring customer satisfaction, brands can build a rapport with customers and retain their business.

Here are the top 5 customer review insights that have flourished throughout 2019

1. Local connection

How do customers find you?

Since 2017, mobile searches, including "where to buy" + "near me" have grown by over 200%, according to Google Consumer Insights. When searching with Google, location results show a star rating of the business alongside other business information like opening hours and contact details. 98% of global consumers shop online, including browsing, researching, and buying. Reading reviews is a part of browsing and researching. BrightLocal states that 91% of consumers are more likely to use a business with positive reviews. However, 82% will opt against using a company due to negative reviews.

Related: '5 common SMS marketing pitfalls'


2. Trust economy

What does trust have to do with it?

If 92% of people trust recommendations over advertising, why do businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars on all kinds of ads instead of building trust through word of mouth?

The simple answer is that word of mouth can't be bought. Recommendations, reviews, and ratings are not obligatory; they are a way people can voice their opinion on their experience with a brand, whether good or bad.

With applications like Uber and Airbnb, we see the trust economy is in full swing. Ratings keep hosts and drivers accountable, and it allows customers to choose from an array of options based on other people's previous experience.

Net Promoter Score

Harvard Business Review, among many others, have found a strong correlation between high NPS and sales. Positive CX can significantly reduce customer churn and provide a competitive advantage in the market.

Net Promoter Score is a standard measurement used globally for businesses to compare themself with competitors and what they can improve. It's a quick, easy survey that can be conducted via SMS, live chat, and online.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend this brand to a friend or colleague?"

NPS classifies customers into three categories on how they score a brand:

  • Promoters - with scores between 9-10, these customers are loyal enthusiasts who will continue to buy and recommend the brand to others via word-of-mouth and good reviews
  • Passives - with scores between 7-8, these customers are satisfied but unenthusiastic and open to competitors
  • Detractors - with scores between 0-6, these customers are dissatisfied in some way and could potentially ruin the brand reputation through contrary word-of-mouth

Related: 'How a dedicated or virtual number can help you build your brand'

3. Review responses

What does the brand have to say about it?

Every customer has a different experience with a brand. It's challenging to use a blanket strategy to determine how everyone interacts with a brand. Instead, intuitive and personalized communication is the best step forward. Especially when it comes to dealing with a demanding customer or negative review.

It's crucial that the customer feels listened to, especially concerning a negative experience. 45% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a business with negative reviews if the company responds to those reviews.

53% of customers expect a business to respond to their online reviews within seven days. This checklist is perfect for companies that are responding to reviews online:

  1. Greet the reviewer by name
  2. Thank them for their rating and review
  3. Acknowledge all of their concerns and apologize for any negative experience they may have had
  4. Remedy the situation by offering solutions where possible
  5. Ask the reviewer if they would like to address their concerns further
  6. Offer contact details if they would like to discuss the matter offline

4. Online reputation

How do you interact with your audience?

Social media and influencers have significant sway over consumer trends in today's digital age. It's particularly interesting how much trust followers and fans tend to have towards influencers and how that affects businesses.

Regarding business accounts, understanding the audience will assist brands in communicating their message on social media. Responding to concerns and comments on social media platforms can be tricky because there is usually a bigger audience. Take into account that social media is a global platform with billions of people active online. For instance, Instagram has over 1 billion active users every month on average.

5. Industry

Do reviews affect all sectors equally?

No. Not exactly.

The timing, amount, and quality of reviews differ from industry to industry. Hospitality, including restaurants, hotels, and bars, tend to have many more reviews than local businesses such as accountants or real estate. 99% of hospitality businesses have reviews that are listed on Google My Business. In contrast, only 41% of accounting firms on GMB have reviews.

Bars and restaurants tend to have more reviews because they are frequented more often than a financial firm, therefore more people coming through.

Similarly, for big-ticket purchases, consumers may be more likely to spend more time researching business and reading reviews. More trust is needed for hiring a mechanic to attend your car than to buy a drink!

Related: '30 Mobile Statistics of 2018 to Inspire Your Business Marketing'

Feel free to get in contact with a friendly team member to talk about how we can provide communication solutions for you.

Learn more about how you can implement your own customer satisfaction survey and NPS with Two-way SMS by downloading our eBook.