The days are over when customers rely on their feelings to make purchasing decisions. Today, the (moderate) dictates of customer ratings, general ratings and reviews govern. Studies show that products and services with customer ratings have a significantly better conversion rate than those without external feedback.
“Social Proof” is the technical term for the fact that we follow recommendations rather than presentations without any comment. Experiences, criticisms and evaluations help to give personal expectations a realistic direction, which significantly reduces any uncertainties. The motivation to make a (purchase) decision increases noticeably and measurably. Or to put it in other words: online shops that show customer ratings are more successful in the long term.
Strong internal standing
Customer feedback should not be left to its own devices, but should become an integral part of the marketing mix. In practice, so-called “review marketing” is closely linked to online marketing and social marketing – ideally with your marketing budget. The point is not only to allow feedback, but also to actively stimulate and demand it from customers and then to play it out again via various communication channels. Here you can use rating portals (Amazon, Google, Yelp, Kununu and of course your shop and website). The boundaries between online and offline should deliberately crossed, as many customers inform themselves in advance on the Internet to then shop in the local shop.
The days are over when customers rely on their feelings to make purchasing decisions!
It’s the mix that counts
Customer feedback is of course a controversial issue. It is known from classical marketing that positive experiences are passed on to one person, but negative experiences to nine people – logically, because negative experiences have significantly more narrative value in face-to-face communication. It is therefore important to also allow negative (online) ratings and to plan corresponding reaction concepts. Such reactions should not be seen as a annoyance, but rather as challenges and opportunities, rather than negative reviews:
• make all (even the positive) ratings more credible
• allow you to react specifically to this (for example, to provide information on the application).
• show any weak points in the sales process (both online and in the local shop).
Negative assessments should not remain uncommented on. With appropriate professionalism, tonality and also wordplay, hard criticism can be explained, weakened or even turned around into the opposite. At this point it becomes clear once again why review marketing should be an independent and internally backed part of the corporate marketing mix!
Finally, there is the question of how customers can be encouraged to give feedback and reviews – after all, they already hold the product in their hands and have virtually no reason to help the salesperson further increase sales. Here (once again) different psychological triggers are used.
• Helping others (“Your rating helps others make the right purchase”)
• Win something (“With your rating you play in the lottery.”)
• Own advantage (“Through your evaluation we can make you more targeted tailor-made offers.”)
• Get on board (“Your evaluation has a direct influence on our entrepreneurial development.”)
• Play instinct (“With each rating you increase here in the ranking – and the credibility.”)