Knowing how the customer thinks is the first step in building a strong reviews strategy. Between happiness, expectations and betrayals: here’s how the consumers think.
It is estimated that on average 90% of people check reviews online before buying a product or service.
And 72% will only complete the purchase once after consulting from 3 to 7 positive reviews.
While a single negative one on Yelp will cost for that business the loss of the confidence of about 30 customers. (Data source: invespcro.com)
This makes it easy to understand how important those yellow stars are nowadays to do business. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s online or in a physical store, their weight will be the same.
That’s why having strong, authentic positive reviews on your side will not only boost your customers and sales. It will lead to:
- earn brand’s reputation;
- create sincere trust in customers;
- increase interactions on social sites and pages;
- get more out of your activity in the community;
- point out growing value in front of Google’s ever vigilant eyes.
But how do you get more reviews to increase your web reputation? First you have to start from the customer, the core of the topic.
Reviews don’t fall from the sky: you need a strategy
Despite their five-pointed shape and bright yellow color, it’s not what you might hope. The 5 stars do not fall from the sky by magic; in many cases it is certainly the opposite.
It seems that to get concrete and valuable reviews from customers the only way is to put your hand to the wallet.
And in fact it is one of the right directions of thought, even if not literal. But we will see this in Part 2.
We must start from a general rule. The rule that will guide every subsequent move to build a reviews strategy.
You can’t force the client to write reviews
That rule is law, unquestionable.
Think like a customer: disappointment is the worst enemy
The first thing to do now is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes or, even better, to become a customer. And you have to do it right, starting from the beginning.
You are looking for a product or service online. The statistics speak for themselves: before you buy you will go to consult the reviews.
You’re an average consumer, so you’ll read 5 and they’ll all have to be positive. If you find a negative one, your opinion about the product may vary.
– NOTE: Compromise by one or more negative reviews is not universal. It applies to small/medium-sized businesses and unrecognized products. The impact on multinationals (e.g. Apple) is different. –
Once you are certain of what you are going to buy, proceed to the purchase (online/offline). With the product in your hands you can now test it yourself and see if what you’ve learned from the description and reviews is real.
3 possible scenarios
You’ve really been in this situation before. Or maybe not, who knows? In any case, here is what will be the behavior once you have the product or service that is.
- the product works as described/reviewed and I’m happy about that. However, I do not leave any opinion on the Internet
- the product works and I decide to share it on the web
- the product is not as described/reviewed or generally disappointing. I intervene promptly to make it known to the online community
That’s right, there’s no option where you’re dissatisfied and not interested in reviewing. This is because it is a more unique than rare case. And if you may recognize yourself in this category, you need to know that you are close to the unicorns.
And here comes a second rule:
A dissatisfied customer will be more motivated than most satisfied customers.
On average, the latter are driven to review the simple fact that the product “works well as described” or worse, “as it should be”.
An unhappy customer feels betrayed in the trust he has placed and his expectations have been disappointed as well.
Like at Christmas: if on the morning of the 25th the gifts will be under the tree, the child will be happy and by lunchtime will have already forgotten Santa Claus until next year. But if there isn’t one… Disappointment and betrayal, for the next two lives.
Different situations, but with strong points in common. Whether the customer is 5 or 40 years old, the difference in front of the disappointment is small: at 40 you share it on the Internet.
Accept criticism and not cheating
We have therefore framed the behavior of happy and unhappy consumers in the face of their purchase.
And we know the strength of the customers’ feelings about the product they have purchased. We are therefore faced with a dilemma.
The drive for positive product reviews is less than negative.
However, we are looking for a strategy to have positive ones. Yet the negative ones seem more incisive, more marked and with a stronger impact on other consumers.
It seems like a lost battle. Actually, that is not the case.
Being willing to lose customers
Negative reviews exist, you receive them and you have to accept them (if authentic and truthful, otherwise we can help you).
Although they can cost you points on your web reputation and on some future customers. And here is the third rule of our strategy:
it’s impossible to make everyone happy
There will always be a flaw, a comma out of place in someone’s eyes and he’ll point it out. But between a defective product and a defective one “for themselves” there is a clear difference.
You can never conquer 100% of the market, although what you sell can be the top with the best value for money.
And so you have to accept to lose customers and never earn some on your way.
Play fair, risk expulsion
Fake reviews is certainly not a term invented by our blog.
Hundreds of companies offer false reviews for companies. Between unlimited IP addresses, fast staff and the right channels, the 5 stars will really rain from the sky.
Our advice, however, is to follow other paths. Not (only) because it is not fair to consumers who place a lot of trust in these roads.
But because in the near future it would turn against its web reputation. In cases even devastating.
As we said, before a purchase the consumer consults from 3 to 7 reviews. He will also come across those written by agencies, created specifically to be positive. He will then be convinced to proceed with the purchase.
What will happen in front of the product / service?
“I read that this suitcase can carry loads of up to 30 kilos, but at 20 the wheels broke!
“According to the reviews, this should be a cheap energy supplier, but I’m paying twice as much as before!”
“It should have been a good Smartphone cover, but as soon as the phone fell down it broke!”
The power of the betrayed customer is unleashed.
That’s how much damage the negative review can do.
They may look like cases with a scam background, but they don’t. When buying reviews, the aim is to increase the reputation of the product/service and consequently the sales.
To do this, you often use to “color” reality, often by serious and professional companies, but that need more numbers.
But the betrayed customer will be on average more powerful. Because in front of differences between reviews and reality, even if slight, the instinct will be to write it. And if some people buy that product because of a false or accentuated feature in the reviews, they will be trouble.
And the 5 stars will be accompanied by 1 star and bad comments. But with very different values.
As described, at the level of web reputation and weight, you need about 5 positive reviews to win a customer.
But it only takes one negative to lose 30.
By doing two accounts you can understand how the game is not worth.
And finally, if Google notices the falsity of the reviews, the consequences will not fail to arrive.
Towards Part 2
Now we are ready, we have in our hands the knowledge of how the customer thinks in front of a product or service.
This gives us a big advantage over knowing only what to do. Part 1 has provided the psychological foundation that moves the valuable world of reviews.
In Part 2 we will instead illustrate how to translate the study learned so far in the field, creating an infallible mix.
It’s time for action.