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Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson CEO of Intersperience
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Consumer Reviews - Friend or Foe?

The use of consumer reviews has almost doubled in the last 5 years. More consumers put trust in this information, the trust is three times stronger when compared to information posted by a company themselves. The power of consumer reviews seems unbeatable. Consumers want to be heard and they expect to be included in the shaping of your brand.

Is it a good thing?

Yes, it is:

  • The awareness of your brand or product expands as customers ‘spread the word’ for you. The conversations about your brand, service or product reach wider audiences – consumers are not only talking about you with people they know, but also with other online users they have not met before.
  • A customer can encourage other customers to make purchasing decisions which could lead to more sales for you. Recommendations from another customer (even online) are considered impartial, honest and reliable. Consumers trust opinions of other consumers.
  • Happy customers will praise you to a wider audience making it one of the most effective forms of marketing for your brand.

No, it isn’t:

  • Problems, technical glitches and delays do happen which means not every customer will always be happy about the products or service they have received. They will share their negative experiences just as much as  the positive ones.
  • Consumers’ criticism of your brand will be heard loud and clear and by a large online audience. 
  • The negative reviews will be posted and consumers will take notice and will be influenced by them. Impartiality, honesty and reliability of consumer reviews means that customers can encourage, but also just as easily discourage other customers from purchasing your products, lowering your sales.

Consumers are talking about your brand, your service or your products and they will continue to do so whether you like it or not. What can you do, as a brand, to make consumer reviews your friend and not your foe?

  • The ‘easiest’ way would be to get it right the first time! No problems = no complaints. But, it’s certainly not as easy as it sounds. 
  • If you can’t deliver a 5-star service every time, embrace the criticism and let your consumers know that you are listening to what they have to say. Be honest and instead of censoring the bad reviews, respond to them. 

How can businesses demonstrate they listen to their customers? Please share your thoughts with us below.

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