A 2020 Canvas8 study for Trustpilot found that trust declined by 11% globally in the last year, with only 71% of people admitting they trust brands.
Today’s global trust deficit is pushing consumers to rely on third-party validation as well as their peers’ recommendations to find brands they can trust, especially in these difficult times.
A Trustpilot study also found that, since the COVID-19 outbreak, more than a quarter of global consumers admitted checking reviews now more than ever before.
The presence of social proof such as reviews or testimonials should make a business more trustworthy. But with the rise of fake reviews, and more than 1 in 5 people saying that the trust they have in companies has decreased since the coronavirus outbreak, it’s essential to point out that the way social proof is shared or managed by businesses can have a serious impact on the level of trust consumers put into it.
In this article, we’ll explain why collecting reviews is a great step towards success and why every business should consider investing in its reputation right now.
1. Building trust and credibility is more important now than ever before
There’s no doubt that these difficult times have spread uncertainty and increased the already-existing lack of trust in consumer brands. We’ve observed an increasing interest in online reviews and third-party validation since the beginning of the outbreak. When lockdown ends, consumers will likely continue reading more online reviews than usual before deciding to engage with businesses.
Indeed, consumers are now turning to their peers to get trustworthy and transparent information. Today, in the United Kingdom, review websites rank second as most trusted to provide consumers with an honest opinion about a company, a good, or a service.
To top this up, 89% of global consumers say they always check online reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences.
It’s safe to say that the rise of reviews isn’t going to stop any time soon, and these difficult times have meant that consumer reviews are becoming increasingly important to invest in. Customer feedback is a powerful tool for both businesses and consumers. It helps feed more information which businesses might not have shared with new visitors and customers, and it allows brands to better understand their target audience.
With almost half of consumers relying more on reviews now than they have in the past 2 years, businesses need to acknowledge that building trust and gaining credibility is more important now than it was ever before.
2. Every business should invest in its own reputation right now
Having a reputation management strategy is essential for businesses. Growing competition, as well as lack of trust in retailers post-coronavirus can have a serious impact on the decision-making process consumers go through when looking to buy online.
Today, 56% of people say they’re concerned about online scammers due to the current situation. The growing trust deficit encourages people to rely on other customers’ judgment more than anything else. That’s why online reviews are one of the best tools businesses can invest in to rebuild trust now more than ever before.
Indeed, customer feedback is one of the most impactful ways to help build any company’s online reputation. Today’s consumers are more empowered than ever before, and can research companies in just a couple of clicks. Investing in your own reputation allows you to better understand the kind of information your consumers are exposed to when searching for you online, and helps you establish a strategy to better your business in the long run.
3. Consumer insights help brands deliver better experiences
Over the last couple of months, most consumers have been doing their shopping online. In fact, just over 75% of online shoppers have admitted reading more reviews to find out how companies are handling the coronavirus outbreak.
As consumers continue to check out online reviews to understand how you’re dealing with the crisis and the level of service you’re currently delivering, half of consumers have said they are concerned that companies might have used the coronavirus outbreak to censor or remove unwanted customer feedback.
That’s why opting for an open review platform, where every single review - good or bad - is welcome, is so important today. Choosing to invest in your own company’s reputation and collecting online reviews ensures that consumers understand you care about their feedback, and that you are constantly looking for new ways to get better.
In times of uncertainty, it’s the little things a business does to improve their customers’ lives that go a long way. Stellar customer service is one of them. Businesses that care about what their customers’ needs and wants are, and that always go the extra mile to make sure they’ve had the best experience possible, are the real winners here.
Collecting reviews allows you to analyse customer sentiment and better understand what works, what doesn’t, and what could be improved in order to deliver better experiences. When consumers insights are collected and analysed, they can help improve the effectiveness of how a company communicates with its customers, detect needs, and identify areas of development. Once addressed, consumer behaviour will likely change, which might increase your website’s conversion rate. That’s why it’s essential for companies to learn from negative feedback, rather than delete it.
Overall, collecting reviews and analysing insights will help you become a more human brand, and as you continue to work hard to improve your both customer service and customer experience, you will, in return, receive more positive reviews.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you’d like to find out more about customer reviews and how you can invest in a reputation management strategy to make trust your ultimate brand differentiator, read the report below: