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More than twice as many consumers trust customer reviews over companies themselves according to research from Smart Money People

  • Benefits of collecting customer reviews ‘far outweigh the risks’

Businesses are being urged to pay attention to their customer review strategy, following new research* from Smart Money People, the UK’s dedicated financial services review site. A survey revealed that more people are likely to trust product reviews from other customers (84%), than industry experts (67%), professional reviewers (48%), and companies or brands (41%).

New products or services (41%) and being unfamiliar with the company (41%) were the factors most likely to encourage shoppers to seek out reviews.

Customers more likely to leave positive reviews 

Whilst the assumption might be that people only leave a review when they’ve had a negative experience, the stats say otherwise. When asked whether they tend to leave more negative or positive reviews, 72% said positive. In fact, 27% of respondents leave reviews to give a company a better reputation, compared to just 7% who do so to damage a company’s reputation.

Both positive and negative reviews have a substantial impact on consumers’ decision-making.

  • 68% of respondents claimed they would make a purchase after reading positive reviews for other customers.
  • 69% would change their mind about a purchase after reading negative reviews.

It would appear that no reviews at all can be just as damaging as poor reviews, with 22% of people putting off buying something if there are no reviews available, suggesting that companies would be well advised to encourage customer reviews if they aren’t already doing so.

Make it easy for customers to leave reviews

Thirty-nine per cent of respondents said they leave reviews simply because they’ve been asked to by the company, signalling a huge opportunity for businesses.

One in five are more likely to leave a review if they can easily do so on their phone.

Companies should also pay attention to the platforms on which they collect customer reviews, with 10% of respondents claiming they are more likely to leave a review on a site that has a user friendly interface.

What do customers expect after leaving a review? 

Over a third of people leaving reviews (36%) hope businesses will accept their feedback and change their products or services accordingly.

One in 10  do so in the hope of getting a direct response from the company in question.

Jacqueline Dewey, CEO at Smart Money People said: “Businesses can sometimes be a little wary of opening the floodgates when it comes to customer reviews, but this research proves that the benefits far outweigh any risks. Customers are much more inclined to leave positive reviews than negative ones, and their focus is on improving products and services. As well as being an important validation point when it comes to increasing sales, customer reviews also provide invaluable insights, making them a key product development tool.

“The simple fact of the matter is that people are far more likely to trust what customers say about you than what you say about yourself. The good news is that for many, simply asking them to leave a review is enough of a prompt.”

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