If you’re reading this blog you probably know our views about customer reviews. They’re one of the most important and effective tools a business possesses, which can increase conversions and sales massively. In fact, a recent article quantified this number, and they’ve concluded that customer reviews can improve sales by 5 times! In this article, we dig a little deeper and talk about 5 industries where reviews are everything. Let’s dive in!
5 Industries Where Reviews Are Everything
Industry #1: Restaurants
This isn’t really a shocker. I bet you’ve also been in the situation where you were looking around for the perfect place to take your girlfriend, scouring Yelp, TripAdvisor or just Google Places and I bet those little stars influenced your decision quite heavily. In fact, according to a recent study, 33 percent of people wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that has a rating lower than 4 Stars on review sites. Also, 78 percent of customers said that they’ve read customer reviews half the time before going out to a restaurant.
The bottom line is this: you have to ensure great reviews if you’ve got a restaurant, or else risk being ignored, plain and simple.
Industry #2: Healthcare
It turns out that when it comes to our health, people rely on social proof quite a bit. We all know that friend who was asking around all her peers for the “perfect doctor” to pick for her operation. What’s even more interesting is that half of those who looked up Physicians online felt differently about them after viewing their profiles and reviews. Also, more than 85% of doctors now actively monitor online reviews posted by their patients. But it isn’t just doctors who are judged heavily by reviews: various supplements, drugs, even holistic remedies are all perceived (especially in quality) based on their reviews.
Industry #3: Finance and Banking
People don’t really like risking their money. Well, from a rational standpoint. They would gladly gamble all their savings away in Las Vegas, but when it comes to giving it to someone who will manage for money for them, they are super careful.
The entire marketing campaign of financial advisers and investment opportunities is about trust and credibility. The ugly truth is that despite this, customers often get the shorter end of the stick, but from a PR standpoint financial companies do everything they can to emphasize their credibility and highlight customer reviews. But even “normal” things such as opening a bank account or choosing a bank is influenced by reviews. This is especially true for millennials.
Industry #4: Automotive
An astonishing 91% of consumers rely on reviews when selecting a dealership, and car shoppers are 5.3 times more likely to convert to a lead when dealers have positive online reviews (at least 3.5 Stars, preferably higher). Even the car brands themselves are influenced by customer reviews, and an interesting phenomenon is that the general consensus about certain brands can have a long-lasting effect on customers’ perceptions. You know, there are the “good cars” and the “bad cars”… obviously it’s not so black and white, but consensus regarding them makes it black and white in many customers’ heads.
Industry #5: Retail
Online reviews – along with mobile shopping apps and email - are considered by shoppers today as the most influential shopping tools. Many e-commerce businesses actually put significant amounts of money in obtaining more reviews or skewing the general consensus towards more favorable inputs. This is also linked to an increase in PR firms being recruited for projects to influence customer behavior in order to get more favorable reviews. Nowadays everything is available right at our fingertips - consumers have powers never before seen in the history of commerce. And they are using (and even abusing) these powers to the max. You can’t build a successful online store without killer reviews, but if you have them, it’s one of the greatest assets your business has.
So how important do you consider customer reviews in your own industry? Let us know in the comments below.