3 Ways to Increase Brand Loyalty with Product Reviews


product reviews
Social Media Week

You should respond to only about 40% of your reviews for optimum results. Ideally, your main focus should be on responding to the negative comments.

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You probably know by now that product reviews can help your brand build trust and drive conversions. In fact, online reviews can drive 73% more conversions for low-cost products and 86-97% more conversions for high-value products. But these aren’t the only ways product reviews can help your business. They can also help you win the loyalty of your customers.

You may be wondering how exactly product reviews can boost customer loyalty. The truth is that the reviews themselves may not directly result in an increase in brand loyalty. It’s how you handle the reviews that can result in a positive brand perception, which evolves into loyalty.

Clearly, product reviews are an opportunity to win the trust and loyalty of your potential and existing customers. Here are three ways you can use product reviews to increase brand loyalty:

1. Transparency – Don’t Try to Hide Negative Reviews

Transparency is a crucial factor for winning the trust of an audience. In fact, Label Insight found that 94% of consumers tend to remain loyal to brands that offer them complete transparency.

And negative reviews give you the opportunity to demonstrate your brand’s transparency. By displaying bad reviews about your products, you can show people that you’re not trying to hide anything.

Some businesses may feel like they need to hide any negative reviews they get, which is understandable. You may want people to read only positive reviews about your products. Or you may be focused on maintaining at least a 3.5 star rating so that your Google seller ratings are displayed in your ads (like in the screenshot below).

Transparency

But hiding every bad review about your product may have the opposite effect of what you expect.

First of all, potential customers may be suspicious of a product with only positive reviews. That suspicion may cause them to search for more information about the product from other sources. And if they find a lot of negative reviews on third-party sites, the jig is up. You will then have zero chance of winning back their trust.

Additionally, negative reviews help set realistic expectations, and prevent new customers from being disappointed. Some bad reviews may not be about the product quality specifically, but about other factors – such as size or material. Seeing these details can help shoppers understand what to expect, and make informed purchase decisions.

For example, maybe the brand of shoes you’re selling tends to run one size smaller than other brands. And someone points that out in a negative review. Shoppers who read that review will know to order one size bigger than they usually do to get a pair that fits. This will help prevent disappointments, and improve customer experience, which can result in an increase in brand loyalty.

2. Responsiveness – Proactively Respond to Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are an opportunity to show potential customers how responsive you are. This can contribute to a positive brand image, which is crucial for building loyalty.

If you receive a review in which a customer voices a complaint, you should make a public effort to acknowledge the complaint. Doing so will show customers that you care about them and you take the time to hear them out.

It might not be wise to try to resolve the issue in public because there’s a possibility of things getting out of hand. But you should still respond, and offer to address the problem in private.

In general, your team should respond to the review with an apology, and provide the customer with options to reach out to the relevant team. Maybe you have a phone number or email address through which they can reach you. Or if the review is on social media, you could encourage them to send you a direct message so you can help fix the issue.

For example, see how Fitbit responded to a negative comment on Amazon in the following screenshot.

Responsiveness

By demonstrating your responsiveness to negative reviews, you show potential customers that you’re not going to let them down. You show that you’re prepared to take on a challenge, and help your customers resolve any issues they may experience. It’s a way of showing consumers that you’re not only concerned with making money, and that you care about what happens after you make a sale.

3. Gratefulness – Thank Customers for Positive Reviews

Everyone loves to be appreciated. And when you make your customers feel appreciated, there’s a good chance you’re going to win their loyalty. Positive reviews are an excellent opportunity for you to do so.

You can show your appreciation with a simple comment thanking them for the review, and encouraging them to continue their business with you. You can even go one step further and ask if there’s anything you can do better.

Cornell University conducted a study on the impact of review responses on the performances of hotels. The study found that reviews with responses from management tend to yield better revenue and reputation for the hotel. At the same time, it may be detrimental to respond to each and every review you get for your products.

The study also found that you should respond to only about 40% of your reviews for optimum results. Ideally, your main focus should be on responding to the negative comments. You can then thank shoppers for reviews that are extra helpful to show your appreciation. But you should avoid thanking people for every positive review you get.

Additionally, you can highlight reviews that are extra helpful and positive. One option for doing so is to feature them on your website or your social media profiles, and thank those customers for their contributions.

You could even run a monthly or weekly contest in which the best reviews win prizes. This could increase engagement among your existing customers, and also generate positive brand sentiments, which can lead to brand loyalty.

DockATot, for example, proudly displays reviews from their customers on their homepage, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Gratefulness

You now have a clear idea how you can make the most of product reviews to boost brand loyalty. Although you have no control over what customers say about you, how you deal with their reviews and complaints is entirely up to you. The tips above can help you turn every situation, even a bad review, into something positive.

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Shane Barker

Digital Strategist , Shane Barker LLC

shane_barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.



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