The Importance of Quality and Quantity in Online Reviews


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Whether it’s on a social media site, a review platform or a simple product page review, the quantity and quality of online reviews have been proven to have a significant impact on purchase decisions of consumers. Consumers are increasingly aware of the plight of fake reviews on the internet, particularly on sites like Amazon, Google Reviews or TripAdvisor, so many can spot the fake ones from a mile away. While there is nothing you can do about your competitors paying for inauthentic reviews, you can take steps to understand how to improve the quality and quantity of your own customer reviews.

Find the voice of your typical customer

You should be asking your customers to leave feedback on review sites and social media sites because those who do so of their own volition aren’t going to be your average customer. Studies have shown that only 1.5% of people leave customer reviews and those that do tend to be of particular demographics with particular spending patterns that make them an atypical customer. By actively encouraging all customers to leave a review, you will amass a higher number of reviews from your more typical or average customers, rather than those who think to leave reviews of their own accord. This will be a vast improvement to the quality of your reviews which is really beneficial to potential customers.

Attract more positive reviews

The subjectivity of reviews, particularly negative reviews, makes them somewhat untrustworthy, but with 2/3 of people accepting online reviews as accurate, a single poor review can pack a punch when determining the purchasing decisions of potential customers. Data has shown that bad reviews can have such an impact on perception due to their scarcity. People look to negative reviews to see what could be wrong with something before they purchase even when the reviews of something are overwhelmingly positive.

Ultimately, it is important to have a surplus of authentic positive reviews to counteract the weight of negative reviews. According to research, consumers instinctively look at reviews in the extreme – five-star reviews and one-star reviews – because the lack of ambivalence makes them easiest to process, so having a really high number of five-star reviews will catch a customer’s eye.

Verify your reviews

Fake reviews are becoming all too common, so you want your customers to know that your reviews are real. When you do prompt a customer to leave a review, those customers should be marked as “verified” on whichever site they comment on. This lets potential customers know that the review is the result of a legitimate purchase and not fake. Consumers value authenticity above all else when reading reviews, so knowing that a review is truly genuine helps them to trust that they are making a wise decision when purchasing. It seems more like a word-of-mouth recommendation when the customer knows that the person who left a 5-star rating is a genuine customer over an anonymous 5-star rating which might fake.

Sarah-Nicole LeFlore
Sarah-Nicole "Nikki" is a Customer Success Manager at CX Index, a Dublin-based Voice of the Customer (VOC) Vendor. She contributes her insights on the many benefits of prioritising customer experience to the CX Index blog. She is currently based in London but has lived in New York, Dublin and Paris. She has a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and an MSc from Trinity College Dublin.


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