Who Can You Trust?


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Year after year, studies from multiple sources show an overall increase in the consumer’s trust of online customer reviews when making purchasing decisions. This rate of trust depend on market segment, type of products and services, age group and other variables, but they all are well above 60% – some are as high as 72%. There are enough examples of brands, like Samsung and Tempur-Pedic, who are very successful growing their sales by leveraging Social Customers engagement. However, many marketers still express doubts about the value of online customer reviews for their strategic marketing, product marketing and advertising effectiveness efforts. Many professionals in areas of Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty and Customer Experience Management are also skeptical about the value of Social Customer opinions. Instead they focus entirely on their company’s solicited feedback for generating their operational metrics. Interestingly enough, many of these companies keep their Customer Satisfaction numbers very private, but when they do try to use them for advertising purposes, the results can be quite uncomfortable. Consider Geico’ claim of 97% Customer Satisfaction.

Who would you trust if you were shopping for insurance – an animated lizard with a fancy accent or 644 real Geico customers collectively reporting a 43% satisfaction rate? Specifically the customers are very disappointed with Geico’s customer service and claims settlement experiences.
Geico CX

The arguments against online customer reviews are getting old and don’t hold much water anymore. The true reason behind these arguments is a fear of losing control over a brand’s destiny to herds of Social Customers, and shoppers who trust them more than your advertising messages. The irony of the Age of Social Darwinism is that change, to embrace unsolicited/voluntary Customer Feedback to improve your brand Customer Experience, is the only way to control your brand’s destiny.

As Leon C. Megginson once said in paraphrasing Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gregory Yankelovich
Gregory Yankelovich is a Technologist who is agnostic to technology, but "religious" about Customer Experience and ROI. He has solid experience delivering high ROI projects with a focus on both Profitability AND Customer Experience improvements, as one without another does not support long-term business growth. Gregory currently serves as co-founder of https://demo-wizard.com, the software (SaaS) used by traditional retailers and CPG brand builders to create Customer Experiences that raise traffic in stores and boost sales per customer visit.


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