The Psychology of Customer Reviews
We all know that reviews are important for a business to flourish, especially when your business is predominantly online-based. It doesn’t matter whether you provide services or products. Customer reviews will always be the basis for other prospective buyers and clients to trust in your ability to give them what they need. But up to this point, there isn’t a lot of scientific knowledge that seeks to explain why this is so.
The best way to explain this behavior is to employ the principles of psychology. In this case, we delve into the realm of marketing psychology in order to explain what exactly customers look for when they peruse the reviews on your site. Because knowing that reviews are important is one thing, but knowing why they’re important is how you’re going to learn how to properly implement online review management principles.
There are two main principles in marketing psychology that can best explain why customers are more likely to transact with a manufacturer or service provider with good reviews. The first being The Principle of Consistency.
The Principle of Consistency states that “people are more likely to do something they’ve already done than something that is new and unfamiliar to them”.
So, with this principle in mind, service providers and manufacturers who are able to establish a loyal customer base are bound to have recurring sales. But how does this apply to businesses that are online-based? Easy — customer reviews.
When a business gets consistent positive reviews, even though a prospective buyer has never transacted with that particular business, they are familiarizing themselves with the business by virtue of the reviews left by previous customers and clients. The same applies to freelancers who are part of a network like Upwork and Fiverr.
Clients want to know what to expect from the transaction. There’s a certain reason why smartphone buyers are loyal to specific brands such as Samsung and Apple. It’s because they’re familiar with the quality of the products these companies produce.
Now, the second principle is that of Social Proof. This principle states that “people are most likely to do what other people are already doing, because doing so is less risky”.
Prospective buyers want proof. Not just from any source, but rather from fellow customers. They want the perspective of people who don’t have any bias towards the product, and those who use the product as consumers expect to use these products.
Social proof in the form of positive reviews is one sure way to attract prospective buyers and clients. This shows the actual opinion of actual consumers regarding your products and services. This is because the modern buyer is skeptical by default. They want to be sure that what they’re getting is exactly what they’re expecting. These savvy consumers are aware of marketing tricks and are also highly resistant to them. The only real way to scrutinize a product is to get your hands on it.
This is also why a lot of Youtube channels enjoy a large audience when they do product reviews well. In some cases, such as with the Unbox Therapy Youtube channel, simple unboxing and first impression videos are more than enough to garner such a huge following.