How Reviews & Ratings Influence Your Customers During Their Buying Journey?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
customer journey

What are reviews & ratings after all? They are the most profound (more often than not) feedback from someone who has worked hard,

earned money and paid for your product in hopes of getting a job (any job) done.Positive and negative, reviews are a powerful signal to other future customers and to manufacturers and sellers on what they did great, where they should improve or where the product is totally useless.

Reviews are a gift regardless of the rating.

I remember my time from my previous life chapter when, while leading the growth of another B2B enterprise, I was like a sponge absorbing any piece or sign of feedback, told and … untold… by our prospects and customers, throughout all our interaction moments: from the first “hello” until the contract signing and long time after that…In time, especially the untold feedback that I was voicing out to my colleagues became kind of annoying for some of them. But I think we all are happy now as it did us good – it actually helped us make a huge difference (acknowledged by everyone until today).

Things are not any different in the B2C world today.

Feedback is shared in new different forms but the essence remains the same. It’s major impact though is given by its amazing influence of scale at any single point of the customer journey.
1. prospects are roaming in the store excited to see what options they have
The first time prospects hit the search button and products get listed in front of them, your reviews and ratings have surely contributed to those search results. Ignore them and you will wonder why your product is somewhere hidden from your audience’s eyes.

2. rating levels influence prospects to pick this or that product
Our attention is naturally caught by those 5 yellowish fully-colored stars. Here, more is more. The 5th star is the key – have it entirely empty and people might have lots of second thoughts. Get single digits review numbers and the products seem to be standing on a dusted shelf.

3. prospects read reviews of past customers to find answers to their unasked yet questions and discover what else to expect
Reading reviews is a discovery process, full of hopes and face grimasses as other customers’ experiences unfold to us. We are looking for confirmations that we’ll be getting what’s right for what we want to pay for.

4. prospects (future customers, I hope) ask questions to eliminate concerns and gain more certainty about if and how the product is going to help and satisfy them
We all have burning questions when we are in search of the desired products that will change things for us. We will not buy until we don’t have signs that our needs, preferences and desires will be met. Returns might be simple and free but they cost us twice to get the right product in place. And time.

5. all that shared and read feedback makes its positive impact and the prospect decides that your product is the winner
Finally, after all validations, we are determined to proceed with the checkout. The check out is key. Until all things have been validated, products can last a looong time in the shopping bag.

6. customers leave reviews
Here’s the moment of truth: we have unboxed our package and the real experience gets started. If you’re a brand and curious to find out what happened, read the reviews. They speak tones.

Image source: https://gradybritton.com/digital-marketing/defining-customer-journey-5-steps/