Parting with our hard-earned cash is a painful affair, especially when it’s for something we typically attach a lot of emotional value too, like a holiday or experience. To minimise disappointment, we’ll go out of our way to source as many details about a potential purchase before committing. However, these details MUST be unbiased.
There’s a general distrust of pushy advertising methods and company marketing materials; after all, brands have a vested interest in presenting their products and services in the best light. This is why reviews hold so much power – they’re honest (sometimes painfully so).
Reviews also help consumers counter choice fatigue. Take Netflix as an example; how many times have you scrolled through the platform looking for a film, only to give up after half an hour of browsing? Or cancelled dinner plans because you and your friends couldn’t choose a place to eat?
Well, reviews are the difference between someone spending their money and time on your business and walking away empty-handed. Users can quickly see how venues compare against one another on location, price and service, eliminating painful umming and ahhing.
Not convinced yet? Let’s look at the facts…
According to one source, 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a venue and 88% of people put reviews on par with personal recommendations! How does this translate to bookings? Well, customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent ratings.
All the evidence suggests reviews are imperative to your business’s success, so why are some companies frightened of them?
Obviously, nobody likes bad feedback (especially when it’s public). It can make or break a business and it’s a risk some aren’t willing to take. However, having no reviews is just as damaging to your reputation as having lots of one or two stars. It suggests you don’t want to engage with your customers and gives the impression you have something to hide.
What’s more, people don’t care about five-star reviews as much as you think. In fact, one insightful study discovered over 30% of users assume reviews are fake if they’re too positive.
People actively search out average ratings because they’re seen as genuine – consumers want to see your shortcomings. This isn’t a bad thing, if anything it helps to manage customer expectations.
Plus, if you never get feedback, how will you improve? Reviews are basically a free way to assess how well your business is performing! It’s a chance to locate weak points and make the way you operate even better.