Consumers view online reviews as a two-way dialogue, building a bond with brands. They expect an answer from the brand and are more than happy to explore new review methods to keep in touch. A lack of response by the brand can break the bond with consumers.
The survey from Chatmeter of nearly 1,400 consumers who have used reviews in the past 12 months found that marketers have untapped opportunities to improve the customer experience, nurture brand loyalty, and attract prospects -- all by leveraging the unsolicited commentary and feedback that resides in online reviews.
The findings point to key areas of opportunity for brands:
The survey looked at consumer behavior and perceptions across retail, restaurant, healthcare, and financial services. Financial review sites have work to do, with only 34% of respondents say they trust them. Restaurant reviews are the most trusted, at 69%.
Overall, more than 56% of respondents feel that reviews need to be posted within the past month to be trusted as relevant, and only 6% believe that the timing of when a review is posted doesn’t matter.
Review quantity matters, with 25% of respondents wanting to see more than 20 reviews in the last two-months in order to build trust and have influence; another 20% want to see at least 11 reviews.
More than 60% of respondents found value when the company responded and directly addressed questions or other feedback. And 58% of respondents want brands to acknowledge their comments and fix problems quickly. Some 76% said they would go back and update a negative review if a company satisfied their complaint.
Consumers are using new technology, including ChatGPT. About 39% of survey respondents say they like the idea of using tech like ChatGPT for reviews, and more than 30% of respondents like the idea of using the Metaverse for review information. Nearly 13% of respondents use gaming platforms like Roblox, or games like Fortnite, for reviews, and more than 20% use chat tools.
Online reviews play a larger role today as prices skyrocket and customer service becomes more important.
When asked about purchasing behavior as purse strings tighten, 49% of survey participants use reviews to ensure they are getting good quality and good value and 44% said they use reviews to seek out less expensive alternatives, while 47% said they tend to stick with brands they know and love.