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Anyone who’s been tasked with leading the charge of brand reputation management knows that customer reviews can be both a blessing and a curse—depending on their content. Just consider some of these statistics from TrustPulse:

  • 99% of customers read reviews when they shop online.
  • 96% of customers specifically look for negative reviews.
  • 43% of consumers prefer products with more than 100 reviews.
  • Reviews shared on social platforms result in significantly greater conversion rates: 5.3 time higher for LinkedIn, 8.4 times higher for Twitter/X, and 40 times higher for Facebook.

What a customer says might be out of your control, but the actions you take to monitor, share and respond to those reviews can determine the impact they make on your brand’s reputation and bottom line. 

7 ways reviews impact brand reputation

Understanding the role reviews play in shaping your brand reputation can help you develop a more effective customer engagement strategy.

Build credibility and trust

Public reviews give prospects insight into the credibility of your brand, the quality and reliability of your products or services, and an overall feel for how trustworthy your business is. Consider that nearly half of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and that number jumps to 91% for 18-to-34-year-olds. 

Beyond just posting reviews on your website, you can repurpose this user-generated content in countless ways: on social media, radio and TV, billboards, and landing pages, as well as in emails, video content, podcasts, case studies, and other printed collateral. 

Boost search engine rankings

Customer reviews provide fresh content about your brand, giving search engines additional fodder when scanning for keywords and phrases related to your business. This is especially true when it comes to local search engine optimization. High-quality, positive reviews on your Google My Business page, for example, will help increase your business’s visibility. 

Drive traffic to your website and boost conversions

Positive endorsements of your brand or its products or services can help introduce consumers to your brand or nudge potential buyers who may be on the fence about making a purchase. Whether they see these reviews in an online ad, on a social media post, or in a magazine article while waiting in their doctor’s office, this social proof can help drive traffic to your brand sites or help persuade prospects to continue to checkout.

Increase in-store sales 

With 83.7% of U.S. retail sales taking place in brick-and-mortar stores, it’s easy to see why customer reviews aren’t just driving conversions online. In fact, customer reviews were the second-most-researched type of content (69% of survey respondents) among in-store shoppers, topped only by price comparisons (72%). 

If you haven’t already optimized your mobile app or website with relevant reviews, you’re missing out on the potential to sway the opinions of in-store shoppers.

Get insight into strengths and weaknesses

What’s your brand doing right? Where is there room for improvement? Customer reviews can give you insights into both. 

Not every customer will be content with customer service when they have a bad experience—and some may try, only to fail to see their issues resolved. Although you can’t control what dissatisfied customers write, you can learn from what you read. Does your brand need to improve its customer service experience? Was a product sold out too fast for your loyalists’ liking? Did a product not live up to its promises? 

Even bad reviews can serve a purpose if you make improvements based on the feedback. 

Drive innovation through new product development

“I love these. I’d have bought these shoes in red too if they had the option.”

Customer reviews aren’t just about singing the praises of your brand, nor are they always about faulty products or missteps with your shipping, returns, or payment processing. Sometimes customers lament over what they couldn’t buy because it wasn’t offered. Take note and consider passing along the feedback to R&D or the buyer for your lines.

Demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction

More than two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they believe that brands owning up to their mistakes is a “very or extremely effective way” to build or increase trust. That’s important to know in an era in which consumers aren’t afraid to hold brands publicly accountable for their actions. 

But admitting your mistakes isn’t just about salvaging your reputation to avoid getting “canceled.” Seeing a brand apologize and demonstrate an eagerness to rectify the problem for consumers can actually boost consumer confidence and repair trust. Just consider that 56% of consumers change their perspective on a business based on how the business responds to a review. 

If your brand can respond to a negative comment publicly, in a timely manner and with an empathetic apology, you may be able to retain the trust (and business) of that customer—and everyone else who witnesses your good-faith effort.

When it comes to brand reputation management, good customer reviews are worth their weight in gold. With an advocacy marketing platform, you can ask your loyal customers to leave reviews, making it easier to collect and publicly share them on sites of your choice. 

See how Zuberance can help you tap into your network of customer advocates to drive measurable sales results. 

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Businesses leverage Zuberance to fuel their advocacy programs, integrating them into their overall marketing programs. The outcome? Lowered marketing expenses, enhanced customer engagement, improved retention rates, and most importantly, positive ROI.