Why are reviews so important?
When was the last time you purchased something online without reading a single review?
According to some market research, figures show that:
- 90% of consumers read and compare online reviews before purchasing a product.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a product/company with ‘excellent’ reviews.
- 72% of customers will only take action after reading a positive review.
As you can see here, reviews prove to have a major influence in the decision-making process of consumers in buying, or not buying a product/service.
There are a variety of benefits that reviews can bring to both an organisation and customers.
- Reviews can be used to compile your own judgement by being able to balance the pros and cons and thus aids better decision making.
- Consumers are able to provide their perspective and experience on the product/service and gauge suitability and worthiness. Different customer demographics may have different perceptions/tastes, in that, one person may think that a particular product will benefit them, but another may not, and vice versa. Reviews provide different angles and opinions.
- It takes the stress off the consumer by assuring them that they can go onto a trusted review site and gather information to help make up their mind and acquire a variety of information that can be used to compare. Most if not all companies in a business sector offering a specific service all promote similar qualities and attributes of their products/services, so everything can sound the same. I.e Various phone networks claiming to have the best and fastest coverage & connection.
- Building brand awareness and reputation, by means of social proof, is an invaluable benefit of customer reviews. Word of mouth and positive impressions play a major part in marketing, and achieving it through reviews hardly costs the company money, if at all. By offering a good service and receiving good reviews, the positive reputation of the brand will spread, thus potentially attracting more customers and sales. In essence it’s free/cheap marketing.
- Can highlight the strengths and uniqueness of a company and review sites can act as a platform for companies to show this off.
- Revelation of things that you may otherwise not have known i.e the small details which may not have been mentioned on the product description. Understandably, companies naturally talk favourably about their product/service and have huge bias towards themselves. Reviews provide a chance to read an experience written by a person and not a corporation, whilst also providing consistency.
- It can highlight the practicality of the product in day to day situations and provide real life personal examples which you may relate to.
- A study by the Harvard Business School found that online reviews can demonstrably impact your bottom line. Brands which are viewed positively attain better sales, but even improving your star rating can have a positive effect on your sales. According to the study, a one-star improvement on Yelp.com leads to a boost of 5% to 9% on sales in the short term. Even a small improvement can have a massive positive impact.
- The presence of user reviews make the business look more trustworthy and genuine. This may be due to the knowledge that real people are being associated with the product/service and provides a reassuring emotional aspect.
- Reviews provide credibility, ownership and regulation. Companies know that they can't get away with selling unsuitable or below par services, or providing bad customer service, thus will endeavour to maintain high levels of standards and provide the best and most genuine service they can.
- Identify any trends in industry-wide negative aspects, and put into context, that may not be the fault of the company being reviewed. This anomaly/anomalies may have been otherwise tainted the reviews of the company and caused loss of potential sales. For example, weather delays are a common issue in flight training and one cannot attribute it to the fault of the flight school, but the ratings may have scored low for ‘speed of training’ and ‘delays’. Reviews which specifically mention this reason can therefore provide an understanding that this is a general/common issue, and so can be taken into consideration when reading reviews and ratings.
- Provides an open line between business and consumer. Reviews give customers who weren't happy with a service or product the chance to provide feedback and critique. Companies can then take the feedback/constructive criticism on board and improve any shortfalls in their business, or make good things that are in place even better. Effective communication between consumer and company is always beneficial.
- Reviews can give companies a sense of pride and satisfaction from positive reviews by knowing that what they are providing is appreciated and consumers are happy. This can be reassuring as a morale boost.
Professionalism, Reliability and Expertise are 3 of the most important traits for a business, and so by providing a positive service/experience and being known for doing so, it will pay dividends. After all, if your product is excellent and worthy, you want everyone to know about it right?
Pilot Network are dedicated to helping pilots in their journey to the flight deck, and providing the most professional, reliable and expert driven platform for flight schools to showcase the great training they can bring in building the future of aviation. Past students who have completed courses at any of the vast and growing range of flight schools, featured on our website, can leave comprehensive reviews and ratings for each course. This will provide very valuable information to prospective pilots, regardless of what stage of training they're at, enabling them to make a well informed and educated decision about their future. Especially when there is so much money at stake, it is crucial. Users and reviews are verified to ensure that all submissions published to our website are genuine and accurate.
Thank you for reading,
The Pilot | Network Team.