Online reviews have become key in a pandemic-driven world.
That’s because, in the midst of this great upheaval, customers need businesses they can trust; online reviews are a proven, easy way to find them.
Business owners ignore this simple truth at their peril, because:
CUSTOMERS ALREADY RELY ON ONLINE REVIEWS
Before the pandemic, most customers already used online reviews to research businesses. Nearly 95% of customers do so before they make a purchase.
They do this because online reviews boost confidence in their purchasing decisions. 88% of customers think that online reviews help them in this way.
This is why customers are especially keen to seek out online reviews if they’re pursuing expensive products. That’s when they need the most assurance that they’re spending well.
But when money becomes scarce, everything becomes expensive.
CUSTOMERS WITH LESS TO SPEND TAKE FEWER RISKS
Large numbers of people are now unemployed all across America.
Where customers were squeezed before, they’re going to be even more squeezed now. If they buy a disappointing product or service, it will hurt even more with fewer resources at their disposal.
However, many of a customer’s trusted choices are overwhelmed or shuttered. One in four businesses have shut down temporarily due to COVID-19. Many, unfortunately, won’t survive. Customers will need to seek out new businesses to serve their needs.
Therefore, customers are going to put even more effort researching their options, leaning even more on customer reviews.
This is especially true because businesses will have a hard time using an underrated means of communication: their physical spaces.
PHYSICAL SPACES CAN’T BUILD TRUST ANYMORE
That is, the physical space of a business communicates its values. This communication, if done well, leads to trust and sales.
Well, at least this was true before the pandemic.
Even in businesses that can still accommodate walk-in traffic, customers are in power mode; they want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Businesses can no longer count on customers spending time in their spaces. They can no longer rely on this proverbial ‘handshake’ to build relationships.
This constitutes an earthquake in many businesses. But one thing hasn’t changed:
TRUST WILL STILL BE KEY
While customer behavior is shifting beneath our feet, the customer’s need for trust isn’t.
To find new trusted options, customers will increasingly turn to their tried-and-true method of vetting businesses through online reviews.
They’ll do so because they’ll have limited resources to spend; they’ll do so because their usual options are gone or diminished; they’ll do so because businesses can’t communicate their values as well in person.
As a business owner, you can encourage, trumpet, and funnel your reviews effectively with good management.
That management is what we provide. Find out exactly what we do here, and see why we’re your best bet for building trust – and success – in this new world of business.