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Guest Blog: The importance of online reviews

Smart Money People’s Head of Business Development Jess Rushton explains the benefits of customer reviews, and why collecting feedback is so important for financial services companies wishing to thrive.

Jess Rushton, Smart Money PeopleThe power of online reviews cannot be overstated, helping customers to make decisions about whether to make a purchase. Our research shows that 84% of customers trust reviews from other customers*. In this blog, I’ll give five key reasons why online reviews are so important for financial services companies wishing to thrive.

1)    Building credibility and trust

First and foremost, online reviews help to build trust and credibility with potential customers. Today, customers are naturally sceptical and rely on the opinions of others to help them decide whether to go ahead with something. Online reviews show that a company is active and credible, and companies with a high number of positive reviews are often perceived as more reliable and reputable. So when a potential customer sees positive reviews from past customers, they’re going to be more likely to trust them. 

2)    Influence purchasing decisions

Most customers read online reviews before making a purchase or using a service, particularly costly or significant ones. So online reviews significantly influence purchase decisions. Positive reviews can sway potential customers to choose one business over another, while negative reviews can deter them from making a purchase altogether. So much so, our research found that 69% of customers are likely to change their mind after reading reviews*. This demonstrates the importance of reviews and maintaining a strong online reputation.

3)    Providing vital feedback

Online reviews also provide companies with valuable feedback from their customers. Positive reviews show what they’re doing well, while negative reviews highlight areas where they could do better. This feedback helps them to make changes and improve products, services and the overall customer experience. Reviews also provide companies with insights into their customers' needs and goals, which can be used to develop new products or services, improve marketing approaches, and make more informed choices.

4)    Building brand awareness

Online reviews can help companies become more widely known, boost general visibility and attract new customers. When customers leave feedback on review platforms, they showcase the company to others. Responding to reviews also helps companies improve their image and build stronger customer relationships. Moreover, having a large number of positive reviews can also help differentiate a company from its competitors and establish itself as a reputable and trustworthy brand.

5)    Addressing customer concerns

When a customer leaves a less favourable review, it’s essential for companies to address their concerns quickly. This shows that they value their customer’s feedback and want to learn and get better. By addressing negative reviews and resolving issues promptly, companies can improve their service and increase overall customer loyalty. At Smart Money People, we notify companies as soon as a customer leaves a review, so they can respond straight away and leave a positive impression.

Conclusion

It’s clear that online reviews matter for companies. From building trust and credibility to influencing purchase decisions and providing valuable feedback, online reviews play a crucial role in a company’s success. It's essential to actively manage and respond to feedback left at review sites like Smart Money People, both positive and negative, to maintain a positive online reputation and attract and retain customers. So make sure you use the power of online reviews to your company’s advantage. Finally, remember that online reviews are not just about managing your online reputation, but also about understanding your customers, improving your products or services, and growing your company.

To find out more visit: Smart Money People 

*Smart Money People research, October 2022

Smart Money People:
Smart Money People is the UK’s most comprehensive financial services review site. The home of 1.6 million independent reviews and counting, harnessing the power of customer research to provide deeper, more valuable insights.

 

The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the BSA.

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