How Online Reviews are Affecting the Consumer Decision Making Model

Posted by Andrea Ramirez on Dec 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Find me on:

user-circle

Reviews are playing a major role in the consumer decision making model. They provide information about your business for your customers while helping boost your local SEO in the process. With the access of countless online reviews and commentary on social media networks consumers are now more informed, connected, and empowered than ever before.

Our objective for this post is to break down the 5 steps in the consumer decision making model to discuss the impact of online reviews and strategies you can implement to encourage potential customers to choose your business with their purchases.

Step 1: Read your reviews to discover customers needs

Generating demand for your product requires much more than simply releasing it into the market. Your business needs to examine feedback customers are providing on social media networks and online review sites to discover how customers really feel about your products.

Use your online reviews as a you would from focus group feedback. Observe trends with common suggestions, attitudes, and experiences to generate ideas on how to solve a problem or satisfy their needs with a new product. By listening to what your customers are saying online you can produce products and services they want even before they know what they want.

Did somebody say social intelligence?!

For national businesses reviews can provide insight into consumer attitudes at a local level. With tools like Brandify, your business is able to filter reviews to observe which locations are thriving and which need to implement new strategies to improve their online reputation.

Step 2: Customers are searching for information, help them find it

Customers today are not brand loyal, if a company is easier to find on a search engine they will purchase from them instead of you. Claiming your listings is a best practice for SEO ranking algorithms in Google and Bing. When you claim your listings on “The Big Six” with consistent and accurate information your business is more credible and easier to find.

Your business should also research review sites that are relevant to your products and active in the regions your various locations reside in. The idea is to get your business listed where your potential customers might leave a review so that you are able to start building a broad, web-based portfolio of positive reviews. Once your new listings are created and claimed you are able to join in on the conversation.

Check to see which sites would be best for your brand.

Pro Tip: Aside from finding review sites your company can connect with, creating local landing pages for each location will help your company’s local SEO tremendously.

Step 3: Customers are evaluating their alternatives, you should too

When customers are looking to make a new purchase they will be evaluating all of their options. If review sites are riddled with bad reviews customers will start looking for alternatives.

86% of consumers said buying decisions were influenced by negative reviews.

Analyze the information gathered from your online reviews to compare with information gathered from competitors. Examine common keywords being used, their sentiment toward your products/services, and then create a SWOT analysis to see how you compare amongst the competition.

We understand that there will usually be at least one negative review associated with your business. Do not ignore negative reviews. A timely response to a negative review is critical to managing and upholding your online reputation. Brandify’s daily negative alert email notification makes it easy for your business to reply to reviews directly from your email. Responding to negative reviews in an appropriate manner will minimize the damage for future customers and possibly get the reviewer to give your business another chance.

Step 4: Reviews impact purchase

The decision on what to buy increasingly comes from your brand ambassadors (reviewers) who share their experience in a way that pulls in new customers and informs them about their purchase decision.

Customer loyalty goes hand in hand with customer satisfaction. A customer that rates your business 5 on a scale from 1 to 5 is six times more likely to buy from you again. Managing your online reputation, engaging with customers, and marketing your products effectively based on the information you receive from online reviews will help you close the deal, and encourage your customers to speak about your business positively.

Step 5: Post-purchase behavior, writing reviews

This is where your reviews become full circle. The effects of the post purchase behavior will influence those that are just embarking on this process. A happy customer will tell 3 people about their experience, and an unhappy customer will tell Google.

Below are strategies your business can implement to encourage your customers to write positive reviews online:

  • Follow up with customers by sending e-mails thanking them for their purchase and asking for a review online.
  • Send promotions to their emails based on their previous purchases.
  • Create a customer loyalty program to promote discounts and special offers
  • Offer incentives if they tell a friend about your business

Managing thousands of locations can be an overwhelming task. With your business’s online reviews all in one place, it’s never been easier to analyze your brand's online reputation and take the appropriate actions to address your customer’s needs. Measure the sentiment of customer reviews and receive key insights to manage your online reputation. Our Brand Score will evaluate your local business listings, search results, SEO, reviews & social media so you can see how you stack up in the industry.

Start A Free Brandify Trial