At a time when enterprise CMOs and marketing leaders are taking a hard look at what will drive ROI, and developing strategies for growth in increasingly competitive markets and a tightening economy, the online review stands alone in its ability to impact the bottom line. Chatmeter, the only reputation management and brand intelligence company to combine AI-powered deep listening with real-time CX agility, released a new consumer survey report highlighting how online reviews offer tremendous potential for brands.
The survey, which was conducted in January 2023, included 1,369 consumers – all of whom have used a review to help in the decision-making process and 94.5% of whom have posted a review in the last 12 months. The findings point to key areas of opportunity for brand leverage:
- Brand love and loyalty through a two-way dialogue with consumers
- Brand trust through online review engagement, volume, and authenticity
- Brand innovation through channel and technology usage trends
- Brand intelligence through deep listening across customer feedback
- Brand growth through competitive intelligence
The survey also looked at consumer behavior and perceptions across four vertical industries: retail, restaurant, healthcare, and financial services. The results are informative: consumers have significantly different expectations and requirements across industries, and trust of online reviews varies greatly.
Additional key findings include:
- Reviews are part of everyday decision-making: Over 89% of respondents use online reviews to evaluate quality, and over 67% see it as an important part of deciding what to buy and want specific details such as pricing, features, options, and quality.
- Financial review sites have work to do: Only 34% of respondents trust them
- Restaurant reviews are the most trusted (69%)
- Review timeliness is important: More than 56% of respondents feel that reviews need to be posted within the past month to be trusted as relevant; only 6% believe that when a review is posted doesn’t matter.
- Review quantity matters: 25% of respondents want to see more than 20 reviews in the last two-months in order to build trust and have influence; another 20% want to see at least 11 reviews.
- Consumers like new tech: 39% of respondents like the idea of using technology like ChatGPT for review information, and more than 30% of respondents like the idea of brand reviews through an engaging Metaverse experience.
- New channels are emerging: Almost 13% of respondents use gaming platforms like Roblox, or games like Fortnite, for reviews, and more than 20% use chat tools.
“Consumers see online reviews as a two-way dialogue. This study reinforces that reviews are a golden opportunity for brands to strengthen their customer relationships,” says Cynthia Sener, President Go-to-Market, Chatmeter. “Consumers want to engage and want to do so across a multitude of platforms. It’s critical for marketers to arm themselves with technology that can optimize both solicited and unsolicited customer feedback. Consumer preferences and habits are evolving, but the right tools can help translate the data into a direct competitive advantage.”
It’s estimated that 80-90% of the world’s data is unstructured – unorganized chatter dispersed across emails, social media, online reviews, images, photos, chats, messages and more. One of the most powerful things a brand can do for its reputation and profit margins is filter through this content and be responsive. When asked “how brands can build better relationships with customers through online reviews, 58% of respondents say that companies should acknowledge comments and fix problems quickly. Furthermore, 76% said they would go back and update a negative review if a company satisfied their complaint.