Many B2B eCommerce companies today are under the impression that providing detailed product descriptions and images are enough to keep customers informed and engaged. However, as customers get more and more demanding, they want to know other customers’ experiences with the product before they jump in for the purchase. This has brought customer reviews into the spotlight, with a growing number of prospective customers taking time to research reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Do you know? 92% of consumers hesitate to buy a product if there are no reviews. In today’s customer-centric era, B2B companies looking to succeed need to integrate customer reviews into their product content strategies or run the risk of losing out to the competition.
Why customer reviews matter
The B2B marketplace is growing bigger than ever, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. To stand out, B2B companies need to differentiate themselves from their competitors now more than ever. One way to build a niche is through an amazing customer experience. That enriched customer experience should be driven by the need to help customers progress in their buying journey. And that’s where customer reviews could matter.
Customer reviews have always been influencing the purchasing decision of customers in the B2C market. As the B2B landscape gets strikingly similar to B2C, the recommendation and review culture is picking up immense steam.
In addition to speaking to company representatives to understand the features of the product at hand, customers today are taking out time to research and review what other customers have been saying about their experience with the product.
Reports are that 10 online reviews are read by customers before they feel they can trust a business brand. Customer reviews are a great way to evaluate the credibility and genuineness of the company and what other customers feel about the product they have purchased. They are a true reflection of what other customers feel about the product. Customer reviews help in:
- Validating the features and capabilities of the product through real reviews beyond the product descriptions that are published on the website; it is said that customers trust reviews 12 times more than manufacturers’ reviews.
- Showcasing the value of the products or services being offered by a company and stating how they will benefit the end-user – in a cost-effective manner.
- Building trust, credibility, and loyalty and increasing the confidence customers have in the product and the brand.
- Strengthening the company’s reputation and communicating the brand’s value to customers.
- Enabling prospective customers to know what it’s like to be a customer and whether the money they are about to spend is well worth it.
Why they should be taken more seriously
With the B2B eCommerce industry grappling with intense competition, taking customer reviews seriously is a great way to boost brand awareness, drive growth, distinguish yourself from competitors, and keep customers coming back for more. There are several reasons why B2B eCommerce companies should care more about customer reviews:
- B2B investments are larger, with a lot more stakeholders involved in the purchasing process. Since customers are warier of getting stuck with the wrong product due to the time, cost, money, and effort involved, it becomes extremely important for buyers to ensure the purchasing decision is a sound one. Integrating customer reviews into the product content strategy enables prospective customers to get an insight into the opinion of other customers. This can aid them in making the right decision.
- Since the B2B sales cycle also tends to be much longer with several levels of contracts and approvals, customer reviews are a great way to speed up the sales funnel while bringing authenticity and trust into the process. Reviews help new customers get validation of the product being sold while bringing down the time and effort needed for product research and, thus, the time taken to make a purchase.
- Through reviews, customers can get a first-hand, unbiased account of what it is like to be a customer of the brand. Since other customers have been through the journey, their own personal experience can help new customers understand what to expect from the customer journey and from the company.
- Reviews also provide insight into issues or problems with products, which otherwise are never talked about. They allow customers to voice their opinions on issues or problems they’ve faced with the product – which otherwise go unseen – allowing brands to make necessary improvements to products and gain back customer trust down the line.
- In a world where companies are focusing heavily on functionality and features, customer reviews provide a great medium to improve the overall user experience. Through reviews, B2B eCommerce companies can get critical feedback to evaluate the user experience and drive efforts in augmenting it further.
- Since customer reviews can be a mix of good and bad, they are a great way to showcase a diversity of opinions, which can further boost credibility. A good mix of positive and negative reviews offers a true picture of what the product really is like, making it easy for customers to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that works in their favor.
Drive credibility, improve trust, and boost sales
In a world where customers are calling the shots, it is easy to see why customer reviews are gaining substantial importance. Today, customers find it easier to trust the experience of their peers than the polished marketing messages of brands. It is no wonder that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends. Therefore, embedding customer reviews into B2B product content strategy is a powerful way to drive credibility, improve trust, and enhance sales and ensure customers get what they need. Once that is clear, the task becomes to create a comprehensive plan to collate, curate, and classify the reviews so they can deliver the maximum value to all concerned.