In a world of powerful technology, interacting directly with customers, obtaining relevant data about them and tailoring your product to meet their needs has never been easier.
Gone are the days of mass marketing, mass media and impersonal transactions. Customers of today expect interaction with the companies they purchase from.
It’s not just how you market to a customer that is important. Potential customers want to hear from existing users of your service and product before they make their own purchase decision. Effectively, how your customers talk about you, or not, is very influential.
How often do you look on TripAdvisor before deciding which restaurant to eat at or which hotel to stay in? How often do you read reviews on Amazon before deciding to make your purchase? Do they influence your purchase decision?
The customer journey has changed. Customers now take to the internet, want to read reviews, ask others for their experience and understand more about the product or service before they even consider investigating in further detail.
Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
This is what Google refer to as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZOMT). Customer buying habits have changed.
Once a stimulus has been triggered, for example the need or desire to seek a product or service, customers then take to the internet to find out more, the ZMOT. Only if they like what they see and read do they move on to the next stage.
So customers like the reviews, they purchase your product/service, what do they do next? The internet has created a platform for customers to share their experience with the rest of the world. Effectively your customers are doing an element of sales for you, assuming positive reviews are left.
This ultimate moment of truth is key, take a look at the stats;
- During Google’s study 84% of people said that ZMOT shapes their decision.
- According to Reevoo stats, 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews. (iPerceptions, 2011).
- Site visitors who interact with both reviews and customer questions and answers are more likely to purchase while visiting, and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with UGC. (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).
- According to Reevoo, reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales, with an average 17% increase in click through rate.
- Considerable SEO benefits - Search engine spiders like unique content that is regularly updated, and user reviews are a great way to attract more content.
Put your business out there.
Embrace platforms that allow your customer to read and talk about your business. Don’t be put off by the possibility of negative reviews. They are an opportunity for you to improve. Resolved in the right way they actually become a positive reflection of your customer service.