A recent survey reveals that consumers trust each other, not experts.
Pleasant Grove, UT -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/22/2014 -- A recent survey by TheBestCompanys.com (TBC) revealed that consumers trust each other more than they do experts, especially when it comes to researching a possible purchase. 70.8% of those surveyed stated that they place more trust in consumer reviews of products and services than they do expert reviews.
Additionally, 73.8% of respondents to TBC’s survey said that affiliation with a spokesperson or expert does not increase a review site’s credibility, and only 10.2% said that they have complete trust in the Better Business Bureau’s rankings of companies.
The increasing likelihood that consumers will consult each other pre-purchase, coupled with a waning confidence in the “expert opinion,” shows a shift in the modern consumer’s mindset. Today’s buyers not only have ample access to information on the internet, but also have a variety of online platforms on which to freely speak their minds, connect with other consumers and receive instant feedback. This means that it’s easier than ever before for consumers to research before they buy and uncover false claims made by enthusiastic spokespeople or less-than-honest companies. This also reflects the rising popularity of online review sites that use consumer opinion to rank companies.
TBC’s User Review Moderation team reports that the increasingly-engaged consumer market is forcing companies to stay accountable. Buyers expect honesty, quality and follow-through - and they’re speaking up if the companies they do business with aren’t meeting their needs. As a result, consumer opinion can now make or break a company’s success.
Consumer reviews on TBC account for 15% of each company’s overall score on the site, based on three metrics:
The average consumer score
The total number of consumer reviews
The number of consumer reviews for that company in the past 12 months
Tracking consumer scores on a timeline provides TBC with real-time trends of how consumers feel about a company’s ability to meet their expectations in categories such as price, guarantee, contract and customer service. TBC currently features over 2,900 consumer reviews, and the numbers grow each day.
Bryce Morgan, one of TBC’s site managers, states, “TBC takes great pride in its quality expert reviews, but customer reviews are the real lifeblood of the site - they keep us on the pulse of how companies are treating their customers, as well as provide TBC with unique insight into what today’s consumer market really wants. This enables us to rank companies honestly and accurately and respond to the consumer voice by periodically reviewing our ranking criteria to make sure it’s top-notch.”
This is reflective of another shift in the modern marketplace: what worked yesterday may not work today. Consumers face almost no restrictions in ways to buy and purchasing options to choose from - and in turn companies face a greater need to please, and thus retain, their customers. TBC’s internal research backs this up: the companies that are ranked highest by consumers on TBC are those that show a consistent willingness to respond to consumer questions, concerns and complaints.
The lesson here is simple: consumers are talking, and the smart companies are listening.
TheBestCompanys.com is a review website featuring both expert and consumer reviews of almost 500 companies and counting. TBC uses a 9-point ranking criteria and employs a full-time User Review Moderation team to ensure its consumer reviews are provided by real customers.