Just what is it about reviews that make them so incredibly influential?

If you think back to the last book you bought or restaurant you visited, it’s highly likely that reading what others had said about it influenced your choice one way or the other.

The psychology of reviews goes deep. The human brain uses shortcuts during the decision making process to make it more efficient.

In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini’s identified Social Proof as one of his six principles of persuasion:

“Humans will look to those around them to guide their decisions and actions.”

The reason reviews are so influential is that they help minimise the risk of making a poor decision due to the perceived wisdom of the crowd.

Numerous studies and surveys have proved beyond doubt that customer reviews massively influence your ability to convert leads into customers, which has a direct impact on the success of your business.

People expect to see reviews when they visit a business website these days.

What’s more, obtaining them isn’t difficult. Satisfied customers are more than happy to help out.

Despite all this evidence, surprisingly few businesses have a proactive system in place to encourage their customers to provide feedback and publish reviews online.

This is especially true for small and medium sized businesses – which gives those that do a massive competitive advantage.