It’s happened to all of us. A customer has a bad experience and writes a bad review or even a false review of your products or services. No matter how good of a business you are, it happens.
Listen to the radio today and you will hear advertising from companies explaining how their services will protect you from this “Google Death.” Protecting from a bad review is important, but I believe that getting and marketing reviews is such an effective marketing tool that companies need to focus on this first instead of keeping their potential customers from seeing these bad reviews when they search for them online.
For the last few years I have been educating businesses on how customer reviews are one of the most important marketing tools they can use to increase their customer base. I still hear from many leaders that it is not happening in their company. Many tell me that they cannot get their staff to ask customers for reviews, some say they still do not understand how to use these review to market and some will still hold firm to the idea that no one reads reviews.
Let’s debunk some of these issues that some business leaders have shared with me.
1. Reviews are too hard to get and/or I can’t get my staff to do it.
This is really a two-part discussion. The first part would lead me to investigate if there is a written out process within the company that employees have been trained on. The second part is more of an accountability issue. In my opinion, nothing happens consistently without inspection and leadership making it a priority. I would decide which of these two issues plagues your company and address it accordingly.
2. No one really reads reviews.
Well, the statistics are in. Customers do read reviews and, more importantly, are influenced by them. According to the Local Consumer Survey 2013, reviews are increasing in importance in year. 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If three out of four people trust reviews I am not sure why businesses see that reviews have no value.
3. What should I do with the reviews once I get them?
There are a few things that businesses can do with printed reviews or video testimonials. Reviews can be posted on your website and linked to in email signatures. Testimonial videos should supplement blog posts and be posted onto social media channels.
Another thing that can be done is to advertise reviews inside their place of business. If they’re printed on a banner stand or a poster, people can see what customers are saying. Maybe a scrolling video screen with reviews or testimonial videos is included beside the other advertising in your showroom. Think of this feedback as better than any catch phrase that your business can come up with. Real people, real praise. Nothing is better than that.
We can all thank Jeff Bezos from Amazon for training every one of us to read reviews and take this feedback into our consideration set. Any company that is not actively getting reviews and then marketing with them is letting their competition sneak into the minds of their potential customers.
Companies must embrace the fact that all of their marketing drives consumers to their website. What could happen if when customers get to your website, reviews or videos of customers praising their products, services and experiences are front and center? Do you see the impact?
For additional reading, here is a great infographic on reviews that outlines even more statistics that should convince you why your business needs to be getting customer feedback.
Embrace your reviews and turn them into marketing materials for your company. Learn how in our free webinar Reputation Marketing: Don’t Let a Good Review Go to Waste on Thursday, December 12 at 1 p.m!