November 2018 sees Trustpilot celebrate a monumental achievement of reaching 50 million reviews on their site. Trustpilot launched in 2007, and to put this into perspective that’s 1 review every six seconds for the last 10 years. Trustpilot are a ‘review platform that is open to everyone with people able to share their experiences to help others make better choices and help companies up their game.’ Collaboration is central to Trustpilot’s success as consumers are easily able to communicate with business’ while companies can easily engage, respond and improve their service offerings. The success of Trustpilot is down in large part to its consumers and to celebrate and thank them they ran a social media campaign using #trustpilot50million to find out about the best reviews out there.
There was a mix of reviews that Trustpilot received during this campaign, including humorous, silly and thought-provoking. Here is just one example:
However, all reviews had one thing in common; they are incredibly powerful in shaping the way in which consumers behave and can heighten trust between the consumer and a brand.
The Importance of Online Reviews
While not all consumers write reviews themselves, 90% of consumers do consume and use reviews to search for information and to influence their buying decision during the consideration stage. If people aren’t writing reviews, they are reading them! According to Statista, the largest group of internet users to using online reviews are the older generation between 55-64 years of age and this age group can also have a higher disposable income.
Bad reviews can spell the difference between a customer choosing to buy from you or go elsewhere and thus impacting on your sales. In fact, a recent report claims that 80% of consumers will only trust companies that have reviews that 4* or 5*. However, positive reviews can have the opposite effect and bring in large amounts of sales and new customers to your business and there are increasing numbers of consumers going online to write about their positive experiences and becoming customer advocates for a company. But how should you go about managing your reviews?
Top tips to make the most of your reviews
In order for reviews to make a real impact to your sales and have a positive effect on your business, they must be managed correctly, and they must be encouraged. You can manage your companies reviews by setting up an account on Trustpilot or by using Google My Business. Trustpilot will cost you money however the benefits outweigh the costs. Google My Business is a free way to list your business on Google and consumers can review your business and reviews will display in the SERP. If you would like more information on Google My Business you can find more information in our blog post.
In order for reviews to be effective, you need to have the reviews there in the first place therefore reviews should be encouraged. The best ways to do this are to prompt your customer in the right moment and right time via their chosen communication method whether that be text, email or social media. It could be prompting them when you see they have signed for their delivery for example. You could also request for reviews to be written with an incentive such as a prize or a voucher. Encourage your sales team to ask for reviews particularly when they know they have done a really good job in helping a customer or going that extra mile; this could be done through live chat functions or in retail stores.
Respond to reviews
Trustpilot is a great way to manage and collect reviews from your customers however you should ensure that you respond to both positive and negative reviews. More customers are going online to talk about their positive experiences however thank customers when they talk about your brand in this way; showing the customer that the review they have left is valued and appreciated, building trust and making your brand more human. These customers who write about your product or services can turn into customer advocates and have a long lifetime value. Ensure negative reviews are dealt with in the right way too; if a customer is really angry it may not be best to carry on the conversation where everyone can see it. Deal with negative reviews via email or over the phone, and you never know you could turn that negative review into a positive experience if dealt with in the right way!
Think about how your reviews look
How your reviews look visually can have a massive impact on their effect. On sites such as Trustpilot you can have a certain level of control over how your reviews display and which ones appear at the top of the list. It’s been found that reviews that have a mid-range level of text along with clear scalable ranking systems with stars will have the most impact on consumers decisions. Reviews that are too short, won’t provide the reader with enough information to assist them through the buying journey but reviews that are too long can lose the readers interest.
Think about you will use reviews on your website too and how they will look. Can you use reviews in blog posts, testimonials or social media posts to help the customer through the buying journey?
Have a clear review management system
Have a clear sales plan in place on how review your reviews. By reviewing customer comments, you can identify themes and therefore have a clear strategy on how you are going to use your reviews to improve your business. Identify the people in your company who are going to track your reviews and ensure all those who respond to reviews are well trained to deal with any issues.
Celebrate and recognise reviews and employees
You should have a recognition system in place for positive reviews. A recognition and reward system can motivate your sales or front facing staff to deliver an excellent service if they know it will be celebrated at the end of the day! You can communicate individuals who have gone the extra mile through emails and newsletters, or even display names and reviews in your staff room for example (post-it notes, or cork boards are a good way of doing this). It’s not just individuals who can be recognised; if the company is receiving lots of positive reviews ensure this gets mentioned in team meetings and displayed so staff are engaged to do a good job!!
Innovation Visual are Trustpilot Partners
As you can see there are vast reasons to ensure you have a clear review strategy for your business and their impact can be highly positive to your business’ long term sales and profits.
Here at Innovation Visual, we are Trustpilot Partners. As a fully integrated digital marketing consultancy, we can assist your business with developing your online presence which includes online reviews. Contact the team today if you would like more information.