Consumer reviews are a powerful marketing tool.
They inspire change
They provide social proof
Read through the steps below to make sure you’re getting the most out of your reviews.
Step 1: BE PROACTIVE
As with many things in life, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to review collection. Initiate the conversation with your customers and be intentional to encourage positive voices. If a customer is coming to you, it’s often with a problem or concern. In fact, consumers are two to three times more likely to share their negative experiences than their positive ones. While negative reviews are beneficial for personal growth and customer service, they are less advantageous from a marketing point of view. If you want to use reviews as a form of promotion, you’ll likely need proactive collection to reach this goal. Your fans are out there and their voice is powerful. Don’t miss out on the profit of genuine praise.
Step 2: SHARE FEEDBACK
Review collection is not only externally beneficial to your business, but it also has the potential to impact constructive internal change. Reviews create a positive feedback loop for your business. They enhance or amplify the rate at which you change because of the frequency and variety of feedback they provide. The more reviews you collect the more data you’ll have available to critique, compliment and challenge different aspects of your product or service. While this constant feedback makes your internal system less stable, it also makes it more productive. In the words of Jim Collins, “good is the enemy of great”. Willingness to adapt your brand based on the needs of your audience is essential to longevity and success.
Step 3: EXPAND YOUR REACH
It’s important to collect reviews on a third-party website, not just your own. Doing this prevents the appearance of bias and captures a more expansive audience. When a person enters the buying cycle they start in the research and comparison phase. They recognize their need but do not necessarily have a brand in mind. Using a neutral platform to collect reviews expands your reach and attracts the attention of new buyers. It creates new leads by engaging people who aren’t specifically searching for your brand but become familiar with it during their research. Using a third-party review site also proves authenticity by acting as an impartial territory. With an alternate website acting as mediator, the views and opinions expressed by consumers appear more balanced and unbiased.
Step 4: COLLECT SOCIAL PROOF
Consumer opinions are powerful and they have the potential to be one of your most impactful marketing tools. The opinions of friends, family and even strangers online provide social proof for your brand. The Nielson Global Trust in Advertising Report cited that 83% of respondents said they trust the recommendations of friends and family as the most credible form of advertising.
Let’s make it personal. I was recently in the market for dry shampoo and it was a frustrating experience. The market is flooded with similar products, at a similar price range, all promising similar results. So, how did I decide? I sought advice. I took to the internet to read what other people were saying about the brands they’ve tried. In the end, I bought one of the most expensive dry shampoo options. Why? A friend raved about her experience.
You see, a brand may have the best product around but if people aren’t talking about it they’ve missed their chance at a sale and a potentially long-term customer. Harness the power of the brand advocate. It’s ineffective to collect reviews and not parade them properly. Use positive reviews and testimonials in your marketing messaging to drive sales and build trust in your brand.
The overall goal is to let the positive opinions of others speak for you. Don’t be overwhelmed with the review collection process. You can tackle all these steps or take it one at a time. The key is learning how to manage and foster this valuable stream of consumer consciousness.
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