With the majority of consumers researching online before making purchase decisions, marketers are turning to more social proof strategies to help drive sales and build trust. A Nielsen study on consumer trust in advertising revealed online consumer reviews as one of the top 3 trusted resources. Today’s highly competitive and saturated business landscape demands an increased focus on social proof as a way to build customer trust and stand out. Brands need to become more available to prospective customers in the spaces where consumers are doing the most of their research on companies. One key strategy? Amplifying the voices of brand advocates to help drive increased sales.

“Social proof makes any decision other than using your company seem outside the norm.” — Andy Crestodina

The power of the brand advocate

Negative reviews, even in small quantity, can be devastating for brands trying to earn more customers. After all, angry customers tend to be the most activated and vocal, willing to do anything it takes to get their story heard. However, trying to remove negative feedback is seen by consumers as dishonest. A strategic partnership with consumer trusted third-party review sites like ConsumerAffairs helps brands collect a broader , verified sampling of customer stories to help paint the entire customer experience picture so researching consumers get an authentic look into how brands engage and serve their customers.

The key to effective review collection? Objectivity. No brand has a perfect record. Companies make mistakes, and consumers understand this. What matters to consumers is not that a negative review has occurred, but that a brand has engaged the customer and resolved the complaint quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction. This is why a partnership with ConsumerAffairs can help. We specialize in repairing broken marriages of commerce. One of the most impactful ways to connect with potential customers is through showcasing the brand’s ability to resolve customer issues effectively and turn brand assassins into brand advocates.

Connecting customer feedback and branded media

Branded media still remains a trusted resource for consumers, so boosting the power of branded media by sharing customer feedback on a ConsumerAffairs accredited profile gives you the power of both marketing strategies in one cost-effective resource. Consumers know you are listening, and they can hear from your customers and customer service team as they actively prepare to purchase products or services. Directing more ready-to-buy customers to your sales team is key to generating more revenue.

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Trust seals add credibility

Accreditation with third-party sites helps brands highlight their commitment to maintaining a higher standard of customer service and integrity — something consumers are actively searching for as they select from multiple brands to do business with. The ConsumerAffairs seal tells consumers that accredited brands abide by our Code of Business Conduct, and builds increased trust. Trust seals can be integrated into branded marketing materials to emphasize the quality of a brand’s customer experience to appeal to even more prospective customers.

The impact of social proof

Our partnered brands have reported as much as a 40% increase in volume of customers as a direct result of the ConsumerAffairs partnership. If you’re ready to make social proof a part of your marketing strategy, download our free guide to make sure you have everything you need to succeed.