Listen to the radio today and you hear advertising from companies explaining how their services will protect you from, “Google Death”, which is where someone posts bad reviews or false reviews about your services, thus impacting what people see about your company online. 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.
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 but still I 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.
Companies must embrace the fact that all of their marketing drives consumers to their website. What if, when customers get to a website, reviews or videos of customers praising their product/service are front and center as well as praising the experience they had doing business with their company. Do you see the impact?
If customer reviews are the golden seal of approval that many people use to help them decide which company to do business with, why is getting reviews and marketing with them still such a struggle for businesses to embrace?
Let’s debunk some of these issues that some business leaders have shared with me.
- Reviews are too hard to get / 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.
- 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 vs. 2012. 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If 3 out of 4 people trust reviews I am not sure why businesses see that reviews have no value. Here is a link to a great info graphic on reviews, which outlines even more statistics that should help convince business owners of the importance of getting customer feedback. http://archive.fohboh.com/profiles/blogs/online-reviews-statistics
- What should I do with the reviews once I get them?
There are a few things that businesses can do with printed reviews or even better a video testimonial. Reviews can be posted on their website, they can link to them from email signatures, they can use a testimonial video in a blog post or on their social media channels.
Another thing that can be done is to advertise reviews inside their place of business. Maybe a banner stand or a poster providing a link where people can see what customers are saying? Maybe a scrolling video screen with reviews or testimonial videos right besides the other advertising they may be doing. 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.
Make sure to spend some time reading the above survey to see how customer reviews are such an important way to communicate a company’s worth to the next round of potential customers. 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.
Let me know your thoughts.