It looks good, doesn’t it? Reams of rave reviews, crowned by a shiny star rating that shouts, “I’m a great product; look no further; buy me!”
We’ve known how influential reviews are for ages, but it’s becoming increasingly clear how universally accepted they are as part of the buying journey. Practically everyone shopping online consults the opinion of others, and checks out ratings before punching that ‘add to basket’ button.
You might already be collecting reviews, or have a profile on a comparison site, or social media page, where customers are talking about your business. But when feedback is so influential, are you putting your best foot forward?
Here’s three tips to consider when looking at your approach to reviews.
1. Keep it real.
This is a drum we’ve been banging since Feefo started nearly eight years ago, but it’s no less important now than it was back then. Fake reviews are a shoppers’ worst nightmare, and damaging to both businesses and consumers alike.
Why? Because reviews (if they’re authentic) help customers make confident purchasing decisions; and provide incomparable insight into what consumers genuinely think about your products and services.
“But Feefo,” you cry, “I thought you said positive reviews are massively influential!”
True; but only if they’re real. Customers aren’t stupid – they can spot a fake review, and if they suspect your business is partaking in a slice of fake-feedback pie, you’re likely to never hear from them again.
Trust has become the buzzword in buying decisions. Soliciting positive reviews, writing your own or even paying for fake feedback will do far more harm than good. Not to mention it’s a legal minefield; you only have to do a quick search to find headlines that show just how much of a no-no regulating bodies think fake reviews are.
Instead, make sure your reviews are the real deal; your customers will thank you for your authenticity, and you’ll gain real insight from the customers that have actually bought from your business, or used your services.
2. Take control
Your customers will talk about your business, whether you’re listening or not. There are plenty of comparison websites, third-party booking platforms and consumer opinion companies where shoppers – both genuine and fake – can talk about your products and services without you being aware, or able to get involved.
Instead, own the conversation. If you provide the platform for customers to leave their feedback, then they will. In our own research, we pitched it to 2,000 everyday consumers in the UK, and asked ‘What would make you leave feedback?’ Almost half (49%) said that being invited would prompt them.
That way, you know your customers are leaving reviews in a place where you can keep track of it. This also allows you to thank positive reviewers for taking the time to leave their feedback, and addressing any concerns that negative reviews pose.
At Feefo, we give customers the opportunity to rerate based on your customer service; and when 95% of customers say they’ll use your business again after a bad experience if you solve the issue, that’s always worth doing.
3. Maximise insight
Collecting reviews is just the first step. While it’s always good to hear from your customers, there is so much more you could be doing with what they have to say.
It stands to reason that if you provide a better service, you’re likely to get a better review rating. The good news is, reviews themselves can provide all the information you need to make confident tweaks to your processes that will improve your customer service – it all comes down to analysing them properly.
Track enough sentiment from customers talking about your brand, and you’re likely to find trends and themes that can point you to areas of your business in need of attention.
Here’s an example: One client using Feefo, despite having a high service score, wanted to find ways to improve their service even further. Analysing their feedback revealed that negative reviews tended refer to a problem with delivery. By replacing their courier service, they saw a marked increase in their service score.
The benefits continue into boosting traffic to your website, and conversions once customers arrive at your site. There’s so much more to implementing reviews in a way that works for your business. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to get your reviews strategy into shape.