The power of customer reviews can’t be overstated. Online reviews bridge the gap between word-of-mouth and viral social feedback, and greatly influence a consumer’s opinion of your brand. Having a customer review strategy can help you get more business.
If you’re providing your customers with great customer service, e.g. by investing in a small business phone system to handle their calls, you should be collecting feedback to reflect this.
And even if you are already collecting reviews, it could be time to take a step back and evaluate whether your review strategy is working hard enough for you. In this post, we’ll discuss some ways to ramp up your customer review strategy and boost your presence online.
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Basically your review strategy should be made up of three parts:
Let’s look at these three elements in detail so you can develop a great strategy for each.
Table of Contents
Your Customer Review Strategy
This is the act of collecting customer feedback. If you’ve already set up a platform to collect reviews, that’s a sensible move – but you’ll also need to consider where and how to collect those reviews if you want to max your collection rates.
The customer review strategy for every business is unique because each company has a different target audience with different needs, behaviors, and interests. For example, a company that sells VoIP home phone systems will need to collect consumer reviews whereas a B2B company will want to collect business reviews, and so the appropriate review sites will differ.
Here’s a list of review sites you may wish to consider:
You don’t even need to lift a finger to set this up. In fact, anyone can review your business on Google right now. However, it’s recommended to actively collect reviews on Google – after all, it’s the biggest search engine in the world and is where most people head to to search.
TripAdvisor is a great place to collect reviews, especially if you run a local business such as a restaurant, pub, or retail outlet. Customers can leave you a review while they are out and about via the app.
Facebook has over 2.7 billion active monthly users, so it’s a platform few companies can afford to avoid. Customers can leave you reviews on your Facebook business page.
Trustpilot is a trusted review site that’s used by ecommerce sites and many other large companies as a place to pick up reviews.
Ways to Collect Your Reviews
Once you’ve decided which platforms to use to collect reviews, you need to decide how you’re going to actually collect them. You can collect them organically, but customers can be indifferent to leaving reviews if left to their own devices. You expect to get feedback on sales proposals, getting consumers to leave reviews requires you to be more proactive.
So, invite people to leave you reviews. Invitations can be sent via email, SMS, or by simply asking customers when they’re in your store. However you choose to approach this, make it easy for people to fill in the form – place the form within the body of the email rather than re-directing them to your web page, for instance.
Which Type of Reviews Should you Collect?
You can choose to collect company reviews or product reviews. Company reviews indicate how happy customers were with your service and usually refer to delivery times, how easy it was to order, whether customer communication was efficient (i.e. whether a company used VoIP), and so on. These reviews will give you insights into how well your business is performing – useful for you and potential customers.
Collecting company reviews on Glassdoor will help you recruit top talent, too, since job hunters head here to find out what it’s like to work for your company.
Product reviews pertain to information such as pricing, sizing, durability, and accuracy of product information. They are valuable for shoppers as they give a first person impression of your products and thereby influence their purchasing decisions. Product reviews can help you with your market research, giving you insights into changes that need to be made, product-wise.
How to Manage Reviews
Reviews offer you a way to find out more about your online reputation. Building reviews into your after sales process is highly recommended. Negative reviews can highlight your customers’ pain points and help you improve your customer service or offerings.
Responding to reviews is an opportunity to start conversations with customers. It’s a way to show that customer feedback is taken seriously and can turn naysayers into advocates. That’s only if the reviewers are dealt with in the right way. It may not pay you to respond to all your negative or positive reviews.
Publishing Your Reviews
Choosing where and how to publish reviews is an essential part of your review strategy. Some review platforms give you more control and flexibility than others. It makes sense to publish reviews on third party sites because customers often head to several portals to get a better impression of your brand.
As part of your customer review strategy, it is recommended to ensure that reviews are consistent across different sites, and a reputation management tool can help you do this.
Your customer review strategy should also include showcasing your reviews in your online marketing, displaying them at as many customer touch points as possible. Places to consider include:
- On social media: Post your favorite reviews on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to remind customers of your great service and products.
- In your email signature: Add your review badge to your email signature to illustrate your reputation and give messages more authority.
- As part of your video marketing campaign: Find short reviews that are easy to read in a video.
- In ads: Featuring star reviews can increase ads’ effectiveness, so use them on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google to boost brand awareness.
The future of work is taking place increasingly online, and this is also where the reputation of your brand will be sealed. Online review sites are where your potential customers will head in order to find out more about your company.
Take into consideration your target audience and the resources you have available when deciding how to collect, manage, and publish your reviews. Reviews are an essential part of your marketing strategy, and your continued improvement as a business. So make sure you nurture them well.
About the Author
Sam O’Brien is the Senior Website Optimisation & User Experience Manager for EMEA at RingCentral, a Global VoIP Service, video conferencing and call centre software provider. Sam has a passion for innovation and loves exploring ways to collaborate more with dispersed teams. He has written for websites such as SAP and Revenue River. Here is his LinkedIn.