Word of mouth has always been a powerful marketing tool, and now that word of mouth has gone digital, that power has only multiplied. A recent Nielsen report found that more than 80% of consumers trust recommendations and reviews from their family and friends – no surprise. What may be more surprising is that 2/3 trust online recommendations and reviews from people they don’t even know.
How do marketers harness the power of consumer reviews? By following two simple steps.
- Focus on what and where
It’s great to get five-star reviews, don’t get me wrong. But should we be asking customers to share a bit more about their experiences with us? Looks like it.
And where do we want customers to be sharing these (hopefully) positive personal stories and pro/con lists? Well, given their importance to local search, Google reviews are the place to start. Once you get Google going, you’ll want to focus on the most trusted online sources for reviews, which, according to AdWeek are Facebook, retail sites themselves and Pinterest.
- Make it easy
Now that we know the kinds of things we want customers to say and where we want them to say it, we marketers have to not only encourage reviews but also make them as easy as possible. A great way to do this is an idea from Search Engine Watch – on your company’s website, set up a feedback/review landing page with links to all the major sites on which you want a review, in order of importance, along with directions to users on how to access each site. You can then drive customers to this one place in emails, in-store signage, receipts, etc.
Any other thoughts on how to encourage online customer reviews?
2 thoughts on “Getting Online Reviews – A Two-Step Approach”
I’m most inclined to post a review while in the middle of the customer experience. If given a small incentive to write a review after a meal at a restaurant or after attending an event, I’d be happy to do it. A bounce back offer would be appealing too.
I think a good strategy for customer reviews is to request specific feedback. If there is a new dish being previewed, perhaps the review page will ask, “what did you think of today’s special?” Another thing that I’ve noticed with reviews is that brands cringe at less than positive reviews, however, even negative reviews should be taken as constructive criticism and used to improve business process and build better customer relationships.