Here's how online reviews can help you drive traffic, improve customer service, increase sales, and make you a customer's first choice online and offline.
The voice of the consumer has never been more important in this digital age. Online competition among retailers is fiercely competitive, with 89% of consumers checking reviews as part of their online buying journey, the effective management of a successful reviews strategy is a key component to any digital marketing efforts.
Trust among consumers is at an all-time low, with the rise of “fake news”, Trustpilot has observed an 11% decrease in trust globally this year alone. Social proof is a concept no doubt as old as marketing itself, with the sharp decline in trust, social proof has never been more important and people consult this in a variety of ways.
A comment about you, your business, or even your product by definition is social proof, so by displaying positive feedback from a third-party and independent platform such as Trustpilot reinforces that you listen and care about your customers.
You don’t need to employ another member of staff or dramatically up your personal workload, the management of Trustpilot is beautifully simple, yet effective and you’ll be provided with a magnitude of business tools and dedicated support to enable you to extract the most value.
How do I manage the feedback I receive?
The most crucial thing to remember is that feedback of any sort about your business whether that be positive or negative is arguably the most insightful piece of content you could ask for. It’ll help you continually improve your product offering, service levels, and even help you get a leg-up on the competition.
It’s worth knowing that no Trustpilot review is ever set in stone, so if you genuinely have dropped the ball and a negative review is posted… don’t panic! We are all human and make mistakes, but the way in which you deal with this situation demonstrates to everyone and even prospective customers that you are a company that cares, so if the worst does happen, you will be there to remedy the situation.
We recommend a well written public reply within 24 hours of the negative review being posted ideally, you can then take the conversation offline and deal with the specifics. If the issue is rectified, the reviewer actually has the option to update and edit their review from say a 1 star to a 4/5 star review to reflect your efforts.
One last point we would add on this topic is not to overlook your happy customers, it’s recommended for you to reply to all reviews, this has been proved to increase the lifetime value of your customers and boost loyalty, it adds a really nice personal touch to the experience.
What are the different types of reviews I can collect?
There are two types of reviews a business can look to use, the most common one being service reviews and the other one being product reviews, which are entirely relevant to the product itself.
Service reviews encompass the overarching experience your customer has received, from their interaction with the website itself, right through to the packaging or end result.
These reviews are extremely versatile, they can be shared across your social channels such as Facebook and Instagram, used in your newsletter or email signatures, and even utilised in offline marketing materials, plus much more! This review type will be housed on Trustpilot.com allowing anyone to view the profile you’ve been curating.
These reviews also interact with Google Ads advertising, once you receive 100 verified reviews on Trustpilot, at an average star rating of 3.5 or more, Google will award you with Google Seller Ratings, which appear as the gold stars on your paid listing, which can improve CTR and even reduce CPC – a huge asset to your paid marketing strategy.
Product reviews, this is feedback solely focused on the product, whether that be the packaging it came in, size, colour, or even effectiveness – it provides an extreme deep-dive from a real customer and user which is invaluable.
Through the tools on offer from Trustpilot, businesses can identify critiques or areas for improvement, allowing your products to always be the best they possibly can be. On top of this, product reviews are an awesome contributor to SEO, Trustpilot allows you to host the product review content in the form of one of our SEO enabled Trustboxes, housing the user-generated content which Google absolutely loves.
Importantly with us, we do not host the product reviews directly like some of our competitors, we leave that to the business to enable them to retain and benefit from the SEO power. The most popular being Rich Snippets, the Gold Stars that appear on organic search that draw the eye to the individual product listing. This can increase CTR by 35% on we have found!
Authenticity or perfection?
Did you know that it is as high as 49% of us believe certain brands are guilty of manipulating their own reviews to improve their reputation?
Trustpilot is a free and open platform, meaning that a person with a valid product or service experience can leave a review, without having to be invited. This is a completely different setup to many review providers out there and miles apart from company collected testimonials which nearly half of us are sceptical of their authenticity.
Trustpilot is independent of both business and consumer, we sit in the middle policing correct use of our platform and eradicating any fake or fraudulent reviews a person or business might be trying to leave. This all contributes to making Trustpilot the world’s most powerful review platform, we receive a new review every 2 seconds!
Don’t get too hung up about collecting loads and loads of reviews, people want to see honesty, they want to see how a business deals with an issue, so if they are that unlucky one at least they can take solace in the fact they’ll be looked after and listened to. So appropriately interacting with your reviews is paramount to anyone checking up on you, consumers also want to understand why someone has left a negative review so they can cast judgment on the scale of an issue.
We’ve all checked TripAdvisor before booking a hotel before, even if that hotel is accredited at 4 or even 5 stars, we want to see what people have complained about, if the worst thing a person has to say about a 5-star hotel, for example, is that their towels weren’t folded like a swan upon arrival… you can guarantee you’ll no doubt have a rather pleasant stay!
Lastly, you need to invite all of your customers to leave you a review, even if they choose not to, the gesture shows that you care, it signals to everyone that you welcome the feedback, warts and all. It’s very rare that a company is able to improve their product or service offering through a positive review, it’s fair to say that the 4 and 5-star reviews almost certainly contain wholly positive sentiment.
If you turn a blind eye to your unhappy customers, you’re at a real risk of always being just that little bit behind your competitors, and of course, will no doubt lose the chance for that individual to shop with you again. So we advise you to listen, learn, and repeat!
How can I start collecting, what are the options open to me?
Trustpilot has a rather comprehensive free plan for any business looking to start their online review strategy. It allows you to respond, report, invite, integrate, and even share across your social media channels – plus a fair chunk more.
If and when you outgrow this option, our paid plan starts at just £199 per month, it’s structured on a modulised basis, meaning that any business actually has 12 different options to choose from and add-in to enable them to grow and reach their personal goals.
In essence, enabling a really comprehensive and consultative tool to complement your online strategy. You can also opt to arrange a live demo with one of our Trusties who will tailor it completely to your needs and industry, showing you how your competitors use us and what impact in terms of ROI and success they’re extracting for example.
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