“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy.” – Michael LeBoeuf, Business Author
Is this time of the year when you are revising a marketing strategy to promote your brand, products, and services? In this highly competitive market where customer preferences and demands change daily, standing out and attracting customers to your brand can be a tough task. To make matters more challenging for businesses, customers have become savvy, educated and knowledgeable about products, pricing and competition. Before making a purchase they go through a thorough research to make an educated decision. This is why it is so important to build trust and credibility for your brand. But the question is – HOW?
One of the important ways to generate credibility and trust for your brand is by inviting and monitoring customer reviews. Incorporate such reviews in your marketing channels, be it on your website, blogs, social media sites, or business listing sites such as Yelp, Google My Business, Bing Places – and your business will gain better visibility and competitive advantage quickly.
Why are customer reviews important?
Happy customers are your best bet when it comes to building credibility and trust about your brand. Even statistics point out to this aspect wherein around 70% of consumers read customer reviews before taking a decision on purchasing (Source: Moresocialsuccesspartners.com). Also, customers seem to spend more time on a business website (around 31%) which shows good customer reviews. As mentioned earlier, potential customers rely on reviews to gauge the quality of products and services. So, ideally you should facilitate the sharing of any positive experience by customers on your online hub and social media portals. This will generate a positive vibe about your company and help you reach out to the potential as well as existing customers with confidence. Make sure that a high percentage of your online marketing campaigns focus exclusively on customer reviews.
Benefits of positive customer reviews
Improve business visibility: When the market is choc-a-bloc with products and services that are similar to yours, rising above the clutter can be a challenge. However, should you promote the positive reviews received from your customers on social media platforms and business listing websites, the credibility of your brand takes a leap of faith in the minds of potential customers. Such reviews and testimonials will garner a better visibility than your competitors.
Build reputation: There are brands that are instantly recognizable by customers such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Subway, Amazon, and Coca Cola among others. These brands did not become the big names overnight but achieved credibility and trust among the customers over a period of time. A large part of their success was due to the positive experience and feedback of their clients. The satisfied customers, on their part, helped build the reputation of the brand through the word of mouth. So, should you want to focus on the reputation management of your business, publish glowing testimonials of customers on your site and other online channels. It would be better if you add the names and pictures or videos of your satisfied customers/clients (with their full consent.)
This cliché coined phrase can be applied to fake reviews as well… Some companies may resort to gimmicks like posting fake customer reviews. These can be counterproductive as discerning customers can easily identify such reviews. One can identify fake reviews in the following ways.
- The reviewer(s) will always give positive reviews mostly in highly exaggerated glowing terms.
- The reviews will appear in more or less a similar time span.
- Check profiles of reviewers on social media accounts and try to establish connection with them; you may find such accounts to be fake
How do marketing agencies increase reviews authentically?
- Create professionally optimized business listings on Yelp, Google My Business, Review Centre, Trust Pilot, MouthShut etc.
- Ensure the process to post reviews is simple and convenient.
- Send out automated requests for reviews to all new customers.
- Monitor reviews regularly.
- Respond quickly and professionally to any review – positive or negative.
In a marketplace with changing dynamics of customer preferences, customer reviews underpin your marketing campaigns and help drive sales. Expanding your sales funnel and driving conversions can be best achieved when customer reviews are factored in your overall marketing strategy. Monitor reviews in your online/digital marketing strategy and use them as a marketing tool to increase sales. Build a positive halo around your business.