The power of word of mouth has long been extolled by marketers far and wide as one of the strongest, most cost-effective tools in gaining new customers and increasing brand awareness. A recommendation of a product or service from a friend, peer or associate is almost as good as a ‘done deal’.
So, in today’s modern connected world of online communications and social media (Facebook is regularly getting over 1 billion users daily), where does the traditional word of mouth stand? Please step forward and go straight to the top of the class ‘Online Review’. As once stated by social media expert Brian Solis “Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it”.
Online product or service reviews make a big impact on purchasers’ expectations and decisions. A survey from PowerReviews says that buyers not only look to online reviews for more information, but the majority (57%) prefer to visit e-commerce sites that offer reviews. They also noted that 90% of buyers stated that buying decisions were influenced by online reviews. Ratings and reviews scored second only to price as the most important consideration affecting a purchase decision in the survey.
To help your organization attract more and improve your online reviews, Nellie Alkap on Forbes put together 6 simple steps to get customers to review your business online:
1. Setup profiles on multiple review sites.
Consider all the sites that are relevant to your business, e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, LinkedIn to name a few. Also try to get your product listed on partners App stores or market places.
2. Ask your customers.
Might seem like a no brainer, but the easiest way to increase your reviews is just to simply ask!
3. Make it easy to leave reviews.
Unless someone has a negative experience to share, the average customer is not going to look for ways to leave your company a review. That’s why you need to ask them to post a review and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places; for example, a follow-up email, newsletter, and your website.
4. Incentivise reviews, but don’t buy
Often offering a small incentive is a good way to show your appreciation to loyal customers.
5.Thank your reviewers.
Again, a relatively simple task, but one often ignored by organizations.
6. Make reviews a part of your overall work processes.
Make sure that all customer service and sales employees understand the importance of soliciting reviews from the customers they work with.