Don’t be an Ostrich. While it can be frightening waiting to hear what a professional critic or your customers think of your company or your products, you need to know. There is no point just putting your head in the sand and hoping everything will be ok. By the time you notice something is wrong, it might be too late to make a change. Being aware of review feedback can be a handy early warning system for new and established businesses alike.
Reviews should be a key part of your marketing plan. Engaging with customers and getting their input can help shape your business. Even bad reviews can be positive. For example, a customer might highlight a problem in your supply chain of which you are unaware. This could be something relatively easy to change. Of course, you will never be able to please everyone; some customers won’t like your product, but you can still thank them for feedback.
Many people base their purchasing decisions on what other people have said. What might have once been done by word of mouth or from looking in Which? magazine now takes place online. Reviews can be left on various platforms, including Google and Trust Pilot. Unofficial reviews could just be angry posts on Twitter or Facebook. It is time to embrace their potential. You might find out something you want to hear. Think about the market research budget you could be saving.
The fate of some establishments and products has been in professional critics’ hands since their inception. Think of restaurants, theatres, movies, and books, to name but a few. The publishing industry sends advance copies of books to these critics hoping for favorable write-ups in a newspaper or magazine. They then incorporate these reviews into their jacket design and use them to sell to the public.
More recently, the online casino business has used this model to grow their businesses from a standing start rapidly. What is so important in this area is for potential gamblers to feel they can trust the company they are placing their money with. So punters can check out all the new slots in the UK in one place. They can see the pros and cons at a glance and find out where to play their favorite game safely. In turn, the online casino will show off its rating to attract more customers.
While there might not be a professional review scheme for your industry, consider getting your products into the hands of social media influencers.
Peer-to-Peer Reviews – third-party platforms
This is where a member of the public feeds back on a public forum. For example, if you sell on a website like eBay, Amazon, or Depop, the buyer gives feedback based on the products they bought. A third-party platform manages the reviews. Airbnb operates similarly for holiday accommodation, but the host also has the chance to review the guests, which is an interesting twist. Airbnb also allows for private feedback, which offers a personal touch and can be less brutal.
Whatever the review, the advice is to respond. Be polite and thank customers for their feedback. Decide if any remedial action needs to be taken and whether the criticism is justified. If a customer has had a bad experience, you might want to offer them an incentive to get them to try out your service again. If they have left a good review, remember to reward them in the future.
Peer-to-Peer Reviews – Review Sites
Anyone can leave feedback about your business on sites like Google or Trust Pilot. To ensure you monitor genuine feedback, you might want to send a link to your customer after the goods or service has been delivered. If your website is set up so that these reviews are embedded, customers can see what the public thinks. When you get great reviews, remember to share them across social media.