Getting reviews from your customers is only the first step. A good collection of reviews should be distributed wherever it makes sense in the online buying process. It makes you look more trustworthy and increases the chance that people will buy from you. Here’s our suggestion on how to create a review strategy that works, including a live presentation from Trustpilot’s co-founder and CEO, Peter Mühlmann.
The buying decision doesn’t just take place on your website. There’s a lot of external input that can influence whether a potential customer will complete the check out or not. Perhaps your web visitor asks for recommendations on social media and gets other suggestions, the web visitor checks out price comparison sites in search of a cheaper offer, or the web visitor reads reviews from other customers to find out if a company is credible. All this happens beyond the reach of your control. The customer has full control, so the best thing you can do is provide the information they are looking for. Customers will do their homework, so you better make it easier for them, wherever it makes sense in the buying process.
The first step in your review strategy should be to set up a process to collect reviews from your customers. Don’t be afraid of your customers badmouthing you. A few disappointed customers may write a negative review. They had a bad experience, thus they are motivated to leave you a bad review. But if you give all your customers a reason to give you feedback, you will notice a significant increase in reviews – and given that you are running a sound business, you’ll see that the majority of reviews are positive.
Make sure your review strategy includes collecting reviews as an ongoing process. A one-off email blast to your customer base won’t cut it. If you’ve only got a bunch of 6 month old reviews and nothing else, it will look suspicious to your potential customers.
Now where to put all that praise from your customers? The simple answer: Anywhere your potential customer could drop by. Google and Facebook are hard to avoid here. The majority of all buying processes start on a search engine, and a recent study shows that half of site visitors are logged in on Facebook while shopping online. Finally, you should display customer reviews on your own website to show new visitors that you care. Print ads, merchandise, outdoor or even TV ads are other creative ways we’ve seen companies use to display their reviews. So if it makes sense to convince people that you are credible outside of the confines of a computer, you should not limit yourself.
Don’t underestimate the power of distribution in your review strategy. Decisions are being made so many other places than on your website, so in general: The broader the distribution of your reviews the better chances are that potential customers will trust you. Do you think a wide distribution is information overload? If you do it well and don’t push the message, it isn’t. In fact, the target audience will regard you as a more transparent organization if they come across customer reviews in different places.
I hope you are inspired to build and launch a review strategy. Trustpilot CEO, Peter Mühlmann recently gave this presentation where you’ll find even more useful tips and hints to get started. Your 30 minutes are well spent.
If you have experiences to share or are in doubt about anything in regard to review strategies, you are most welcome to leave a comment.