Your brand reflects your reviews
Well I finished 2015 on a high with news from TripAdvisor that I am in the ‘top 15%’
Apparently my reviews (all eight of them) have received 7,143 readers, making me one of the most popular reviewers in Exeter! And this doesn’t include my four reviews of places from a recent trip to the US.
My eight reviews span two years but my last three reviews were at the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016 and cover three weeks in The United States.
So why the increase in reviews?
Having just returned from a great trip through California, Nevada and Arizona it was good to receive the same fantastic customer service that I‘d experienced 10 years ago when I last visited the States.
However, this time I could share my experiences visually via Social Media but also I could show my appreciation via TripAdvisor.com. In the States, Yelp.com is popular for reviews and feedback but I had TripAdvisor so continued to use it.
Wherever we went there was always a positive greeting and interest in what we were doing or what we wanted. The cynics amongst you will argue its because they want your money, and yes they do, but I also think in the US it comes from other influences as well:
There is a strong sense of pride in the US about their country. About half of the US states require the pledge of allegiance to be recited during school. Children can opt out and legally no one is required to make the pledge but many do. This most certainly leads to a sense of pride about their country which they want to share with visitors. I think this then leads to a desire to ensure visitors understand and appreciate their country and this is partly achieved via providing positive experiences. There is also the desire to always be the best at everything from sport through to business.
Poor service hits the pocket in the US, particularly in states that do not have minimum wage requirements. California does have minimum wage requirements but nearly all the service we experienced was top notch and led to a suitable tip. The incentive is still there to receive the service we all expect but don’t always receive. There was only one restaurant we didn’t tip (Lulu in Palm Springs) which was because the service was so notably worse than else where – I did leave a review but yet to receive a response.
Review first, buy second
In the 2015 survey ‘The Power of reviews’, by Retail Dive, ratings and reviews scored second only to price as the most important consideration affecting a purchase decision in the survey; recommendations from family and friends, product brand, and free shipping had less influence. Those 18 to 44 were 61% more likely to trust consumer reviews over friends and family.
A trend of good reviews creates trust between your business and the potential customer.
Use the feedback and develop a review strategy
For years brands have wanted customer feedback to see how to evolve their business, services and improve their standards. Online reviews are an ideal way of harnessing feedback to improve your business and your online presence.
As part of any Digital Marketing strategy we recommend having the processes to respond to feedback, both positive and negative. Know and understand the platforms used to give reviews and if possible include the feedback on your own site.
Consumers like to see a balance of feedback but naturally the trend needs to be positive. If not then respond to the review and address the issue.
Don’t forget to make it easy to leave reviews on your products and services, as this will increase the number of reviews you receive. This involves including a stage (free text box or series of questions) or link during the purchase/delivery cycle to respond with.
Evolving your Digital and Review Strategy
Need some guidance on incorporating a Review Strategy within your Marketing and Digital channels? Please do get in touch with your questions or have a chat with out Digital Strategy team.
Author: Henry Sanford
Henry is an experienced online communications consultant who has worked with a number of FTSE 100/250 companies, helping them to communicate with their key stakeholders. He heads up our Digital and Corporate Reporting teams, and is interested in all gadgets that make life simpler. A fan of all sport, he is often seen supporting the Exeter Chiefs most weekends but without the headdress and tomahawk!