Ways to leverage positive online reviews

Only one in ten consumers find product manufacturers or service providers to be their most trusted source.
Only one in ten consumers find product manufacturers or service providers to be their most trusted source.

Many consumers prefer to turn to independent sources to access information rather than go directly to the businesses. In a study Deloitte found that for a majority of consumers, family and friends, consumer reviews and independent experts are the most trusted sources of information.

By Vishrut Chalsani

There is no doubt that reviews have been a very important part of our decision making when buying a product or availing a service, but with the proliferation of the Internet, the scope and impact have increased manifold. With ratings and reviews becoming commonplace, anyone and everyone can now express their views and influence someone else’s buying decision.

Many consumers prefer to turn to independent sources to access information rather than go directly to the businesses. In a study Deloitte found that for a majority of consumers, family and friends, consumer reviews and independent experts are the most trusted sources of information. Only one in ten consumers find product manufacturers or service providers to be their most trusted source.

It is easy to see that online reviews are quickly becoming the best form of marketing for a brand with a power to, in fact, make or break a business. There are countless examples where negative reviews have dealt a crumbling blow for a business. The question is how do you turn happy customers into brand ambassadors and leverage on your positive online reviews?

The first trick is to keep a close watch on the forums that host such reviews. If you are in the restaurant business, keeping a close watch on sites like Zomato is very important. If you do your business through e-commerce sites, make sure you get favorable reviews for your product or service on these sites. For hotels, sites like Tripadvisor and others need to be carefully monitored. Google your business or your brand name once in a while to get a clearer idea on consumer perception.

Leveraging positive reviews

Show gratitude – For the positive reviews, it is always important to thank your reviewer for the kind words. This makes the consumer feel special and conveys that the brand cares about its customers. However, it is equally important to take cognizance of the negative reviews by trying to address the grievance that the reviewer may have. Every business has scope for improvement and by admitting to genuine shortcomings, a brand should look at mitigating the fallout of any negative feedback.

Shout outs – If the reviewer can be found on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, a brand should show its gratitude by thanking them on their profile. Everyone likes a little bit of recognition and a reviewer will only feel good to be acknowledged for the effort he or she has made in writing the review.

Link it to your website – Unbiased, independent, third party reviews are the best testimonials a brand can receive and it is important for you to highlight it to the audience that log in to your website. Have a small collection of positive reviews about what happy customers are saying about your product or service on your website to build credibility.

Booster dose for your marketing – Positive reviews should not be merely limited to your website. As stated earlier, positive reviews are in fact is a great source marketing and a brand should use it in their advertising, marketing materials, emails to prospective clients and possibly every facet of marketing initiative.

Reach out to reviewers – As a brand you can also reach out to reviewers to extent the scope of the engagement. This can, perhaps be, through a video where the reviewer talks about what he or she liked about the product or service. By giving a face to the review, a brand can add greater trustworthiness to the review. These reviews can then take the form of success stories as videos are a great way of storytelling and a better platform for such experiential content.

Role of social CRM:Social CRM tools can play a pivotal role in amplifying the positive message. While social CRM tools are generally used to spot and respond to messages and issues emerging on online social platforms, it can also be used to spot positive reviews.

Social CRM tools can be used to find positive reviews, determine its impact and the influence it can have on potential consumers. Social CRM tools help capture and share the positive mentions around your brand to your prospective customers and followers. It also allows you to customize (either manually or programmatically by API in real time) how positive mentions from various sources are organized and which mentions to feature from thousands of reviews that can be spread across the vast world wide web.

The author is VP Enterprise Sales and Co-Founder, Onedirect.in

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