The Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Reviews
Chris Whife 14th November 2016
Traditional advertising has taken a number of significant hits over the last few years. what with streaming radio and television, online ad blocking software and the option to pay to enjoy ad-free entertainment, it’s becoming harder and harder for companies to advertise their wares to consumers.
We’ve chatted at length about using content and social media marketing to get your message across, but today I want to discuss one of the most powerful – yet precarious – tools at your disposal: the customer review.
The internet gives anyone and everyone a voice, from a high school student to a blue-collar worker, to the CEO of a multinational corporation and when it comes to opinions, everyone’s carries some weight. As a result, more people trust the reviews of any given product, application, service, entertainment venue, movie, music or just about anything you can think of before they trust what the advertising and marketing has to say.
It’s quite simple: advertising and marketing has an agenda, and that agenda is to sell your product. while this is fair and understood, customers want more than just your side of the story. They want to know what regular people, just like them, think of the product before they spend money on it.
What this has lead to, unfortunately, is a lot of dishonest practices. Many companies now pay for positive reviews, making such reviews untrustworthy, or, less ethical still, hire a marketing company to write positive reviews for them. sadly for these companies, the internet’s b.s.-o’meter is very finely tuned, and these fake reviews can damage your reputation more than a few negative, yet genuine, ones. So what to do?
Pay, but don’t dictate
By all means, send products to reviewers, and pay for a review. Don’t insist on a positive one, however. If you simply ask for an honest review and pay regardless, you are more likely to get honest, usable feedback. Many reviewers will even come back to you if they Feel the product is poor, and give you a chance to improve it first.
If someone leaves a negative review, do NOT delete it. You will do far better to respond, and ask how you can improve. A genuine reviewer will be more likely to respond positively to your willingness to improve, rather than shut them down.
Take it to heart
Yes, there will always be the infamous trolls, but with a bit of practice, you will soon be able to tell the difference between trolls and genuinely dissatisfied customers, pay attention to what the latter say, and if your product or service needs improvement, do it. Not only will you be putting out a better product, but you will develop a positive reputation for putting customer needs first.
Use customer reviews to your advantage by never artificially manipulating them. while it is tempting, it simply isn’t worth gaining a reputation for unreliable, untrustworthy reviews. Build a reputation for being a company that listens to customers, and you will be ahead of the game.