Posts by Anthony Congdon:
- Business Collaboration Services
- Direct Marketing
- Industry Solutions
- Its not about us
- Location Based Services
- Marketing Strategy
- Online Reputation Management
- Sales Training & Development
- Social Media
- Website Effectiveness
You’ve done the hard work securing some great customer reviews. Now what?
It’s tempting to think that you’ve done the hard work and now you can put your feet up, and let the sales roll in. Surely customers will see your 5 star rating on Google (or Facebook) and start buying right away??
Nope, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, getting a load of five star reviews is only half the job. Now you’ve got to make sure that the right people see them at the right time in their buying journey.
There is. That’s by turbocharging your great reviews into new customer conversations.
Turbo Charge Your Reviews
A turbocharger takes the energy from your car’s exhaust to compress more air into the engine’s combustion change, creating more power, and more exhaust…a positive feedback loop. Your reviews can do exactly the same thing for your business. Sharing these reviews from current customers with prospective ones at just the right time in the buying cycle boosts confidence and trust, and ultimately sales, leading to more sales and eventually more reviews.
The ultimate goal of marketing is to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Consumers trust the word of friends and families over advertisements any day of the week. If you get great reviews online, this word-of-mouth “free” marketing messaging is a gold mine.
“92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.”
Here are 12 easy ways to use great reviews to generate even more business.
Our Top 12 Ways to Use Great Reviews
Take those great reviews and repurpose them into winning the hearts and minds of your customers.
1. Display Reviews on Your Website
We all know how important it is to display testimonials on your website. Testimonials give potential customers confidence you’re the right company to do business with. Instead of only using testimonials on your website, use your great reviews.
Great reviews should be visible on every page of your website, not just one. Rather than muddy the marketing waters, choose one review for each page. That’s easy when visitors are going from one page to another; they don’t feel bombarded with a string of reviews that become intrusive.
By using a different testimonial or review on one page at a time, it’s a subtle reminder to visitors that you are a great company to do business with. One testimonial or review per page is better than many testimonials on one page. It’s the frequency of great reviews that dives deep into the consumer’s subconscious mind.
The review to the left is has been polled directly from Google and displayed in this post as an example of this..
The review above is has been polled directly from Google and displayed in this post as an example of this.
2. Use Reviews as a Market Research Exercise
Feedback and market research is how you make sure what you offer is what consumers want and need. It can cost a fortune to employ a market research company and for most small businesses conducting a survey is just another job on an endless to-do list. Reviews and testimonials are an easy effective way to ensure your product and service offerings are hitting the mark.
Think of reviews as feedback as they give you insight into what you are doing well and what may need to change. For instance, should you get constant poor reviews about a particular product or service, this indicates a problem. These insights are vital to keeping your product and service offering fresh and relevant.
3. Use Reviews as Case Studies
When you get great reviews, it means you’ve done something right. You’ve made a difference in someone’s life, personally, professionally, or in business. By taking a great review, you can turn this into a case study as social proof that you offer solutions that work.
Consumers love case studies. It’s because they can then see what problems your solutions resolve or what opportunities your solutions provide. A case study is simply an analysis of a problem or an opportunity and how your products and services offered the right solution for that customer.
Consider every review as a potential case study as a great way to showcase what you do well.
4. Use Reviews in Your Marketing Material
Never let great reviews pass without considering how to use them in all your marketing efforts. Add the review or testimonial in brochures, sales sheets, along with other marketing collateral. Anytime you give out a brochure or sales sheet, you are reaffirming to potential customers, your products or services helped others with the same problems or opportunities they are seeking.
5. Print Reviews on Your Business Cards
When you include one of your top reviews on your business cards, it makes a lasting impression. According to Social Media Today, 88% of consumers trust online reviews and regard them as personal recommendations. Reviews give your business card an extra level of credibility. That means instead of tossing the business card in the trash, consumers will keep the card as they will see it as having more value.
6. Attach Reviews to Your Pricing Packages
You want consumers to see the value in your product and service offerings, not just the price. When you attach reviews to your pricing packages, you are essentially building trust and confidence that your pricing structure means value for money.
8. Use Reviews To Drive Conversions
Anytime you send out an email or have a lead magnet download on your website, use reviews to help consumers take action. All your Call to Action (CTAs) should include a short review to help drive conversions. If someone is sitting on the fence and not sure if they want to push the button, a great review near the CTA is what might get them over the line.
Ensure that you use a testimonial or review that’s relevant to the product, services, or download you wish to promote.
7. Showcase Reviews on Your Blog
Every time you write a blog, consider if you have a great review hidden away that is aligned with your blog title and content. By incorporating reviews and testimonials or even a mini case study, builds your credibility. Reviews and testimonials weaved into a blog article give social proof you are a great company to do business with.
9. Highlight Reviews Via Video
As promotional videos are becoming increasingly popular, why not use this as another opportunity to showcase why people are happy with your products and service offerings. Live video reviews are more engaging and resonate with potential customers.
Consumers relate to people giving live testimonials on video more than just in print. That’s because consumers can relate to a real person as opposed to words on a page or website.
Like written reviews, be sure to scatter video testimonials throughout the website – not just on a single page. Avoid using more than one on each page to keep up consumer interest.
10. Include Reviews in Your Email Communication
Never let an opportunity showcase your business, especially when it comes to email communications. Choose a favorite customer review and add it to your email signature.
Change them up from time to time, especially when sending out emails to your subscriber list. This is a gentle reminder that you are the right company to keep on doing business with.
Ensure that the testimonial message is aligned with your mass communication objective.
Check out the Google Marketing Kit which will help you create social ready posts using your Google Reviews…
11. Share Them on Social Media
Remember any time when preparing social media posts, include the great reviews and testimonials you’ve received. This is just another way to boost credibility. In addition to looking at the number of followers or likes your page has, consumers will naturally look at your reviews. Make sure any reviews are readable and prominent.
12. Reviews are a Great Morale Booster
Positive reviews are great for morale. There’s nothing having your people acknowledge with fantastic reviews. It helps them to work harder at getting even better reviews by delivering exceptional service.
Using great reviews as a marketing strategy is vital to the continued success of any business. When customers are looking to finalize a purchase decision, it is often a great review to persuade them to push the purchase button.
Managing your reviews forms part of an overarching reputation management strategy. At Rethink Marketing, we understand the power reviews have on bringing credibility to your business. We also know the damage poor reviews can have. Contact us today to find out how best to manage your online reputation and turn every great review into a new customer magnet.
Build customer confidence with online reviews
At Rethink Marketing we have developed a proven system and strategies that help small businesses earn a reputation. We help you mitigate against or remove negative reviews, earn new positive reviews, and establish a long-term strategy for review management.
Manage your online business reviews with Rethink Marketing
Rethink Marketing specialises in reputation management for local businesses
At Rethink Marketing, our online reputation specialists will work with you to develop a strategy to ensure your business reviews are managed properly. We’ll start with an indepth audit of your review profile, and based on this identify a plan to address your reviews across many sites. Here is a high level view of what we do for you:
- Respond to poor reviews
- Take action on defamatory reviews
- Report and follow up fake reviews
- Gain new positive reviews
- Outreach and strategy
- Monitor for new reviews across the web
- Implement strategies that allow for your reviews to be prominently displayed at important junctures on your customers journey
We’ll find the most important sites where we can best leverage reviews for your business and industry, and put a plan into action. Our Online Reputation Management specialist ensures the reviews you earn are well placed and leveraged to earn you new customers and build trust.
At Rethink Marketing, we are committed to helping businesses thrive and recognise the vital role of trust and credibility in building your brand.
Your business’s online reputation is essential, so make sure you are working with an online reputation management firm committed to making a difference. Contact us today to learn more.
I visited Ferguson Falls Winery recently, and at the front door was a sign which said “After so many people told us our Pizza is the best they have ever had we started to keep a tally – 3097”
With social proof like that at the front door, my tastebuds had decided the only thing to order was pizza, and pretty soon they were adding one more to the tally.
The psychological trigger that this sign had on me got me thinking about how much we rely on the opinion of others to make decisions. In marketing language, we call this social proof, and it can take many forms, reviews, testimonials, or recommendations.
Why Reviews are Important
We are all a little afraid of asking for feedback because we don’t like the thought of being judged. Human nature of course. However, reviews are critical to the success of a , even if the reviews aren’t what you wanted or expected.
As a small , your is your baby. You spent years conceiving of the , risking everything just to get started. Only those behind the scene know of the blood, sweat, and tears it took to launch. Not to mention the hard work that goes into building a to be proud of only to be hit one day with a single .
A single , while bad for you, is also good for your . If you received one out of 100, you wouldn’t need to be too concerned. Like the coffee story above, it’s only one person’s opinion. But what if you kept on getting bad reviews. Perhaps it’s time to sit up and take notice.
It can be difficult to do, but by focusing on the trends, rather than the individual data points, you get a much better picture of how your is performing.
Tracking your star rating, and the number of reviews you are receiving allows you to see whether the service you offer to your customers is improving or not.
Reviews Allow You to Pivot
Think about two very famous failures in . Nokia and Blockbuster Videos.
Nokia was the market leader in the mobile phone marketplace in 2006. They had invested heavily in Symbian OS and wanted customers to love them. Unfortunately, as anyone who had one of these first-generation smartphones will tell you the OS was horrible, and if the reviews of this phone are anything to go by, customers certainly let Nokia know! Nokia’s sunk costs influenced their ability to hear what their customers wanted, and they stopped listening. The Android OS was freely available and they could have made the switch, but they chose to “stay the course” with an operating system that customers didn’t like. The rest of the story is now history.
Kodak was once the premier provider in the world of photography. After a century of market dominance, they were forced into bankruptcy in 2012. This happened because Kodak executives were convinced that digital cameras wouldn’t take off and no one wants to look at their photos on a phone or their television set.
As Netflix entered the market – this was the beginning of the end of Blockbuster. By 2010 Blockbuster went bankrupt and today Netflix is a 28 billion dollar .
Perhaps these businesses should have listened to what the market was telling them.
While you aren’t Nokia or Blockbuster, it’s vital you listen to the feedback of your customers and potential customers. Poor reviews are just as important as great reviews. They give you the feedback you need to thrive. If you continue to receive feedback that is negative, perhaps it’s time to analyze what you are doing well and what you aren’t doing well. It may be time to pivot and change up your product mix, pricing, and your service standards to remain competitive.
Reviews Provide You With Insight
If you aren’t delivering what the market wants or needs, perhaps you are in the wrong . If your isn’t up to scratch, perhaps it’s time to invest in training. If you aren’t delivering the quality, speed, or price your customers want, perhaps it’s time to analyze your product and service offering.
On the other hand, it’s equally helpful to receive feedback on what you are doing well and why customers love you. Great reviews give you bragging rights and provide you with an opportunity to leverage these in all your marketing collateral and on your website.
Carefully monitoring your and reputation allows you to develop insight into how your customers view your offerings. While big businesses often have teams of marketing experts conducting research and spinning the results, your secret weapon as a is your ability to listen and adjust course.
Every offers an insight, the question is are your willing to listen and take note of reviews.
Listen to Your Reviews
We need to listen to our customers to find out what they want or need. Markets don’t sit still. We saw this during the 2020 pandemic where businesses had to adjust to a new way of thinking.
With lock-downs, bricks-and-mortar businesses suffered. They had to scramble and come up with innovative ways to keep operating. Restaurants had to turn to home deliveries. You could now order your groceries online and pick them up. To survive, clothing stores had to set up online stores overnight. Other businesses could send their people home and work from their laptops.
This happened all over the world, not just in Australia, not just in WA.
When faced with a new way of doing , it’s vital you seek regular feedback from your current and potential customers to find out how their buying habits have changed. Find out how their needs have changed. Without this feedback you could operate for months, steadily losing and not knowing why.
Reviews happen with or without your permission.
Reviews Happen With or Without Your Permission
When customers do with you, they automatically the quality of your products and services in their minds. If the is happy with your products or services, they might tell one person. If they are unhappy with products and services they tell 10 people.
Because your customers subconsciously give feedback in their minds, it makes sense to know what their feedback is, good or bad. Isn’t it better to know what people are saying about you and your online. upfront? That way if you do get a , you can at least try to fix it before they spread the word or leave a
If asked for a recommendation, we all like to recommend a company, , or person we were happy with. People trust the words of family, friends and colleagues over an advertisement. They also trust the words of stranger reviews and testimonials over an advertisement.
If a is good, then leverage these great reviews and use them as part of your marketing tactics.
People Buy From People
You would think people buy from companies – in reality, they buy from people. Consider the times you walked into a store to buy something and came away thinking; “I don’t care how much I want that widget I’m not buying from them!” People can make or break a sale and if they break a sale, what happens next. They can’t wait to leave bad reviews.
People believe people.
By building a positive , builds trust. With trust comes loads of free marketing – with great reviews. Great reviews mean more sales. More sales mean more customers which naturally leads to more profits.
Essentially, great reviews are good for .
Why Are Great For
Think of great reviews as influencer marketing or an infomercial. People tend to trust the word of others even if they don’t know them personally. Reviews and testimonials attached to adverts are even more powerful.
Positive reviews naturally help grow your .
Don’t just depend on reviews, find out how to make them work for you through something called .
Driving 5-star reviews is good for as they help develop and grow your organically. They also help consumers make buying decisions if they are sitting on the fence. They lead to referral – and as you know, word-of-mouth is the cheapest form of advertising.
Consider how helps you leverage your great reviews and manage poor reviews.
Both good and poor reviews start with . You would be forgiven for thinking is only about managing a . Not so – is also about managing great reviews, and doing the things necessary to drive more 5-star .
Not sure how you stack up against your competitors? Book a free assessment of your reputation here with our Expert.
Rethink Marketing – Rethink Reviews!
9 Ways To Get More 5-Star Reviews
Did you know that 53% of customers won’t consider dealing with a that is rated less than four stars?
What if you have no google reviews or only a handful of reviews scattered across and your ability to win over a ., Trip Advisor and Product Reviews? A single could bring your whole down, which would have an immediate impact on your
Actively managing your profile is a critical marketing skill that of all sizes need to master. In this article, we’ll explore why 5-star reviews are essential and .
Why Are 5 star reviews Important?
With 92% of people who read reviews before they push the buy now button, it’s critical to your to get more 5 star reviews. That’s because 80% of customers treat reviews as if the was coming from their friends or family.
When you are looking to buy a product or employ a service provider you have never used before, one of the first things you do is ask your friends. “Who do you know that…?”
You are more likely to take the advice of your friends over an advertisement. Most people, when conducting a Google search for a product or a service, one of the first things they also do is look at the reviews. Five-star reviews give them the confidence to make a buying decision.
Your profile affects both your position in the search results and the probability that someone will click on your listing. Think about this…research by the CXL institute found that stars in the search engine results page (or “SERP”) helped traffic uplift by 35%. Your and the number of you have earned has also been flagged as a ranking factor in the Google Local Search Results 3 pack.
In short, your more five star reviews to give your potential customers the confidence to do with you rather than your competitors. needs
Spray and Pray Marketing Doesn’t Work – 5 Star Reviews Do!
Although most marketing managers and owners know the power of , many still rely on spray and pray marketing. You know how it goes, throw an advertisement out there, cross your fingers, and hope it works.
You offer an excellent service at a great price; cross your fingers and pray the will write you a . How often does this happen? Not very often. Sometimes this works, but with only a few reviews coming in over months, it’s not enough to make an impact on your .
Then what happens is, among the trickle of reviews, you get an angry ant who wants to blast your into oblivion. You don’t want someone looking to sully your reputation all because they had a bad day. You need to fight back and get more five-star reviews, so your doesn’t plunge from a 4.4 rating to 3.7 overnight.
Now that you know the value of let’s look at how to get more five-star reviews.
In order to have a meaningful impact on your search ranking both the volume and velocity of your online reviews need to be consistently better than your competitors. For many businesses, one or two reviews every week will put them well ahead of the competitors within just a few months.
9 Ways to Get More 5 Star Reviews
Collecting online reviews is an easy way to grow your reputation online. They improve your SEO and sales conversions. Let’s face it, 5-star reviews are like gold. They are the currency that builds trust and confidence and helps your grow. Almost every will use online reviews to pre-screen your .
When asking for reviews, be open, honest, and authentic. Let them know how much their opinion matters to you-time to learn .
Here are nine helpful tips on how to get more 5-Star reviews for your .
The most obvious way to get reviews, a testimonial, or is simply to ask. Consider the countless times you knew a was happy with your products or services and you forgot to ask for a .
Firstly map out the journey and pick the point where their satisfaction levels are the highest. At that point, ask them an open question such as, “How was your experience today?” If it’s positive, follow up with the question, “Would you mind leaving us a ? It’s really simple and easy. We just send you a link which you click on to leave your .”
You can’t get around the fact that you probably just need to ask for 5-Star reviews. You’d be surprised how many of your satisfied customers are happy to leave you a . Make it easy. Direct them to a website or app, pre-populate some of the information, so it’s quick and easy to complete a . Emphasize the words quick and easy, and they will be happy to oblige.
Incent Your Employees To Ask
Another simple tactic to getting more 5 star reviews is to train your people to ask. Tell them what to say and do and make it easy for them to ask as well. They too love to see 5-star reviews, especially if they are personally mentioned in the , it boosts their morale.
The minute they complete a sale and ensure the is happy, have them ask for a . Build this into your processes.
Make Your Customers an Ambassador For Your
Referral and care. costs nothing; it’s the cheapest form of advertising. All it takes is a focus on
When you service your customers well, they will naturally become brand ambassadors. Take a photo with the and get their permission to share the photo on your website or on . Not everyone will give you permission; however, imagine the impact on your reputation of those who do. Remember to add the hashtag #happycusotmer or #satisfiedcustomer and share it on or use it in an advertisement.
Send an Email With a Link to Your Page
Once you are sure the online. By making it easy for them to leave a , the more likely they will leave a . is happy, send them an email to show them how to conduct a
Provide them with instructions on how to leave a . For instance, if you wanted them to leave a on Google, guide them through what they need to do.
Firstly they need to sign in to Google and navigate to your listing before they can leave a . Give them easy to follow instructions such as the following:
- Sign in to your Google (Gmail) Account.
- Search for your name on Google (provide them with the exact name)
- Click to leave a .
- Select a , write the and submit.
Be careful about asking family and friends to leave a if you sold them any of your products or services. When tapping friends and family on the shoulder to leave a , be careful the reviews don’t look fake or spammy.
If you have the ’s email address, send them an email with instructions on how to leave a along with a .
Don’t wait too long before sending them a link to leave a . According to a Gartner study, collected immediately after a purchase results in a 40% more accurate .
Send an SMS
Many people prefer SMS to email. Therefore if you have the ’s phone number, send them an SMS instead.
To reach out to customers for reviews via SMS means you need a system to collect phone numbers. You also need their permission to send an SMS with an option to opt-out.
For many businesses that use SMS to communicate with customers, you’ll already have access to these numbers.
Remember to send a text as soon as possible after the purchase is completed while the experience is fresh in their mind.
If the didn’t leave a , send them a reminder via text or email.
Take a moment to share your experience and leave us a .
Thank you for your recent (purchase) from us. We sincerely hope you were happy with your (purchase – service).
Your means everything to us; it helps us listen to our customers to develop a better service and experience. Here’s a link where you can leave your . It’s quick and easy.
Thank you for putting your trust in us; we appreciate your .
Then insert a link or a button where they can write their .
Written testimonials are great; video testimonials are even better. If you have a website, ask your delighted customers if you can record video testimonials to post on your website. It’s amazing how this immediately boosts your reputation online. If they agree, be sure to send them a gift card or something else thanking them for their testimonial. Showing your appreciation in this way also means they will become one of your best brand ambassadors.
Invest in Reputation Management Software
Gathering more 5-star reviews definitely turbocharges your reputation online. For every 5-star you get, this enhances the trust value potential customers see in you and your .
As your grows, consider investing in reputation management software. Your reputation is everything. It only takes a string of bad reviews to damage your reputation. Reputation management software works in your favour, whereby you can use 5-star reviews to transform into a competitive advantage.
Build a Building Process
5-star reviews don’t happen unless you focus on them. Therefore you must build the process as you would any process.
- Ask for in person.
- Ask for customers’ emails and phone numbers via tablets.
- Add a link on your receipt asking for .
Integrate Reviews Into Packaging
If you are sending products directly to customers, include stickers on the packaging. Let your customers know you care about their experience, so you want to know if you met their expectations or exceeded their expectations.
Send an email or text as soon as possible you are sure they have received the service, download, or products. Follow up with a phone call, email, or text to get their . Encourage them to leave a about their experience.
Platforms You Can Use to Get More 5 Star Reviews
Here is a list of five platforms you can use to promote reviews for your products and services.
- Google My
- Facebook Recommendations
- Trust Pilot
Consider the best platform that suits your model. Then set up a profile on the platform that best aligns with your industry and .
Yes, you will get a deal with negative reviews. Choose what you are willing to do to fix the issue and draw a line in the sand about what you won’t do. from time to time. The important thing is not to hide ; it’s more helpful to learn how to
As you can see, there are many ways you can get customers to leave a . Take every opportunity you can to ask for a or testimonial and build this into your processes.
Sometimes managing this process can be difficult for a , but it is still critical. At Rethink Marketing, we can take this process on for you, liaising directly with your clients to get and drive reviews.
Learn how to get more reviews with a systematic approach to soliciting from your customers.
ReThink Marketing – ReThink Reviews!
“How much do you charge for your products or services?” It sounds like a simple question, but how exactly should you work out your price. Pricing is a critical part of your marketing strategy, and if you get it wrong you’ll feel the pain on your profit and loss statement very quickly.
It might be tempting to look to your competitors (Competitive Pricing) or your cost of production (Cost Plus Pricing), but the smartest, most effective and profitable approach is to look at the consumer value you are creating to determine the real value of the product or service you have created. This approach is known as Value-Based Pricing and at it’s simplest involves setting your price based on how much your customer believes what you are selling is worth.
Before we can do that we need to understand the difference between price, cost, and value, to find the answer to the question, “How much do you charge?” we need to understand more about consumer value.
When the global pandemic hit in 2020, the way consumers looked at value changed. Online shopping became the norm, and with it, in-home consumption increased. There was a rebalancing of the things that people valued and online became the new offline.
What is Consumer Value?
A simple explanation for what consumer value is, it’s the satisfaction a customer will experience when doing business with you. If you provide enough value, it gives you the confidence and the right to continue to promote your products or services to recruit new customers.
Consider your own buying patterns; you buy from people you trust and like and where you see value in their product offerings.
You often hear customers talk about getting value for money, especially when dealing with price-sensitive customers. Those who aren’t price-sensitive are willing to pay for what they perceive as the valuable benefits they gain from doing business with you. Consumers compare the perceived value of your products or services to similar products or services when making a buying decision on their path to purchase.
What Drives Value?
According to Harvard Business Review, when consumers evaluate a product or service, they weigh its perceived value against the asking price.
Consumers perceive value according to their view in the world. It doesn’t matter what price the consumers pay; it is what they are willing to pay and what they get in return. They assign value to a product or service based on several factors such as quality, service, price, brand, points of differentiation, the function of a product along with their existing relationship, and personal bias.
Consumer value is how they perceive your product or service compared to other alternatives. Worth is how that consumer feels about the benefits or services received over what they paid. The cost to a consumer doesn’t just refer to monetary value. It also refers to costs such as the time and effort they spend on research and the energy they spend on their path to purchase. Inconvenience also comes into consideration when consumers weigh up the cost of purchase.
Perceived Benefits – Cost = Perceived Consumer Value
Weighing up the perceived value
Consumer Value Can Only be Influenced, not Controlled.
Some these you can control, some you can’t.
The only time products compete on price is when consumers compare two identical products with identical exposure. You don’t need to compete on the cost; you can also differentiate on other factors. For instance, Toyota differentiates itself on brand. Other car manufacturers can produce an almost identical car; however, they perceive other brands as not being as reliable as Toyota.
To drive consumer value, understand that consumers have a choice. Find out what represents value to your customers by merely asking them. Then ask yourself, how can you create value for your customers. Look for opportunities to create new value propositions and communicate value at the right time using the right marketing channels. For instance, content marketing creates, distributes, and communicates value.
How to Increase Consumer Value
Marketers in the past have spent a great deal of time on managing price because price increases mean more profit. However, it is far more important to understand more about consumer behavior and manage their perceived value from using your products or services. When you take a closer look at the elements of the value triangle, you are far more likely to succeed in your marketing efforts.
A business can employ strategies to increase the perceived value a consumer has while simultaneously increasing the customer’s lifetime value to the business. The easiest way to do this is to exceed their expectations. This requires market research to help understand what consumers expect from the products or services you offer so you can then go above and beyond to deliver value.
Incorporating feedback into your business processes demonstrates to your customers that you care about them and care about what they think. It also gives you a platform from which to increase the value of your product or service offering. Offering something your competitors can’t or don’t is a great way to increase consumer value.
When marketing your products and services throughout the South West of Australia, it is critical to keep consumer value top of mind. Contact us and find out more about how you can add value to your customers. With recent changes in consumer behavior, now is the time to Rethink Your Marketing Strategies?
Consumers today have access to a world of information at their fingertips and often use reviews as a “trust barometer” before making a purchase decision. A bad review could be the difference between a consumer choosing another business over yours. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, on your Google, Facebook or Trip Advisor accounts can send the right message to your target clients and even increase your customer base. Always remember to ensure that your response is always polite and professional regardless of the content of the customers review and if you can add value by highlighting other aspects of your business then you can turn the review into a great PR opportunity.
Responding to negative reviews
A negative review can hurt and its totally natural to feel upset. Your business is important to you. However, retaliating or responding with a negative comment is not the way to handle this situation. Responding in a timely manner and having a formula in mind when answering negative reviews will give you the right tools to move forward. The suggestion below can be used across the board but ensure your addressing the customers individual situation.
- Address them personally – Dear Adam not Dear Guest.
- Thank the customer for their feedback.
- Let them know you’re sorry it happened – “We apologise that our service didn’t match your expectations”
- Give them the details of who they can make further comments to. Attempt to take the issue offline and into the real world.
- Let them know you’d like the chance to make things right.
Figure 1: http://www.reviewtrackers.com/guides/examples-responding-reviews
Responding to Rating-Only Reviews (No Text)
Sometimes customers will click a star rating and not leave any comments. This is tricky to respond to but keep it brief. Simply provide your contact details and ask the reviewer to contact you privately to elaborate on their review.
Customers expect a swift response when they write a review. Assigning the duty of responding to one person and setting up alerts on each site ensures your reviews are handled quickly.
Responding to Positive Reviews
A positive review is an opportunity to showcase your business and inspire loyalty from your customer base. Great reviews are a powerful tool for attracting new customers. Crafting your timely response to a positive review is just as important as that of the negative review.
- Address them personally.
- Thank the customer for their feedback.
- Identify the specific things your customer liked and mention them in the response. “Others have commented on the amazing views from our rooftop restaurant.”
- Let them know you’ll pass on the feedback to those people mentioned. “I’ll let Mike know you loved his Chicken Parmigiana.”
- Tell them you’d love to see them again.
Responding to Reviews with Mixed Feedback
Many reviews contain constructive criticism and that is certainly not a bad thing. Neutral reviews should be handled by following the steps listed for both positive and negative reviews. Remember to reinforce the positive points and address any negative issues that have arisen.
Remember that online reviews can have a very real and measurable impact on your business growth. Responding to reviews, positive, negative or neutral, will ensure your putting the right image forward to the public. Your business and your reputation are important. You can improve the publics perception of your brand and shape your businesses future simply by responding to reviews in a timely manner and with the right formula.
Stories help us connect with people, cutting through the clutter and noise.
- true, trusted, authentic, subtle;
- they appeal to the emotion, instead of the logic and;
- resonate with the world view of the intended audience.
While travelling in Argentina in 2006, Blake Mycoskie saw the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. He desperately wanted to help, and created Toms Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes they sold with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. To date, Toms has given more than 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need. They’ve also helped restore sight to over 400,000 people, through their sunglasses which come with the same buy one give one offer.
When Victor Kiam’s wife bought him an Remington electric shaver, he trusted in the product so much that he bought the company.
During the Bangladesh famine of 1974 Muhammad Yunus a Bangladeshi academic, made a small loan of US$27 to a group of 42 families as start-up money so that they could make items for sale, without the burdens of the high-interest rates charged by predatory money lenders. That small loan was started what is today the Grameen Bank has lent more than $5 Billion dollars and helped hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty.
These are three great examples of brand stories, which in many ways have defined the businesses.
At Rethink Marketing we work with small businesses to help them craft and tell their stories because stories are without a doubt the most powerful way we can engage with the humans we call customers. Their story is the foundations on which we build their marketing strategy.
Great stories cut through the clutter and noise of our world, and change the way we see it. They are so much more than a sales pitch, they connect with us on a deep level and build trust, credibility and eventually a relationship.
A great story is always true. Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. As Australians, we are unbelievably good at sniffing out bulls@#$. The small inconsistencies that a marketer can slap on, the stock images used instead of real people all trigger our BS detectors causing us to ask the question “can I trust this business”?
Great stories are trusted. Have you ever considered that trust is the scarcest resource we’ve got? No one trusts anyone. People don’t trust the stunning Instagram influencer posting her “best life” in a five-star resort all to her followers…clearly, she’s being paid by the resort for a sponsored post. We don’t trust the spokesperson on commercials, have you noticed that the Brand Power Infomercial is dead? And we don’t trust the companies that make the products we use in our everyday life, hands up if you believe Telstra when they tell you that mobile phones don’t cause cancer. All this means that as businesses our story won’t be heard until we’ve earned the credibility to tell it.
Great stories are subtle. Imagine two people telling you their stories about how they survived a shark attack. One is lying. The first storyteller provides all the gory details, the rescue scenario, the treatment they received, their vital statistics and recovery and so on. The other simply tells you, ”Yep, it was a big fish, took one bite then realised I didn’t taste so good”. The difference is that the second storyteller was a double amputee. Now, who would you believe? Surprisingly, the fewer details we spell out, the more powerful the story becomes. Allowing people to fill in the gaps is far more effective than announcing the punch line. Substance wins over content every time.
Great stories don’t necessarily appeal to logic, but they always appeal to our emotions. People decide if they like someone or something after just a sniff. There are no second chances to make a first impression
Most of all, great stories match the way we see the world. The best stories don’t teach us anything new. Instead, they reinforce what we already believe and making us feel smarter and more secure we’re reminded how right we Were in the first place.
We are all marketers, of our businesses, our skills, our values. We all tell stories. So next time you go to share your story, take a step back and ask, is it authentic, is it credible, is it subtle and does it match the way your audience sees the world? When we get these things right, a great story can change the world.
Want to lear more about story telling in marketing? Check out Seth Godin’s brilliant book All Marketers are Liars
Often it is a reflection of the values their founders or leaders hold most dearly. This drive is the cultural lifeblood of everything they do, it becomes the norm, “the way things are done here” mantra that they live (and die) for.
At the sales-driven company, you’ll see a massive focus on taking your product to market. It’s their job to convince, persuade, cajole and eventually win you over to their way of thinking. If you’ve worked for them, you’ll hear chatter about “the numbers”, closing deals and not so much about the customer. This approach works…sometimes. It relies heavily on the influence skills of their sales team. Customers are often seen as the means to the end. Relationships are measured by what they get out of it.
The product-driven (or engineering-driven) firm focuses wholeheartedly on building the very best widget. Their internal dialogue is all around features, capabilities, specifications and performance of the said widget. There is a belief that bringing the best widget to market is the best road to success, and sometimes it is. For firms like Ericsson and perhaps even Google, they’ll often build great solutions to problems that don’t exist. Sometimes these will appear to outsiders as failures, but the breakthroughs they make, lay the foundations for future successes. Product-driven firms build amazing products, then look for a market for them. Their internal dialogue if often, focused on innovation, better ways of doing things and beating the competition to market with their brilliant new idea.
Marketing-driven firms often look the slickest. They are always “on message” presenting a story to the market that communicates the value they claim to offer. They are smart, focused on the offer, presenting a wafer-thin veneer of credibility to the market, often while their product people work furiously in the background trying to match the reality to the glossy brochure. Get beneath the surface (as an employee or customer), and things are not so pretty. Often these are the first who spend the most time talking about “roadmaps” with new features coming soon. These are the businesses you’ll see looking for that one silver bullet, the magic Facebook hack, shiny new branding or just about anything that avoids having to do the hard work of creating value for their customers.
Market-Driven firms, however, are different. Their sole focus is on solving the problems that matter, to the people they exist for. They are continually seeking more insights into the issues facing their market and finding better and more efficient ways of solving these problems. They hear the market place, but perhaps, more importantly, are heard by the market place, and through their genuine engagement change the way they see the world. They’ll do the hard work of building empathy into their business systems, such that they understand the hopes, dreams, frustrations and feelings of their customers. Being market-driven is hard work, but ultimately it lasts.
Choose your driver wisely, because ultimately they will decide where you’re business goes.
- We all screw up sometimes; don’t miss the learning opportunity.
- Use it as an opportunity to figure out what happened
- Recognise that there are usually multiple causes
- Figure out where YOU went wrong, and fix it.
- Feedback is a gift, don’t throw it away.
Failing is never fun, but it is only excruciating if you fail to learn from your mistakes.
Recently, we discovered that a project we had commenced for a new client had gone horribly off the rails. In our haste to meet a set of incompatible requirements we bypassed many of our processes and checks, we’d ended up in a place which was a long way from our values. The situation was unrecoverable, and I was devastated.
So here are the three lessons we learned…
- It’s never just one thing! As a keen reader of the disaster genre, I know that it is never only one thing that goes wrong. True disasters require a series of bad judgements, bad circumstances to accumulate before the “bad “luck” can kick into gear. Trust your gut to pick up the early signs, and take action.”
- Know your customer, and have the courage to say no, as soon as you realise that their expectations are incompatible to what you can deliver. Work harder to see the world through their eyes, and if their expectations are radically different from that, you know your business can achieve, make sure that it is clearly communicated.
- Recognise that your work is not for everyone. We all fall into the trap sometimes of thinking we can help everyone, all the time. It takes a special kind of empathy, to be able to say “Here’s the phone number of my competitor, I think they might be able to do a better job for you than I can”
Don’t let an opportunity like a failure to deliver on a customer’s expectations go to waste. Complete a full audit of everything that went wrong (and right) leading up to the final outcome. Find the gaps in your systems, your marketing mistakes and sales slip-ups. When you’ve identified all of the rot and branch causes, take action to fix them.