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!