It’s no secret that human beings are herd-animals. We much prefer to follow and stay safe, than to go rogue and risk making a poor decision.
Most people of a certain age will remember IBM’s ad slogan – “nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM”? Marketers knew it then, and they know it now – staying safe pays off – and with the rise of social media, companies can now rely on the power of third party endorsement, reviews, to prove they are a safe option.
From TripAdvisor to TrustPilot the age of the review sale is here. Nothing is exempt from reviewing. Google now allows 5-star reviews of all listings, and Facebook has a review option for business pages.
How to make the most of the review when it comes to B2B ecommerce?
According to top ecommerce blogger, Chloe Thomas, “reviews are hugely powerful marketing materials—they’re a form of social proof, and social proof is all about trust.”
Our own anecdotal research has also shown that when it comes to buying B2C product, people prefer to purchase EXACTLY THE SAME product from online giant, Amazon, than directly from the manufacturer, even when the product bought directly from the manufacturer was less expensive.
Further questions of the customers in question discovered that they would rather buy from Amazon because the customer reviews of both product and service were transparent.
Reviews and testimonials – the difference
These are comments that customers leave about your business on a review website or search engine. Most sites insist that a customer sets up their own account with username and password. Reviews are posted openly. It can be difficult to address a negative review because these are third party sites.
Most testimonials are received in response to a request of a customer. It’s a comment that a customer writes or vlogs, that is provided to you so that you have the option of posting it on your own site.
How to build more reviews
- Link to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest pages, and be responsive to reviewers there
- Ensure you keep your ecommerce site up to date with reviews and comments
- Run a blog on your site where people can comment (once signed in) and provide unsolicited reviews
- Ask for reviews – run a competition via email to request reviews
- Set up a Google Alert so you know if your business is being reviewed on a site you’ve not heard of.
Don’t forget the testimonials
Testimonials can look more contrived than general feedback, but the structure of them means they can go to greater depth to describe your products.
- Consider using video testimonials
- Request testimonials from customers and be prepared to share their details. Unlike reviews a testimonial works best when it is not anonymous
- Look at expanding testimonials into case-studies
- Encourage photographs with testimonials to give greater familiarity.
Be strategic with your requested feedback
It’s a real back-slap to get positive reviews, and they should certainly be shared around your team. But when you’re looking for business improvement, get more strategic with the feedback you request:
- What do you want to achieve from the feedback? General team bonhomie, or business changes to boost your bottom line?
- Don’t be needy – ask questions like: “what are we doing that is having a negative impact on your business?” or “what are we not doing that we should be to serve you better”?, and welcome negatives if you receive them.
- When it isn’t too good – take a deep breath and ask for more information, remember the customer is not criticising YOU personally, and this is the most valuable feedback – the stuff you can make changes around.
- Ask for specifics – eg: How might we improve our delivery? What would make us even better in terms of customer service? Are our opening hours suitable?
Chloe Thomas’s article is an extensive and interesting piece so we suggest you have a look at it. And whilst doing so, remember the power of our recommendation that sent you there….. https://insights.ecommerceexpo.co.uk/customer-reviews/?cid=Homepage_Article_1&cid=ema-newsletter-Newsletter%2023.01.17-Why%20customer%20reviews%20are%20the%20secret%20sauce%20of%20marketing-