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Locally Grown Episode 1: Why Your Business Needs a Customer Review Strategy

Andrew Adams

Listen to Locally Grown on Apple and Spotify

Reviews are often a vital part of a customer’s buying process. Many people will refrain from purchasing a product if it has bad reviews, or worse, no reviews at all.

This is why companies must develop a strategy to get and maintain customer reviews online.

Hear our conversation about:

  • The importance of social circles and community reviews
  • Finding unique ways to encourage people to leave positive reviews
  • Which sites to encourage people to leave reviews on

The importance of social circles and community reviews

When you’re online searching for a new mattress or humidifier, and see a one-star review, does that impact your opinion about the product? If it does, why? Especially when that review is from a stranger who could have biased motives.

Seeing numerous one-star reviews could mean a defect in the product, short life-span, whether it has a pungent smell, and so on. Beyond those initial comments, people may leave updates on the product at 30, 60, and 90 days — Giving you insight into the product that would be impossible before buying.

Up to 91% of people read online reviews and 84% of people trust them. And of those negative reviews, each person shares their bad experience with up to 15 people. With such a large percentage of people believing these reviews, it becomes clear just how important reviews are to the overall success of a brand.

“People are more likely to leave a review on a negative experience. For them, it seems like a way to make up for whatever wrong they feel they experienced.” — Andrew Adams

Finding unique ways to encourage people to leave positive reviews

So, when people are more likely to leave a negative review, what can companies do to combat this trend? The easiest step that can be taken right away: Encourage customers to post positive reviews; and post them often.

“85% of consumers define online reviews older than three months as irrelevant. So, you need to have a system in place that encourages people to keep leaving them.” — Andrew Adams

An internal way to help promote positive reviews — Compensate good behavior. If an employee receives a five-star review, give them a cash bonus, incentivising them to continue that behavior.

At the end of the day, however, bad reviews will always happen. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way:

Imagine a customer that just bought a new TV and it broke within the first week. The customer is distraught and leaves a one-star review with the comment, “If I could leave no stars, I would.”

The company could accept that review as is and continue asking other customers to leave better reviews to offset that one-star. Or, they could immediately reach out to that unsatisfied customer and correct the mistake.

Maybe the TV issue was a 1 in 10,000 glitch. Reaching out to hear the customer, replacing the TV, and encouraging that customer to edit their review could make all the difference.

Joe shares some advice when drafting an email to respond to a negative review:

“Write the email you want to send; and then write the email you need to send.”

You will always have a mix of good and bad reviews. How consistently and effectively you respond will determine whether the good reviews will outweigh the bad ones.

Which sites to encourage people to leave reviews on

Not all reviews hold the same weight — In general and industry specific. Getting a review on Google can hold considerably more value than a small third-party website.

So, as a brand looking to get the most value for their reviews, where should they direct their customers for reviews?

Andrew and Joe share the top three sites people use:

  1. Google: 63% of people
  2. Yelp: 45% of people
  3. Facebook: 23% of people

With Google coming in at the top, one of the most important first steps you can do as a brand is set up a Google Business Profile. Without it, you can’t reap the rewards of the review service.

“Google is the foundation of the marketing universe for small businesses early on. People find you organically and all your information is nicely tied with reviews.” — Joe Martin

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