Digital Reviews: The New “Word of Mouth” Advertising
What is the best endorsement for your brand? It’s the happy customers that tell other people about your products and services. Back in the good old days, that being the mid 1990s before the rise of the mainstream internet, those endorsements took place as people actually met face to face and had conversations. Today, however, in the world of Facebook viewing parties, in-person interactions have changed. Even when we meet up with friends, colleagues, peers, and family, there is little need to discuss the outstanding service you got at that boutique shop – because you have already talked about it online.
This is the modern reality: the new word of mouth advertising is digital reviews; and if you don’t have any, or if the ones you have aren’t great, your business’ reputation will suffer.
Today we will look at how to get and leverage digital reviews.
The best way to get digital reviews is to ask for them. If your business is service-based, ask your clients to leave a review on your social media. If you are shipping products, include a card thanking the client for their purchase and asking them to leave a product review.
Ensure the review process is quick and easy. Your social media feeds, especially Facebook, should be easy to find and linked from your website. You can also encourage reviews on sites like Yelp and Google.
Handling Negative Reviews
Trolls are a problem and any company that invites reviews is going to get them. Trolls are people that intentionally try to harm your company by leaving negative feedback – despite not actually being your client.
You must also expect negative reviews if a customer has truly had a negative experience. Nobody is perfect – sometimes a product underperforms, or a customer feels neglected.
When you get a negative review, don’t panic. It happens. Before you dash off a scathing reply, do the following:
- Check to see if the reviewer is an actual client.
- Talk to your staff to get the full story. Keep an open mind. Your company may have been in the wrong.
- If it is a client, contact the them directly, if possible.
- Respond online to the review in a careful, thought-out manner.
If the reviewer is a troll, your reply should be along the following lines:
“Dear John: After carefully reviewing our accounts it appears that we have no record of your transaction. We value the experience of our clients and encourage you to contact us at the number provided so we can further clarify your situation.”
For a client:
“Dear John: As per our follow up call this morning I’m very unhappy to hear the product did not perform as described. We take our customers’ experience very seriously and will be shipping a replacement at no cost to you today.
Handling positive reviews
Showing appreciation for positive reviews is important too. Take the time to comment and thank clients for their nice words. Not only does that build loyalty with that client, others see that you care about your customers, which further builds your brand story.
Great West Digital is a full service digital agency well versed in all aspects of online branding. Contact us for help with your visual identity and online reputation management. Learn more at www.greatwest.ca/digital-agency.