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Five Ways Marketers Can Benefit From Online Reviews

by Jan Vels Jensen  |  
August 12, 2014
  |  2,996 views

For customers, it's never been easier to interact with brands. If you love the shirt you just ordered, you can leave a glowing review on the company's website. If the service at a new restaurant was awful, you can tell the world on a customer review site. If you can't figure out why your package hasn't arrived yet, you can ask the brand on social media.

Your voice as a customer is loud and clear.

Even as customers like being heard and having a say, businesses also benefit from consumer feedback. Online reviews and other feedback mechanisms can be used to improve nearly all parts of a business, from the quantitative (like higher ROI, profit, and click-through rates) to the qualitative (like the building of trust with customers, better brand reputation, and customer satisfaction).

If your business isn't yet using online reviews, here are five ways to start making them work for you.

1. Stop fearing the negative review


Many brands are reluctant to implement online review systems because they're afraid of airing their dirty laundry, but that's actually a misguided concern.

First of all, most online reviews are positive, believe it or not. Second, studies have shown that almost 85% of customers think user reviews are valuable, so your brand will please shoppers by having reviews. But don't think that means you need universally positive reviews; customers trust reviews' legitimacy more when some are positive and some are negative.

2. Choose wisely where to put your review form


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Jan Vels Jensen is the chief marketing officer of Trustpilot, an online reviews community and technology platform. He is responsible for global marketing, growing customer loyalty, and building and managing Trustpilot's international brand.

Twitter: @janvjensen

LinkedIn: Jan Vels Jensen

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  • by Vinay Bhagat Tue Aug 12, 2014 via web

    Good advice Jan. While your article focuses on B2C, I believe quite a few of the mantras apply to B2B too. Business buyers, like consumers crave candid insights. Recent research says that 90% begin their search process via a Google Search. Increasingly those buyers are landing on sites like ours, TrustRadius - a community for business professionals to share insights through in-depth reviews. As a vendor (marketer), it's important to be present and covered (i.e. reviewed). Even if your product is not one that carries a great deal of search traffic, people can discover you as they search for related or competitive products.

    It is important that your reviews are detailed and legitimate. Simple star ratings with everything's wonderful comments don't carry much credibility.

    It's important that you read your reviews, and engage when appropriate - not just to respond to critique, but to acknowledge positive feedback too. Just think about your own experiences in picking hotels on TripAdvisor. Their research suggests that hoteliers who comment on their reviews drive a marked positive perception increase which translates to more clicks and revenue.

  • by Jon from Grade.us Tue Aug 12, 2014 via web

    Great points, Jan. Although for future-proofing this advice, I'd think you'd want to point out the substantial risk that consumer trust in online reviews will erode as spammers, hucksters and fraudsters increasingly game less secure online review channels. Companies need to plan for the long term when implementing a review-gen program by focusing on real feedback from real customers, working with solutions and third-parties that care as much about quality and veracity as they do volume.

  • by jrhmobile from my own dang self Tue Aug 12, 2014 via web

    Gee, I feel like the new kid.

    Thanks for the opportunity to let you know that I appreciated the article. But I feel left out, because I don't have a hustle review site to spam y'all with ...

    Forgive me?

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