“It may be tempting to only ask customers who you know had a perfect experience with you to leave a review. Don’t.”
In a follow up to our recent blog about why you should think about using a review site, I’m back to share the 5 mistakes people make when using review sites, and how you can avoid them.
1. Forgetting about your page
Once you’ve claimed your review page and signed up to a review platform, it’s important that you don’t just forget about it. That’s almost as bad as not signing up in the first place. If you’ve signed up to a review platform, think about where in your customer journey and internal processes you can build in asking your customers to leave you a review. Can you update any email or letter templates you have to include a link to your review page? For mortgage brokers, a good time might be once your customer has received their offer, before the conveyancers get involved!
2. Not replying to reviews
Once you’ve built asking for customer reviews into your internal processes, it’s important to give yourself some time, or allocate someone, to respond to the reviews you receive. If a customer has taken the time to leave you a review, it’s nice to say thank you, and if a customer has left you feedback that needs a follow up, it’s important to acknowledge that you’ve seen their comments and will be looking into them. For future prospective clients who are researching you it’s also important for them to see that you care about what your customers are saying and have a good relationship with your clients.
3. Being confrontational in replies
If you are actively using a review site and encouraging your customers to leave you a review, you may find that sometimes a customer will leave you a less than perfect review. While you may disagree with they have comments left, it’s best to try and resolve the issue outside of the review platform, rather than being confrontational in your reply on the site. A confrontational reply would only serve to increases the negative impact of the unhappy customer’s review in the first place. We recommend acknowledging you’ve seen the review in your reply on the site, and then having a conversation with the customer privately to try and resolve any of their issues. The best-case scenario is that the customer leaves a follow up review with how you’ve been able to resolve their issue, and you’ve been able to learn from their feedback and perhaps make improvements to your customer processes.
4. Being selective about who you ask to leave a review
It may be tempting to only ask customers who you know had a perfect experience with you to leave a review. Don’t. Potential customers are likely to be highly sceptical of a 100% perfect rating, and this could be just as off-putting to them as a page full of negative reviews. Customers expect to see a balance of opinions in reviews, so a mixture of ratings and feedback is completely normal. The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) is also clear that you could be found ‘deceptive’ or ‘anti-competitive’ in UK competition laws by being selective with you ask for reviews.
5. Ignoring your competitors
No matter what business you’re in, it’s always good to do a little competitor research. Understanding what customers are saying in reviews about your competitors can help you to understand where your strengths lie as a business so you can start to promote them more. It can also help you to see what your competitors might be doing differently to you, and whether there’s anything you should consider incorporating into your processes that improves your customer experience.
Having a well-managed review page for your business can help you attract and win profitable clients for very little cost, compliment your existing marketing activities, and once asking for reviews is embedded into your processes, you should start to see the rewards.