The first thing that every potential customer, employee or partner does when hearing about a new business, is to check them online. Sure, the website matters. But more importantly, it’s what others think about you that makes all the difference. Great web content and interactive design won’t get you any new sale if online reviews are negative. What of businesses that struggle to accumulate online reviews at all, negative or positive? You may be perceived as a fraud by tech-savvy customers who don’t trust companies without substantial evidence of their existence. Indeed, a website is easy to set up, but nobody can fake online review volume. So, why is it so difficult to gather positive online reviews?
How happy are your employees with the company? If you don’t know the answer to the question, it’s fair to say that they may not feel hugely valued. The problem is that, while employees might be easy to change – it’s a common strategy in businesses that are run by costs and not by people –, their unhappiness and dissatisfaction with your company can have dramatic consequences. For a start, employees – whether current or former – can turn to online review sites to share their experience with your company. This kind of reviews tends to discourage customers to interact with your business.
A business is ultimately the combination of processes and interactions. It’s only your ability to maintain effective and smooth processes that leaves room for positive reviews. For instance, when your products are slow to get to the market and can’t benefit from competitive pricing, customers are less likely to ignore your offering for the benefit of competitors. Unfortunately, this is the price to pay when your operations are time- and money-demanding. You need to rely on an expert with a master operations management to convert your resources into valuable goods in a timely and cost-effective manner. Additionally, post-purchase processes are equally important, from delivery to customer services. Poor customer services affect your review scores.
Emotional hooks to the brand
What emotions do your customers feel when they your brand? Is it joy? Excitement? A sense of connection? Emotions are an integral part of effective advertising. Friends Furever launched a viral reaction by showing images of cute animal friends, making customers happy. Fear is another strong feeling that forces people to act, such as used by the World Wildlife Fund to raise climate change awareness. When your brand fails to connect at an emotional level, it simply can’t compete on the market. It doesn’t get noticed.
Encourage customers to review
Do you actively ask your customers to review your products or services? After all, there’s no guarantee that a satisfied customer would share their experience; people do have better things to do and to think about in life. Sad, but not, your customers are not primarily interested in pushing your brand. So, you need to remind them to shout about their positive interaction with the company. After sale marketing materials and timely review requests can make a great deal of difference!
Reviews are a confirmation that your business can be trusted. In the absence of reviews, or of positive reviews, potential customers prefer not to take the risk to interact with your company.