Friday, 29 March 2013

Best practices for company reviews

Online reviews are relied on by most equestrian consumers to choose the brands and companies they are willing to do business with. In this article we will look at the best practices for making reviews work for you.

Step 1 - take control

Testimonials or company reviews displayed on your own website are not seen as trustworthy. Your customers would rather seek out impartial sources such as friends, forums and review websites. Your first objective is to funnel feedback to a common (impartial) location where you can monitor it and take part in the dialogue.

The solution is to promote your own page on a review website by inserting a badge (such as the one displayed above) on your website and regularly referring your Facebook and Twitter followers to it.

Join EquiBuzz to create your own review page on Equine Compare, a specialist equestrian website that already hosts hundreds of equestrian business review pages (e.g. equestrian retailer reviews).

Step 2 - encourage reviews

Business change over time, so your customers will be more reassured by reviews left in the last 6 months. Ensure that you are receiving new reviews every month.

You have numerous opportunities to elicit reviews from your customers, don't waste them.
  1. Display your review badge prominently on your website to encourage returning customers to leave reviews. EquiBuzz supplies the HTML code for your review badge.
  2. Use your social channels (Facebook , Twitter etc.) to direct customers to your review page.
  3. Remind customers on your order confirmation web page and email where they should go to provide feedback.

Step 3 - get involved

Reading and responding to reviews should be part of your social marketing strategy. It is as important (if not more so) as posting on Facebook and Twitter. 
Don't just respond to reviews you don't agree with. Thank people for their feedback, tell them you hope they enjoy their product. This is your chance to show that you are a caring business, run by friendly, helpful individuals.

Don't worry about the odd criticism on your review page. Read our tips on dealing with a bad review.

Step 4 - take it seriously

Reviews provide a valuable insight in to how people view your business and brand. Listen to what people say, and look for ways to make improvements. When you do make improvements based on feedback, be sure to let everyone know - previous customers may have silently shied away for the very same reason. Use all the usual ways to spread the news, including: newsletters, blog posts, adverts and social channels.

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