On-line reviews are referred to more than any other marketing resource. They drive customers’ purchases and influence their choices of where to do business. More than 90% of customers rely on reviews to guide their decisions. Your online reputation truly is created by what your customers say online.
How to make sure customers see your great reviews
Most reviews will get some passive exposure when potential customers seek them out, but reviews can be so much more than just random messages in bottles tossed into the internet ocean, hoping to be discovered. In order to leverage the power of online reviews, it’s important to view them as a marketing resource with a structured plan, not just as an interesting aside.
The second post in this series provided some guidance on how to cultivate a robust online review system, starting with tips on how to encourage your customers to share their experiences. It notes the importance of monitoring what your customers are saying, so a posted review is never allowed to languish in cyberspace. If it is negative or raises concerns, you should have an internal system ready to address it (more on that in the 4th post in this series). A positive review is where the marketing gold is, so be ready to…
This is where the magic happens. Online reviews are such a unique marketing tool because they are 100% authentic—which is why they are so valuable and desired by your customers. And because of this, folks are actually seeking the reviews.
Therefore, a best practice is to make their search easy. Potential customers should encounter the good news through many channels, both passively where reviews are served to them, as well as in common online locations when they actively seek them. So, in addition to encouraging customers to leave reviews on common review sites, create pathways into those sites through:
Website content. This could be a series of testimonials that pulls impactful quotes from reviews, a link to your reviews on commonly-used reviews sites, or a widget that displays the most recent reviews and/or the average ratings. Right on your homepage is a great place for this module. (If a truly impactful tale is revealed by your online reviews, you might even be able to develop a blog post or conduct a video interview!)
Social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to share your positive reviews. A simple statement such as “Happy to see another satisfied customer!” or “Thank you [customer] for sharing your experience!” with a link to the review is a quick and effective way to share that your customers are delighted with your products and services.
Email and Direct Mail. Consider adding a particularly impactful review statement or a summary such as “Google Reviews average of 4.9 stars” to your email signature or as part of the layout of a direct mail piece. Include your latest or best reviews as a sidebar in your newsletters or other company communications.
In-store signage. Make it easy for customers who are already in your dealership to make their final purchasing decision by promoting your five-star status on signage or posting a QR code so that they can easily jump right to your reviews.
When to boost a review
All reviews are not created equal. How do you know when a review is worth giving an extra promotional boost to? Here’s a quick litmus test:
- Is it recent? A review from five years ago subtly implies that no-one has said anything good for five years. You don’t want that!
- Is it relevant? Was the review glowing but related to such a nichy and uncommon topic that it actually pigeonholes your company? Probably avoid giving these extra airtime.
- Is it important to my customers? Top-notch customer service, a great product selection, and other customer experience anecdotes resonate with everyone. In addition, is there a piece of information that you are looking for a way to promote to your customers, like a new diagnostic tool in your repair bay, or an online customer portal that tracks orders or payments? Sharing a review of a happy customer who’s used your new feature can be a great way to convince others to check it out.
Find a great partner to do the heavy lifting
This level of monitoring, promotion, and social media management can take a lot of marketing and PR resources, which many dealers do not have. Luckily, a tool like the one offered by SATISFYD can streamline management of your online reviews.
When selecting a partner to help with your online reviews, make sure you choose a solution that is as turnkey as possible. In addition to managing the actual outreach to customers and data collection, your resource should help establish and drive the internal processes to respond to and promote your reviews. Look for expertise in social media, web design, and direct outreach to ensure that your message comes through loud and clear.
You have scores of delighted customers just sitting quietly with their great stories. It’s time to spread the news!