Customer reviews and testimonials are even more popular now that nearly everyone has access to the internet. It’s easier than ever to do a quick check on products and services before you buy them. Since so many products and services are bought “sight unseen,” it makes sense that consumers rely on reviews to help make their buying decisions.
Controlling the Integrity of Reviews
Unfortunately, there are many people who get a thrill out of leaving fake negative reviews of products. The reasoning isn’t clear, but it may be to unfairly disparage a company’s products or services, to gain attention, or simply to fill gaps of boredom. Whatever the reason, false negative reviews can hurt your company’s reputation and potentially undo months or years of diligent work to make your product or service stand proud.
There is one great proven way to control the integrity of any review that your company gets on your site. That is, to only allow reviews from customers with verified purchases. Amazon has done this partially on their site, although they do still publish reviews from non-verified reviewers. Cross reference submitted reviews with purchases rather than letting customers submit purchase dates. You can then annotate each review with a verified purchase date. This lets potential customers know when the item or service was purchased, and helps to prove that the review is genuine.
Responding to Reviews
Your company’s responses to both negative and positive reviews is almost as important as the review itself. Make sure that someone in your organization is scouting the internet looking for your company’s reviews. This person should be authorized to speak on behalf of your company. They can then leave appropriate comments in response to the reviews. This is helpful for one reason because it lets readers know that your company really cares what people think. It also provides an effective way to manage negative reviews. If a product was below par, and the reviews are negative, your person can address the issue, perhaps indicating that the problem has been since resolved.
Recognizing the Importance of Customer Reviews
Customer reviews can make or break your company. You might have a product, for instance, that flies off the shelves due to its uniqueness, your marketing campaign or another reason. But if customers start using your product and find it lacking and then leave hundreds of negative online reviews about it, you’ll soon be looking at a warehouse of unsold product. Never underestimate the importance of customer reviews.
Of course, one of the best ways to ensure positive customer reviews is to first ensure that your products or services are the best they can be. Trying to “get one over” on the public rarely works. Customers these days are demanding and savvy. Only top quality products and services will yield top quality customer reviews.
“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer