The holiday season is fast upon us and businesses need to get on their A game to prepare for this key selling season. During the holidays, the total quantity of customer reviews generated increases 50%, and the total number of negative reviews increases a whopping 70%. It’s important that businesses plan ahead to ensure both revenue and customer satisfaction goals are achieved during this critical season.
To help out, Trustpilot put together a comprehensive guide of how to make your – and your employees’ – jobs easier during the busiest time of the year. The best part is, all of these strategies leverage content assets you already have on hand – your customer reviews!
Tip 1: Facilitate conversations now for conversions later
By collecting reviews from customers, you’re gaining valuable insight into how they think and feel about your customer experience. When you invite customers to leave a review, you open up a dialogue for meaningful engagement and have an incredible opportunity to further serve your customers, while showing that you care.
Don’t be discouraged by negative reviews – use them to better understand and resolve possible issues with the business and make every effort to respond to them, both publicly and privately. It shows all customers that you are the type of business that listens, reacts to and resolves issues.
Tip 2: Spread the love via social media
Actively collecting reviews is beneficial on its own, but you’ll further amplify these benefits and turn happy customers into advocates if you share positive experiences on your company’s social media channels. Third party endorsements will always resonate more than advertising while confirming the strength of your customer experience. Take it one step further and encourage customers to share these experiences as well and watch the referral leads pour in!
Furthermore, don’t forget to actively listen for reviews regarding your on these channels and participate in the conversations. No matter the channel – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram – proactive social engagement can only help showcase you’re listening to and appreciate their feedback.
Tip 3: Track review trends
You’re wasting reviews (and the time put into obtaining them) if you’re only collecting them and squirreling them away. Use this feedback as a way to dicover important business trends and insights. If you collect content-heavy reviews rather than simple ratings, you’ll be able to get even more insight to help analyze and refine your business approach. These reviews can also help uncover trends you may not be aware of and, once tapped into, incrementally improve your overall customer experience.
Tip 4: Get bigger wins with stronger email marketing campaigns
Creating engaging, high-converting copy in email campaigns and other digitial advertising allows businesses to communicate with customers more continuously and through multiple channels. Using catchy subject lines, graphics, GIFs, and emojis will better align with the personality of your customers while making your messaging more powerful and successful.
Tip 5: Use verified ratings to get more click throughs from your PPC ad campaigns
Looking to get more clicks and spend less in AdWords and Google Shopping? Why don’t you give the Google Seller Rating (GSR) ad extension a try (Bing and Yahoo! have similar paid advertising extensions). It’s an easy add-on and the impact can be significant – Google reports the average lift in click-through rate to be 17%, once successfully implemented.
Tip 6: Inspire employees
A little incentive goes a long way. Use the authentic reviews you’ve collected to inspire your team members and gamify their work in sales, customer service and support. There are a variety of ways to do this – such as providing free lunches to those who receive positive reviews or inciting friendly competition to see who could gather the most positive reviews. Set an average rating goal for your entire company to work towards – your team, and your customers, will reap the benefits!
Tip 7: Bust your checkout ghosts
Reviews are valuable internally, but they gain extraordinary value with prospective customers when shared externally. In fact, consumers trust online reviews (from strangers!) more than any other form of advertising content – they are second only to a recommendation from a friend. Not convinced? Try displaying reviews in key conversion points on your website – landing pages, forms, shopping carts – and test the effects. We’ve found sharing throughout the buyer’s journey can improve conversion rates substantially and reaffirms trust in your business.
Tip 8: Product reviews move products, faster
Promote individual items, offerings or services on your website and in marketing campaigns with targeted reviews – these reviews will not only improve conversion rates, but will help boost organic search rankings with highly-relevant user-generated content. Additionally, integrating reviews and ratings on your site in a way that qualifies your pages to display with rich snippet stars in organic search can create an incredible traffic-boosting effect.
Tip 9: Give your business credibility via word of mouth advertising
The truth is more than 50% of Americans do not trust advertising, but more than 70% trust consumer opinions posted online. Therefore, incorporating online reviews within your advertising can create more trustworthy and effective ads, while building up a business’ credibility.
Tip 10: Create an atmosphere of success
When your company prioritizes reviews, your customers know they come first. And when you optimize and improve your customer experience, you gain repeat customers, increase your value to them and offer a key differentiator between your business and your competitors, building a loyal customer base. Analysts and experts alike predict that in the future, customer experience will be the #1 differentiator between businesses – take this opportunity to get ahead of the crowd and emerge in your category as the brand that listens and cares.
Implementing these tips can increase efficiency, grow revenue and future-proof your business in advance of the busy holiday selling season!
Jordan Garner is Director of Marketing for TrustPilot