With so many review tools out there – which one should you focus on?
Choosing the right customer review tools are important to get right as early as possible.
Customers leave reviews right after the experience or when asked; they are unlikely to leave you another review on a different tool if you change your preferences later on.
How many times have you looked at reviews before deciding to go ahead with something? I know I do it constantly with Amazon products, especially with multiple products being sold for the same purpose.
I do however try and ignore the odd keyboard warriors dragging the score down. We’re all human and businesses aren’t ran entirely by robots. Usual rule of thumb:
- Good experience – Walks away with a smile on their face, tells their friends
- Great experience – Leaves a review to sing their praises and tells their friends
- Naff experience – Walks away and tells their friends
- Really naff experience – The world needs to know
Looking at your reviews (if you have none or have many) how could you turn those good experiences into great experiences?
If your customers are leaving you with a smile on their face – ask them for a review! Tell them it really helps your business and strengthens your reputation.
Here’s a few of our favourite customer review tools
We put Google’s review tool at the top because it is the most helpful for website SEO. Good reviews listed on your Google business account, indicates trustworthiness and credibility to Google. Ergo; pushing you up on the search list.
Pair this with your opening hours, address on Google maps, contact number, website link, phots.. It’s all in one place. Google is also the most used search engine out there, and where people are likely to be looking if you have no reviews / bad reviews. However anyone can leave a review – even if they barely interacted with you and your business.
Trust Pilot is very useful for in depth reviews and is quite similar to Google in how the feed itself is structured. Again, anyone can leave a review, however it is particularly helpful for businesses sending out invitations to review a product that has been confirmed as purchased. These reviews will show up as confirmed purchase on your Trust Pilot feed, which will support potential customers in understanding the reliability of the review. As an owner of the account, there are free and paid plans. The paid plans will allow you to verify reviews and have snazzier integration with your website and social media, such as live feeds.
My Mrs is a very organised woman; she’s made folders in her Trip Advisor account for restaurants, days out and hiking trips. It’s great to then look back on, to see all your pinpointed locations on a map and choose where to go. Trip Advisor is catered more toward those providing experience services and is fantastic for uploading your own photos. If your customers get snap happy – it’s a fantastic way to get free marketing! You can also upgrade your free account for extra features, for example if you are a holiday B&B and wish to take bookings via the Trip Advisor platform.
Check a Trade
Of course as the name states, Check a Trade is great for tradies. Cowboy builders (yes we get those in the web world too) is one of the biggest fears for customers when looking for trade workers. Especially for home owners who don’t have a pool of contacts and references, it’s a great way to enlist your skills on a search engine, with the ability to read previous reviews. Their plans start from £30+VAT per month. The higher level plan you get, the more leads they provide to you.
Should you use one customer review tool, or many?
As we mention similarly in our post on social media – it’s ideal to have many because of your audience preference types. However, getting somebody to leave a review with you on Google, and Trust Pilot and then asking them to also leave one on Trip Advisor with a few photos .. it’s asking a bit much of the customer.
Bigger businesses have their fingers in more pies because a lot of the time, customers freely leave reviews without being asked to do so. However if you’re a smaller business or you’re just starting out with reviews – we recommend pushing one tool in particular that is the most ideal for your target market.
Are your customer reviews too few or negative to promote?
Testimonials on your website are certainly supporting your credibility and trustability when a user is browsing through your website. But as they aren’t ‘audited’ by third party companies; customers are smart enough to know that you could have cherry picked the best reviews and swept the rest under the rug. You could have even made them up for all you know or got your best mate to leave a character review.
If your reviews are minimal or have been down in the dumps lately and your score could do with a little lift – then we would recommend contacting your good and great customers directly to leave you a review. Be human about it, explain how much it would help your small business, your local business, or your big business team members empowerment and so on. When you’re then in a better position to shout about your reviews online – pop the link in your email signature, feature it on your website more and publish a post on your social media of a really pleasant review that could make a mentioned employee feel special!
If your reviews are overall negative and deep down you know there’s a major problem in your business – then address that first. Asking the nice customers to help you out to make your score better isn’t going to fix that hole in your leaky bucket.