Reputation Management

JANUARY 3, 2023 – Reviews are more important than ever because people trust what others say much more than they trust what you (the brand) say, observed Shannon Vogel, owner of Reach Social. “If people know what to expect because others have shared their experience, there is a higher level of buying confidence.”

Positive reviews bring customers in the door and can also assist people in finding you online, explained Bevin Andrews, senior vice president, marketing and advertising, CCA Retail Group.

“According to Brightlocal, as of 2021, 77 percent of consumers always or regularly read a review when browsing for local businesses,” Andrews reported. “Our Members First Marketing team has programs exclusively available to CCA Retail Members to help in this critical area.”

Andrews continued, “Reputation management lets your customers know that you are actively monitoring and engaging with them on any platform they may be communicating on with you. It also lets them know that you value their feedback (whether good or bad) and are on top of addressing any concerns they may have.”

According to a 2020 Trustpilot report, 89 percent of consumers read reviews prior to making a purchase decision, reported Michael Johnson, vice president digital strategy premium brand sales and marketing at Shaw Industries. “Research has shown that three negative reviews can cause up to 59 percent of customers to look elsewhere,” he said.

The bottom line is that reviews are essential. “Monitoring online reviews (Google, Yelp, etc.) needs to be core to the local retailers’ customer service strategy,” Johnson stressed, adding, “Shaw offers our ‘Share It Forward’ program to our retail partners at a nominal cost. This tool allows them to monitor and manage their online reviews.”

Carole Cross, founder and CEO of Mobile Marketing, stated, “It’s human nature to want to know how others are being treated by a business. Reviews build confidence in a consumer’s decision to work with you. It is also important to have positive reviews because it is tied into your Google listings and has a positive impact on your paid ads and in driving conversions.”

Harvesting reviews

“Encourage customers to write a review during every stage of service,” Cross advised. “Don’t just wait to ask for a review at the end of the installation. Have QR codes in the showroom and ask customers to write a review of the service they received from your sales staff. Put requests for reviews on as many touchpoints with customers as you can, such as with the invoice. If you offer a great service like design, ask for a review at the end of that process. Then, of course, you can ask for reviews through automatic emails and texts.”

Read the full article by Floor Covering Weekly.