My Creative Pixel provides the highest quality of work ultimately improving their business problems with creative solutions for clients nation wide.
Hi, my name is Sally Roper, and I am the CEO of My Creative Pixel. I specialize in logo design, branding, print services, web design, email marketing and work with companies of all sizes nation wide ultimately improving their business problems with creative solutions. Shoot me a quick email to see how I can help you!
Customer reviews are the single most effective bit of marketing you can do for your company. 92% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations more than any other form of advertising. With my help, you will acquire more authentic customer reviews.
You can find hundreds of recent stats and studies that confirm the insanely influential role online reviews play in getting customers to buy or try new products, services, and local businesses. The most compelling evidence comes right from our clients:
• An urban chiropractor asks his new patients where they heard about his practice. In the last year, he says that the proportion of total patients identifying review sites as the referral doubled from about 40% to 80% of all new patients.
• A spa with glowing online reviews was getting a steady flow of new client leads. Eager to grow, the owner ran a Groupon daily deal that brought in scores of new clients at once, but the spa staff wasn’t prepared, leading to service failures and a spate of scathing reviews. The owner says business slowed to a halt until she took measures to recover her reputation.
• Two competing pizza joints opened a block away from each other in a town with a cutthroat dining scene and high restaurant turnover. One owner decided to go “black-hat” and buy scores of fake reviews to “prime the pump,” while our client focused on collecting a few honest reviews from real customers every month. Our cliental has grown a steady following, visibly busy most nights and packed on the weekends. The most visible activity from the competitor is online: a bunch of empty five-star ratings and 2 comments from real customers calling out the phony reviews!
These rangy anecdotes are just that: anecdotes. But for me, they expose the power and complexity of what has been dubbed “social proof,” the notion that consumers now validate or invalidate for each other the value proposition of your business.
Empowered customers are more demanding than ever, and they have the ability to make or break your business. They don’t trust what you say about your product or service, and they really don’t trust your ads. Instead, they trust other people like themselves.
So, whether you’re talking about a restaurant, a medical practice oran electrical contracting company, it’s hard to overstate the influence its customers now have on each other. Because customer reviews are perceived as being written by regular folks with no agenda, people trust them—even more than they trust expert opinions.
Reviews you can trust, written by people just like you.
Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations, whether from strangers or from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. And keep in mind that those who regularly read and post online reviews tend to be younger, wealthier and more optimistic about technology—an attractive segment for most businesses to reach
Consumers today have access to a wide range of information and opinion from independent third parties about products, services, companies and individuals. We use these data sources to discover, evaluate and compare the things we’re interested in. Marketers sometimes call this burgeoning phenomenon of online opinion-sharing “electronic Word of Mouth” (eWOM), a term that encompasses online reviews, social media and discussion forums.
Given the overwhelming influence that consumer opinions carry, getting a business involved in this peer-to-peer conversation can have a greater marketing impact at a lower cost than almost any paid advertising.
What people say about a business online matters. But that they say anything at all matters even more. As we’ve seen, review sites and social media are channels that consumers use to discover, research and evaluate new products and services. But perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “Not me. I use Google.”
It’s a good point. Unless we’re regular users of a site like Angie’sList or Yelp, we probably go straight to the search engines with our immediate needs. After we parse through the organic search results and the ads and winnow them down to a few top candidates, we might check the reviews on our shortlist, but it’s their visibility in search that put them there. So instead of reviews, shouldn’t a business owner care more about things like search engine optimization (SEO) and search advertising?
If you have the budget for it, SEO and paid search advertising can be highly effective channels for generating new customer leads. But they’re also ultra-competitive and therefore expensive, with high costs involved for either type of campaign to work.
Note also that online reviews are not just about influence: they create visibility, too. Especially in smaller markets, getting online reviews is one of the most effective and inexpensive SEO tactics you can implement.
That SINGLE Google review finally put me on the map, literally! My business never showed up on Google maps with a little letter until that review!
The tools and techniques to get happy customers is sharing the good word about almost any business, product or service. The overarching strategy here is what I call a “review funnel”: anticipate what will motivate customers to write a review and funnel them from their experience of the product or service through completing the review process.
“With reviews, more is more,” as small business marketing mastermind John Jantsch puts it. “The trick is to make sure your happy customers know you value reviews and encourage them to create them.”
A review funnel strategy can make use of multiple tactics, channels and assets (human, print, email, Web, mobile, etc.), but the formula is simple:
• Provide a way for businesses to ask and remind customers to share their experience online
• Drive customers to an asset or destination that’s designed to convert them into reviewers
• Guide each reviewer through selecting the best possible review site and completing a review
As we’ve seen, happy customers who intend to write a review still won’t do it if (1) they forget; (2) it’s too hard; or (3) they’re too busy. So the task of any review funnel is essentially threefold:
1. Remind each customer to write a review
2. Make the process easier
3. Avail them of it during their downtime
I help provide a flexible and turnkey print/online review funnel system that serves these functions for a wide range of scenarios and businesses.
As we’ve seen, a customer’s motivation to write a review is typically weak at best. Unless she’s a “superuser” or just had an awful experience, she’s not likely to even think of writing a review. Not to worry, though. I am here to help you! Here’s how:
• Invite customers to give feedback
• Craft the right message
• Offer an incentive to engage
The customer is ready to take the next step in your review funnel. But wait! What’s the next step? What are you actually asking customers to do? Where are your invites driving them? To the company website? To a review site directly? Somewhere else?
The ideal review funnel solution is one that gets customers leaving reviews where they count the most: on the third-party sites others use to discover, evaluate and compare companies, products or services like yours. No doubt you care about more than one site, and which sites you care about will change over time.
By following this simple approach, it can be an easy to adapt and maintain over the long term:
• Drive the customer to a landing page we control
• Focus the customer on leaving a review
• Help the customer select a review site and complete their review
I’ve said that turning customer reviews into an effective marketingchannel is about being:
• Proactive with respect to getting customers to share the word about your business on review sites; and
• Responsive by addressing reviews publicly or privately when they don’t reflect the reputation you aspire to
To make reputation creation work for you, you have to be attentive. You need to know what people are saying, good or bad, about your business or the business you work for. This is where I can assist you with this or there is an option that you can do it yourself.
Respond to Reviews
Not every review site allows businesses to respond, but you should certainly take advantage of those that do. There are a few rules of thumb for responding publicly to reviews:
1. Do not respond to all reviews—it’s hard to keep up and may look less than genuine. Instead, strive to respond to all or most negative comments, as well as those positive comments that may highlight an aspect of personal attention or detail that customers would otherwise not know about.
2. In general, you should respond to negative reviews wherever possible. Readers tend to see positive reviews as self-serving, patting the customer on back for his or her own good taste, while they may assume negative reviews were directly caused by the customer experience and therefore more valid.
3. In any response, thank the reviewer for their time and feedback—no matter what the truth is, your sanity and your public image do best when you assume that reviewers are trying to help you, not hurt you.
When you Google yourself, what do you see? Even the top 20 big brands who blanket the web with content and PR see that 25% of search results on their brand are user-generated content.
Customers now have a powerful voice, access to critical information, and shared memory afforded by online reviews. While it may seem like this empowerment of the customer should come at a cost to businesses, in fact businesses have gained immensely, too. Consider what we as marketers and business owners now get for free:
• Our most trusted and effective marketing is being done for us by volunteers
• Those volunteers surface more info about our offering than our own advertising can, and that helps differentiate it from the alternatives
• Our customer service now serves multiple ends: creating customer satisfaction and broadcasting it to potential new customers
• We get focused, real-time business intelligence to assist in quality improvement and competitive analysis
In order to unlock all of this value, we only need to decide how we’re going to do it, what tools and tactics we’re going to use, and to what ends. My hope is that this little volume has given you some motivation and ideas to get you working with online customer reviews in a proactive and fruitful way. The future of your business may depend on it. Now, to your success!
If you are ready to start this program with me, click on the button below and we'll get it going!