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TripAdvisor, Google reviews, Facebook reviews… the range and breadth of customer review websites is increasing.

Peer reviews are now one of the primary influencers of purchase behaviour.

Increasingly, savvy shoppers are not just asking friends and family for recommendations and opinions on how the product or service holds up. In 2017, your customers are also researching the product they want to buy online and use feedback issued by prior purchasers to help make their decision. The may also want to give reviews.

Review sites are open, honest, transparent and can help you improve your business.

Benefits of having reviews:

  • Enhanced search engine optimisation – reviews may improve your website rankings.
  • Attract more customers – increase exposure and customer engagement through online channels.
  • Generate customer loyalty – following up with a confirmed purchase and asking them to review your product reinforces your market positioning, places your product back into the customer’s thoughts and may condition them to repurchase.
  • Customer service – it’s good customer service to follow up on post purchase sentiment.
  • Competitor comparisons – customers can access your product while they may have been searching for a competitors’ product.
  • Continuous improvement – businesses can keep track of what customers are saying about their business and adapt as required.

Be cautious though – businesses offering incentives to customers to write positive reviews, or remove or edit negative reviews risk misleading consumers and could be in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. This also applies to staff and any family or friends who are not genuine customers who may give reviews.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) can fine businesses for posting fake reviews (reviews not from customers).

What if you receive negative feedback?

Negative feedback is not always a bad thing.

Responding appropriately and politely helps a business:

  • cement better relationships with customers
  • resolve an issue early and implement procedure or policy to prevent it reocurring
  • identify and fix weaknesses in their product or service, and
  • demonstrate to future potential customers how professional your business is.

Learn about how to manage your businesses online reviews on the ACCC website.

 

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