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How to Beat the Online Trust Crisis

24th February 2020






By Christopher Lamotte, Real Marketing Specialists www.real-m.com/01620 825751

90% of consumers read online reviews

Being trusted by prospective customers is essential but there’s a consumer trust crisis. We all know that the internet is awash with frauds, fake news, scams and poor content.

Consumers are more cynical and savvy about marketing and what they hear about your products than they’ve ever been.

Nearly 9 in 10 consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business (BrightLocal). Similarly, 90% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, which means that having good, recent reviews are an essential element of your marketing.

Successful businesses need to be trusted. So you need to build ‘trust capital’ which is a valuable strategic resource. If your business has high trust capital it reduces the’ trust gap’.

Some of the ways that you can achieve this are by having a secure website (with an SSL certificate), a privacy statement, easy navigation, up-to-date content, a strong team section (because it’s one of the top 5 most visited pages on many websites), an authentic approach to the environment and corporate social responsibility, offering online chat, engaging social media presences and good search engine rankings.

And, of course, you should also have good customer testimonials and reviews visible on your website.

Do you have a customer review strategy?

Today, most businesses should have a planned approach to inviting and managing customer reviews and testimonials and managing their online reputations. Why? Because prospects often see your reviews in Google before they first visit your website.

Online reviews are trusted nearly as much as recommendations from your friends so they play a key role in the customer journey and in buying decisions.

Amazon has led the way with customer reviews but Google and other platforms play critical roles.

Which review platforms should you use? How should you present reviews on your website?

Should you use free platforms like Google Reviews, Facebook or TripAdvisor? Or paid-for review options like Reviews.io, Revoo, Feefo, TrustPilot, some of which are invite only? And there are many other review options to choose from.

Not all your reviews need to be 5*. In fact, research suggests that you should aim for average ratings of 4.2 to 4.6 out of 5, because having the occasional poor review demonstrates that your reviews are genuine and makes them more believable.

If time allows, you should thank customers for good reviews.

How should you deal with bad reviews?

Of course, you must always respond to poor reviews.

Dealing with bad reviews can be a challenge, particularly if they seem very unfair or even fraudulent. You should try to take the emotion out of bad reviews by ‘biting your tongue’, and replying apologetically, sympathetically, factually and even-handedly.

I recommend that you draft your online response, then sleep on it and edit it again before posting.

If possible, speak to the complainer off-line, then ask them to change or add to their review.

Whatever, do not become confrontational as this usually backfires and makes the issue harder to resolve.   

Read the full article on Real Marketing’s website

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