Shooting stars in the night sky

Look Beyond the Stars (Your Customers Do)

Does reputation management have you seeing stars? What really makes a great online review?

I wish I could tell you that “one size fits all” approach to online reputation management, however, the reality is that everyone digests online reviews differently.

Online behaviour is a funky and fickle beast. whilst there is no denying that people depend on review sites more than ever, people are more discerning of the types of reviews that influence a purchasing decision than they’ve been in the past.

think about how we use reviews to help us choose the perfect hotel for a holiday or restaurant for that special occasion. Star reviews help to lure potential customers In, however, the real persuasion comes in the written content.

Here’s what to look for:

    • it has a decent star rating attached
    • it is substantial, and therefore credible
  • it is recent and corroborated by other, similar opinions

The Stars Must Align

Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text so it makes sense that when browsing reviews, we gravitate to the most stars. When people read reviews, they typically have a specific need and are either looking for experts to guide their decisions or someone similar to themselves that can share their experience.

Having loads of positive star reviews is great but do they explain what’s great? Is restaurant food tasty? A certain dish or is it the atmosphere? were the staff friendly? All questions that aren’t answered can put a customer off.

Not all written reviews are created equal. A concrete argument with specific details not only makes the reviewer more trustworthy, in that, you can tell they’ve actually used the product, but a specific detail of the experience might actually help the consumer solve their problem.

One of these things is not like the other

Say you are looking for the best place to play mini golf in town. You find a local course and see 15 reviews raving about the design of holes and create elements in great detail but then you see one negative review complaining about how the course lacks creativity.

People will ignore the one bad review because it doesn’t fit with what everyone else said.

Consistency across reviews adds to the credibility of the golf course.

Pro-tip: When you’re promoting a customer for a review, use persuasive copy that highlights the importance of specific reasons why they loved your product.

Their last review was three years ago?

A review from last week is much more important than one last year. there’s nothing more frustrating than sitting through reviews only to realise the most recent review was from 2013. A lot can change for a business in that space of time.

A review written after 6 months only has relevance to 16% of people. That means that if you haven’t earned a review in half a year, you’re doing a huge disservice to your business.

Ask and ye shall receive

When companies request reviews, the customer is doing a favour for the business.

Simply asking for a review from a recent customer though isn’t enough. People write reviews to help others, yet the average person doesn’t know what constitutes a good review, let alone how to write one.

If you’re asking your customers for reviews, you need to provide a little guidance. By highlighting the importance of the written part of the review, as well as distinctly asking for the customer to address specific attributes of their experience, you’re setting reasonable expectations for your customers to be able to provide valuable reviews.

Do you have any recent reviews that have the type of substance that speaks to potential new customers?