Online buyers prefer to do business with merchants they trust, and improving brand reputation needs to be the prime focus of any corporate communication initiative.
Customer reviews are a common and time-tested method for building a brand's credibility. These reviews have to reflect the true and honest experience of a customer who has purchased and tried the product or service. But the million-dollar question is how to get the prospect to believe that the reviewer is actually a customer providing an authentic review, and not a marketer in disguise doling out propaganda?
Some pointers include:
- Provide details about the reviewer. While it may be impossible to provide detailed contact info, the reviewer's city and state, along with the date of purchase, can strengthen the review
- Leverage the power of social media. The opinions of friends, or even expert strangers does matter.
- Provide information to prospects that can help them corroborate the review – case studies, technical documentation, white papers etc.
- Highlight the best reviews and related research on your social media, and spruce it up with discussions, opinion polls and updates.
Marketers could also use tools like Pluck Reviews, an enterprise social-integrated review platform to drive engagement in the process.
Pluck's review platform identifies ideal customers and seeks their feedback, providing them options to upload photos and videos as well. The platform then automatically publishes the reviews to pre-selected channels, and allows community members to post feedback, thus kick starting an interactive discussion that can provide even more insights to the prospect. The marketer retains moderation capabilities to ensure that everything remains in control. The reviewer also gets the option to share the review on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
However, the question of credibility of the review remains. Pluck's Trust Filters, an intuitive tool, can help with that. Trust Filters allows the prospect viewing the review to see only the reviews submitted by sources they trust, such as their Facebook friends, or experts they hold in esteem. For the marketers, Pluck offers a fully integrated rewards system that help them identify and coax a review out of product experts and other influential members that the online community is more likely to trust.
Marketers can however use Pluck reviews for far wider purposes than simply as a tool to publish credible reviews. For instance, integrating Pluck Reviews to the product page in the website, or even to another micro site, helps to improve search engine rankings.