eCommerce keeps throwing up a recurring theme: particular features that get noticed, celebrated, used, then abused, and finally have to be given a whole new treatment. The area of third-party reviews is currently facing a much-needed overhaul. Things went well over the top for a while there!
Everyone knows how important third-party reviews are. Customer confidence is really important when we’re deciding what and where to purchase. Hardly any of us would think of making a major purchase without first finding out what other people have to say about it.
Years ago companies noted how influential third-party reviews were, and soon some truly dodgy practices found their way into the mainstream marketplace. Positive reviews were getting falsified. Negative reviews were being kept out of sight. Amazon reviews came under fire as sellers exploited loopholes to get paid reviews from people who hadn’t even purchased. As we know, likes on Facebook make all the difference to Google rankings, so eCommerce businesses were resorting to purchasing likes to inflate their SEO performance. Some businesses were suffering from rival firms placing negative reviews in a direct attempt to sabotage the competition. Meanwhile, unwitting consumers have been spending billions, thinking the reviews told them the truth. Ouch!
So let’s clean up our act and look at some good practice for gaining and encouraging real life third party reviews. Third party reviews need to come from actual customers who have actually experienced your products or services. It’s important to check this is happening on your Magento site, by moderating reviews and confirming they really are genuine. If and when you get a mildly negative comment, don’t shy away from it. Publish a helpful response along with it, and see if you can turn things around so that your customer gets a chance to review your gleaming customer service.
If you get a really bad review, don’t ignore it. Get in touch with the reviewer and learn from their unfortunate experience. Your handling of what went wrong could lead to big rewards in tuning up your business and demonstrating to the public that you handle justified criticism well. Everyone makes mistakes. Own up to yours, learn from them, and your genuine reviewers will be telling the world that your business cares about quality products, quality services and quality customer care.