Online Reviews and Ratings: Today’s Digital Salesmen

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I don’t think I need online ratings and reviews. I know my product better than anyone else. If there’s someone who can convince and sell it to consumers, it’s me!

As a seller, your potential customers must understand, believe in and buy what you are selling.  Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do by yourself to describe your product. Your website tries to inform and promote your product to hundreds of people with the same information.  It’s pretty much just facts.

Now let’s add a new dimension to your selling – the digital salesman of today – reviews and ratings. By adding these to your website, you’ve now allowed each consumer of yours to be Digital Salesman.  Sounds too good to be true? Let’s check it out…but first let’s figure out an individuals buying cycle.

The way we think when we buy…

Let’s say you want to buy a newly launched Ultimate* LED TV. Being tech-savvy you read about its specifications and compare its cost at various e-commerce retailers online as well as with a few physical retail stores. To be absolutely certain, you enter a retail outlet for a proper look and feel of the product. You even quiz the salesman on a few questions about the TV: specifications, warranty, after-sales service and what feedback he’s got from others who bought it.

You come home pretty much satisfied that you’re making the right decision. Of course one thought keeps cropping through your head – can I trust the salesman or the company’s claims? Are any of them lying? Have I seen beyond the gloss of fancy marketing and got the essence of what I’m really buying? It’s these questions that drive you to the next step. You open your web browser and type the magical words: Ultimate* LED TV Reviews

Reviews can make or break a purchase decision.  People love to share their experiences, especially when it comes to products or services. Each person believes he is an influencer and tries hard to convince the rest that his review is honest, upfront and unbiased. The good part of this is that if your product is genuinely good, then you can avoid too much bashing and create an overall positive sentiment – just enough to swing buying decision in your favor. If your product is substandard – then be rest assured, you’ll be taken to the cleaners. That is the power of a seemingly harmless review or rating.

Where reviews should be placed?

All sellers must create and allow for reviews to be written on multiple channels. These include:

  • The website product page
  • Review forums
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

How do I get good reviews?

Good reviews come naturally to a good product. An average product can also gather reviews but with a bit of help.

 Ways to boost your Digital Word Of Mouth (WOM):

  • Speak with Influencers

Invite those with huge fan following to try or test your products. If you can impress them then they will write favorably. Of course, a bit of of barter also help them write about you.

  • Use your Family and Friends

Have your friends and family try, test and write reviews on your web pages or in their instagram/twitter/facebook accounts. It will get the word to spread.

  • Analyse your Customer Data

Repeat purchasers almost always give good reviews. Tap in to this base and send them an email asking for their feedback.

  • Ask your Customers for Reviews

People love to review but need to be pushed. After 2 weeks of use, ensure each customer of yours receives communication asking for their feedback.

  • Keep your Review Mechanism SPECIFIC

Consumers find it easier to answers specific questions like Overall Score, Pros, Cons, Features rather than a having to just fill a large white box which says ‘Type your review here’.

The more avenues you have to let people speak of your products/services, the more digital WOM will spread. What they say about your brand matters. If consumers see that many people are buying your products/services, many are rating them positively and even more are writing about them, they will be positively influenced to go ahead with the purchase.

Negative reviews, if too many will impact your brand and sales. A few here and there (which may need some filtering at the sellers end) will show your brand as human not a fictitious ever-so-good superhuman. That’s what people want – brands which connect and are not superhuman. After all, what’s superhuman is found in comic books, not with the retailers.

*Ultimate – Fictitious TV Brand. For illustration only.

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