Perfecting Public Perception: How to Use Reviews in Marketing
In the early days of the internet, it was easy to game the system to gain reviews. With almost no checks and balances in place, people could easily fill out online forms and post false kudos and overblown accolades. Flash forward a few decades, and websites (think Amazon) are now very savvy about sniffing out the fakes. So, it’s all the more critical to garner testimonies that are both glowing and genuine.
Customer Trust: What’s a True Review?
Positive reviews are the best way to dramatically increase your customer confidence in a short period of time. And the most powerful ones don’t focus simply on the nuts-and-bolts of the transaction: the great deal they got on the house, or the stellar closing package. They talk about service level. The personal experience – good or bad – that they had with you and your team.
Positive reviews not only draw in new customers, but remind the people who already know you that you are a top-notch professional. Most mortgage loan officers (MLOs) and their Realtor partners are community-focused, and satisfied clientele are only too happy to spread the word that they were smart enough to do business with a well-regarded industry professional.
Reinforcing Your Reputation
This concept isn’t easy to accept, but it’s a fact: People judge you based on what other people say about you. Managing your online reputation is crucial, because if you don’t … someone else will do it for you.
If you’re doing things on a large scale, it’s virtually impossible that no one will ever have a less-than-satisfying experience with you. But if you’re a customer-first organization – and you’re diligent in monitoring your public feedback – you can minimize the damage by making things right immediately with the dissatisfied party.
Up Your Industry Game
Most companies fail to make excellent customer reviews part of their marketing tool chest or blend it into their branding. BIG mistake. If you’ve got that content, it’s important to advertise it … not leave it buried somewhere on your corporate site.
Publicize your reviews on Facebook posts. Put them on a postcard for your target market, or on a landing page tied to a current promo or campaign. And putting one of your most impressive reviews next to a call to action is one of the most powerful things you can do. For example, Quicken has their JD Power & Associates review tied to every marketing campaign.
Stop Shrinking: Showcase Your Wins
Talking about your wins is a huge part of leveraging your positive public perception. Tell people why working with you is a better experience overall. Did you reduce friction for coveted clientele? Make their lives easier? Go above and beyond what your competitors offer?
It’s not about being boastful. It’s about including relevant social proof in your marketing campaigns and assets to establish yourself as the dominant, go-to professional in your space.
Reviews and reputation are powerful tools. But only if you use them creatively and consistently in your marketing efforts.