Handling Social Reviews

Social Media has turned Customer Service into a Spectator Sport

If you manage a business you will appreciate the power of a positive social review, accepted wisdom is that a 4.8 star review leads to credibility and sales.  The dreaded one star feedback may lose you customers, and definitely won’t make your CEO’s day.  Interestingly, 5 star reviews aren’t generally believed to be true.


However, social listening offers important learning for businesses, and in this digital marketing world is a “must do.”


According to local Chartered Marketer Christine Watson, although the platform has changed, customer service is still customer service.  Christine explained: “The world in which we now operate is still ‘word of mouth’ marketing – it’s just nowadays customer reviews are visible and amplified by the fact that most consumers have their own online channels to broadcast on.  Many business owners, managers and employees have a love and hate relationship with reviews and reviewers. However, only 3% of consumers don’t consider reviews when making a purchase decision with a local business, 4 out of 5 consumers reverse their purchase decision based on negative reviews (according to Review Trackers Survey cited in SocialMediaToday.com.)   Even if the business does not have a review page, customers will and can take matters into their own hands. Individuals can ‘check in’ to your business on Facebook and if you are not to be found they can simply ‘Add’ you to the mix. The same can be said for Trip Advisor, Yelp & more.”


Knowing what your customer says offers important insight and Christine’s view is that a quick customer journey audit will help you to learn how customer’s feel about your businesses.  Anticipate looking at more than 1 review platform to discover what is being said about your brand. Reviews and comments can be left on Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Yell.com, Trust Pilot, Feefo, Reevoo, your own Website, Blogs, your Customers’ Websites and more.


Supporting you towards good social media practice are CIM’s guidance via their Keep Social Honest research.  Key messages in this piece of work are:

  1. Know the law – familiarise yourself with the CAP Code  and the CMA’s guidance on how to comply with the law on online reviews and endorsements.
  2. Make sure those responsible for marketing on social media in your business have the right knowledge and skills.
  3. Set a policy and revisit regularly.
  4. Get everyone on board – make sure all of your employees and any supplier partners you use are aware of your social media policy and commit to complying with it.
  5. Make your position public – once you have a policy in place, let your customers know what they can expect from you and welcome their feedback.

To help support marketers further CIM is holding a morning seminar in Belfast on 31 July at Entrepreneurial Spark Belfast (9.30-  11.00am). The event entitled “Making Marketing Magic with online reviews” is being led by Chartered Marketer Christine Watson MCIM and is open to members and non- members.  Book here http://regions.cim.co.uk/Ireland/home


Featured in Irish News, July 2017