Wednesday 17 May 2023

Deflection - it's hurting so many businesses

We first coined the term 'Deflection' back in 2017 to describe what happens when a business actively invites its customers to write reviews to a review site, as opposed to (or even as well as) Google. So often the business's happy customers will do just what they are asked to do, whether face-to-face or by email: write a review to that review site. So far so good? Well, no actually.

Let's take an example: ScS Sofas. We've all seen their advertising and there's a fairly good chance that you're reading this article sitting on one of their products! Why have we chosen ScS? Because the proof that deflection is hurting their brand very badly in local search - and who searches for a sofa supplier outside their locality? -  is so concrete that it's as near to irrefutable as it could be.

First: look at their chosen review site - Trustpilot... much better could you possibly want your business to look? A score of 4.8 out of 5 from nearly half a million reviews.

So what is the problem? You guessed it: deflection. By inviting happy customers to write reviews to Trustpilot - in-store mainly, immediately post-purchase - they are getting almost all of their positive reviews posted to Trustpilot. So what's wrong with that? 

The purpose of reviews, as far as the business is concerned - is to do two things...

  1. Bring customers conducting an initial web search to the business's website and to their physical stores
  2. Reinforce the sale - 'Half a million customers can't be wrong'
But what actually happens when a consumer performs the two most overwhelmingly common searches? This...

For 'Sofa'...

For 'ScS'...

But surely the Trustpilot reviews show up in searches? Well, no, not really (actually they do, but halfway down page 3 of a Google search - which is akin to not showing in search at all).

But back to deflection. Why the disjoint between Trustpilot and Google scores. The answer is simple: unhappy customers are posting their reviews to Google. We have just shown one location, but we can assure you that the experience is replicated across just about every one of ScS's 97 other locations.

And the answer? Focus on Google. Apart from anything else the business's score on Trustpilot is just about bulletproof with that many reviews, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be on Google too. Add moderation from an independent review manager such as HelpHound and the business will benefit from this positive triple-whammy...

  1. HelpHound moderation will reduce to a bare minimum the number of factually inaccurate or potentially misleading reviews that are posted to Google or anywhere else
  2. The business will own its own reviews - they contain extremely valuable data
  3. The business will benefit from the SEO kicker that comes from hosting its own reviews - as well as the stars in search you see below...

Those 501 reviews are the business's own, every one moderated by HelpHound and hosted on the business's website, and it is they, not the business's Google reviews, that generate those stars in local search

In summary

HelpHound's moderation gives business's the confidence to invite reviews direct to their own website and then straight on to Google. If your business is looking for a safe and secure solution to reviews, with immediate and measurable short-term benefits (more calls, clicks and visits) and long-term positive results then look no further.

Further reading

No matter what your line of business, if there is an element of customer service involved, HelpHound is the proven review management service you need. Here is an article that goes into depth about the kind of results that we will - notice we say 'will', not 'can' - produce for your business.

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