In this article we will look at some examples and attempt to draw some lessons that will enable luxury brands to actively engage with reviews without exposing their brands to unwarranted negative criticism (or are they, by doing nothing, already doing so?).
The World's Top 5 Luxury Brands
But first, let us answer a few obvious questions...
Do we think reviews like this influence potential customers? - sure we do. How do we arrive at that conclusion? We ask ourselves 'would this review encourage me to use the business?' and if the answer is 'No' then it must discourage at least some people. On top of that this reviewer is almost certainly a customer/brand advocate lost.
- Do reviews matter to these brands? The answer to this $64,000 question, we suspect, is 'Yes, but not as much as they do to a less well-established brand.' If 'Yes' then how? If you read any of the many negative reviews (and remember that a location with 100 reviews and a score of 4.0 has, by definition, 20 negative reviews) they invariably represent a customer lost. They also represent a brand advocate lost, and a potential negative influencer gained. So 'Yes' is the right answer.
- Why don't they respond to their reviews? We cannot be sure (there are - rare - instances where some reviews have received responses, but usually of the 'contact us' variety, indicating a fundamental misunderstanding of the direction of travel when engaging with reviewers), but we reckon that it's simply a case that responsibility for doing so has yet to be delegated/nominated within the business. Given that we know for sure that businesses that respond to reviews fare better than those that don't, this has to be the only reason.
- How do we know that none of the locations listed above have proactively engaged with reviews? Because the numbers are so small - if they had engaged the numbers would be in the high hundreds, even thousands, by now.
- Why have they not engaged? The answer to this has to be 'fear'; an understandable fear of encouraging negative reviews. The problem with adopting a 'do nothing' strategy is that long-term it results in an accumulation of often inaccurate and misleading negative reviews, as it has done for almost all of the twenty-six locations above - harmful for the business and equally harmful for those who might otherwise have considered purchasing their merchandise (as well as being unsettling for loyal existing customers).
- How difficult is it to engage? It couldn't be simpler - all luxury brands collect their customers' email addresses as matter of routine these days, and the days of their customers resenting being asked for a review are also well in the past. So it's just a matter of deciding to engage.
Don't immediately rush to invite all your customers to post a review to Google, after all, you don't want incorrect or unfair reviews appearing there, especially when there is no need, and there's more to adopting a professional attitude to review management than simply addressing your brand's image on Google.
The HelpHound solution
By using HelpHound you are achieving three objectives in one fell swoop...
- You will be getting reviews to display on your own website and use in your other marketing efforts - advertising, PR and social media
- You will be getting reviews to Google - reviews that will be seen by everyone looking for your products - and then to other sites that matter (Facebook being the obvious next step)
- You will be doing so safe in the knowledge you will be able to engage with any incorrect or potentially misleading reviews pre-publication
It is a very rare occurrence that a HelpHound client scores less than 4.5 out of five - on their own site or on Google - and that's because HelpHound clients care about their customers, so that care is reflected in the reviews their customers write and their aggregated scores.