The answer is easy. Getting companies to implement it is not. The most valuable and under-used social media strategy is embedding customer reviews in your Web site. Not blogs, Twitter, communities or tagging.
An eVoc Insights study found that 48% of consumers need to read reviews before making a purchase decision. Neilsen’s research has found that consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising among 78% of study participants.
What gives? Fear of having negative reviews on the company Web site. According to Sam Decker, CMO of BazaarVoice, companies have three options if they’re selling a bad product and are afraid of negative reviews:
- Without reviews, you keep selling the product and risk costly returns and low customer satisfaction
- With reviews, you can use the leading indicator of negative reviews and quickly remove this product from inventory to reduce returns and improve satisfaction
- Or, just allow the negative reviews to steer customers to a more satisfying purchase within the category. Let the best products win, and you will win.
“In cases 2 and 3 you remain a trusted editor of the best products; customers are happy; you maintain their loyalty, and avoid a return,” says Sam. For more on overcoming this obstacle, check out this classic article “Positives about Negative Product Reviews.”