A “Cheap PLUG” for Online Reviews

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By Ryan Leslie

Mar­ket­ing your pos­i­tive reviews is a high­ly effec­tive means to influ­ence con­sumer behav­ior. Shar­ing some of your pos­i­tive reviews with an unsold prospect can absolute­ly make you more approach­able and help you to earn their con­fi­dence. Lever­ag­ing pos­i­tive reviews to win appoint­ments and close sales is a good thing, but it is far from the ONLY thing!

Ear­li­er this week the LA TIMES ran a sto­ry about Online Reviews that I’m afraid passed most mar­keters right by with­out notice. The rea­son? It had EVERYTHING to do with the impor­tance of Online Reviews and NOTHING to do with mar­ket­ing them!

For the third year in a row, Red Roof Inn has been award­ed the high­est cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion score among econ­o­my hotels in an analy­sis by Mar­ket­Metrix, a hotel mar­ket research com­pa­ny based in the Bay Area. They attribute their high score to a con­sis­tent effort to fol­low and respond to online reviews.

Why the “Cheap Plug?” Red Roof Inn received con­sis­tent feed­back that out­lets in the rooms were too far from the night­stand for trav­el­ers that rely heav­i­ly on their per­son­al devices in the late evening and ear­ly morn­ing. Their cus­tomers were mak­ing a con­sis­tent request; Red Roof heard them and respond­ed.

“It’s a sim­ple thing, but it’s extreme­ly mean­ing­ful to the trav­el­er,” hotel chain Pres­i­dent Andy Alexan­der said.

What are your cus­tomers ask­ing of you?

• Are you close­ly mon­i­tor­ing your online reviews with the intent to improve your prod­uct and ser­vice offer­ings?

 What is the most often repeat­ed complaint/opportunity for improve­ment from your cus­tomers?

 Most impor­tant­ly, what steps are you tak­ing to improve in that area?

Pay close atten­tion to the pat­terns in your online reviews and take them to heart.  A “Cheap Plug” may earn you a very valu­able future endorse­ment!

Ryan Leslie, Direc­tor of Deal­er Rep­u­ta­tion Strat­e­gy at Deal­er­Rater can be con­tact­ed at ryan@dealerrater.com.

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