Build a Trusted Brand

Trustpilot insider advice: how to achieve a competitive advantage with your reviews

Monday, February 26, 2024
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We at Trustpilot frequently interact with our clients and potential customers, which often results in great conversations. We exchange ideas about how to use reviews to grow, improve, and build trust for great businesses.

Our highly flexible platform offers opportunities to creatively collect, analyze, and showcase customer reviews in a way that suits each business. Since no two strategies are the same, Trustpilot products must remain open and adaptable to meet the unique needs of each business. We continue creating more exciting ways reviews can help businesses achieve success. 

To whittle down the best channels and ideas for peak Trustpilot review effectiveness, we turned inward and asked our commercial team members across the globe for advice. Namely, Enterprise Customer Success Manager Samuel Skinner and Enterprise Customer Success Manager Stephanie Saltzman. Here are their insights to help you get the most out of your reviews:

In what ways can you include our reviews in a business's online presence that is the most effective?

Sam: Be more strategic with where you place reviews. In my conversations with clients, I suggest using tagging to better understand how to showcase reviews. The tagging tool allows users to categorize reviews in Trustpilot’s dashboard and use those reviews to target customers across your website journey. Say, for instance, you get many potential customers not placing an order because they are worried about delivery processes due to a previous issue on the website or needing their order within a certain timeframe. Showcasing reviews that mention a 'positive delivery experience' can be incredibly impactful.

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Stephanie: My approach is generally to help companies understand that they need to walk before they run. I focus a lot on the initial conversations during discovery - when we want to hear from their customers to fine-tune and help them set up a solid review collection strategy. After that, the number one thing I suggest to them is testing review usage across their digital strategy. Get as much quantitative data as possible to understand how reviews help with engagement. These quantitive insights further support year-end discussions around the value of Trustpilot. 

How could a business typically identify which customer reviews to use?

Stephanie: I'm a big fan of sharing whatever you have. However, some specific channels exist, so I would highlight them differently and maybe consider focusing on verticals.

Many customers collect just general service reviews but have very specific landing pages on their site. Let's say it's an insurance company that sells home and auto. I share the tools they can access to further slice and dice those reviews to showcase them on specific pages that relate to those categories.

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What are some of the most common objections you’ve encountered?

Stephanie: The most common pushback I get is companies wanting to keep their 1-star reviews hidden. “How do I hide 1-star reviews?” “What if I don't like what someone says in a 5-star review?” etc. But if a company is automating their invites, they’ll have a constant stream of reviews regularly. A crummy 1-star review that appears today will probably be buried in the next couple of days, so I suggest they do what they can to collect as much feedback as possible. Plus, customers don’t trust perfect companies. If you put on your consumer hat, you can tell that something might be up if all you share are 5-star reviews. 

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Sam: TrustScore sharing. Many businesses have a score in mind they're more comfortable showcasing and would rather work towards increasing by listening to consumer feedback and making impactful changes. Though, in my experience 4-stars is the sweet spot. Consumers appreciate transparency and if you do have any concerns about displaying a certain score I would recommend reaching out to you customer success manager.

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Should a business ever use customer reviews to preempt objections or address potential concerns before the customer raises them? 

Stephanie: I recommend companies dive deep into sentiment to understand the issues their customers are raising to try to resolve them. I often see a more reactive insight into this, such as a customer saying, "Oh, we just changed our shipping provider, and it's creating some issues. We expect to see a lot of negative feedback about this.” Instead of putting out fires after the fact, Trustpilot has preemptive solutions for situations like these. 

When notifying the customer base about changes that will affect them over a channel like email, we recommend, for example, including links to your Trustpilot profile page and a Trustpilot signature widget in email footers. The widget is a dynamic content signature you can add to your email sign-offs. It’s mobile-friendly, easy to configure and automatically updates, so it will always be based on your current TrustScore.

When or how have customers used reviews in a way that pleasantly surprised you?

Stephanie: I’m pleasantly surprised by the customers using TrustScores in their email signature. It's something I point out and usually suggest. Suppose you have a customer-facing team like customer support emailing externally. I'm always very happy when I see a customer email come to me where they’re using the email signature tool. I think that is super helpful. I like to highlight that when companies first sign on, it's just a way to build that transparency to the feedback they're collecting. And I appreciate that Trustpilot does this internally, encouraging us to use our tool as intended.

Sam: I think the website is the best place. That's where you'll capture the customer to make the purchase. Also, if a customer is on a product page, asking questions about a particular product, you can then direct them to the product reviews for that particular product. We had one customer put their Trustpilot star rating on the side of their shop building. One large grocery chain in the UK would read Trustpilot reviews on a radio advertisement. A Kantar study found that using Trustpilot in TV advertisements is also incredibly effective. 

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What are your thoughts on the future of customer reviews?

Stephanie: I feel like there's a lot more focus on reviews these days, and Trustpilot will continue to be a trusted platform. As our consumer habits, shopping, and lives all move online, the comfort of word-of-mouth or a friend's recommendation is also important. Those outlets are expanding to review recommendations, and ensuring these channels are trusted is important. 

Sam: There is so much choice out there, and consumers are becoming smarter in researching a business to find the best yet most reliable option for them. Consumers increasingly use social channels to purchase goods, pushing out reviews on Instagram/TikTok reels and other social channels will validate who they are and separate them from other businesses who do not have that trusted stamp.

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