Are Third-Party Review Platforms A Good Idea?
Let’s say you’re about to book a hotel or buy a laptop with a company you’ve never purchased with before. One of the things many of us do before hitting the ‘pay now’ button is read reviews. Aside from getting a good deal for the product or service, one of the key deciding factors is whether the service is reliable. If we see too many poor reviews and low star-ratings, we’re likely to take our business elsewhere (or at least that’s what the stats say anyway).
What are third-party review platforms?
First-party reviews are ones that are collected and published directly on your website. In comparison, third-party reviews are not attached to your website – they are reviews about your business that are left on another platform.
Google, Facebook, Trustpilot and TripAdvisor (for travel, tourism and leisure businesses) are some that spring to mind. But are they a good idea? Before jumping on the bandwagon and setting up an account, let’s find out.
As a business, you’re less likely to publish negative reviews on your website – and this is something customers will acknowledge. This makes third-party reviews instantly more impartial.
This does mean people will see the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, it’s how you handle negative reviews that matters. Offering a good service and product in the first place means you shouldn’t have to worry about getting inundated with bad reviews. A couple of bad reviews amongst plenty of 5-star ratings is the sweet spot you want to reach. 100% 5-star reviews might look a little suspicious!
The more reviews you collect, the more likely you are to receive a terrible one. You can’t please everyone (even if you are perfect).
The bottom line is that customers don’t expect perfection; they just want to see that you generally score high and mostly receive rave reviews.
Are third-party reviews important?
- Third-party reviews are seen as a great trust signal. They are seen as more truthful than advertisements.
- A trusted third-party review site with business listings is likely to come up on a Google search before your own website. This makes it a clever way to show up in search results.
For these reasons, it’s recommended that you set up a profile on relevant third-party review sites – such as the ones we have mentioned above.
How to get started?
To get started, all you have to do is sign-up with relevant review sites. You can use your existing customers through email marketing to encourage them to leave a review (hopefully a positive one).
If you do get a negative review, it’s best practice to respond, if and when you can. Poor reviews might include complaints that delivery was slow or that the incorrect item was sent, some of which are not always your fault. If potential customers see that you responded promptly and well to these complaints, they will see that your company is honest and trustworthy.
Leaving complaints unanswered is a big no-no. This will suggest to potential customers that they could be left in the dark or that your service is not up to scratch, so be sure to respond.