There are many things which go bump in the night and there are certain phrases which chill us to the bone - but let's leave that to Stephen King and all things Halloween - because review collection, publication and management is not the stuff of nightmares.
Reviews can seem daunting
I love Halloween, it's my favourite time of year. The weather gets colder, there's a sense of neighbourliness, and for one night of the year children and adults alike get to dress up in their scariest, spookiest, most gruesome outfits and deck their houses with all things macabre. Also, there's sweets!
But not everyone is into scary things or enjoys a sense of fear and dread, especially when it surrounds your business. The last thing you want to feel is a sense of worry or unease about the one thing you've tried so hard to build up, alas, customers can leave you panicking if things don't quite go to plan. Put a pin in those thoughts, because reviews can help showcase your great services, iron out any issues to do better in the future, and ultimately help grow both your business' reputation and bottom line.
In this post I want to quash any worries about reviews, highlight how they only strengthen your business, and offer some great tips and advice on how your business can thrive during the month of October! If you already collect reviews or know how essential they are, skip ahead to getting your business ready for the Halloween season.
All treats, no tricks
With Reviews.io, collecting reviews can be as simple as asking your customers via email, SMS or In-store app after they have used and received your services. Collecting customer feedback demonstrates to current and future shoppers you value their feedback, and in turn they are aware their thoughts and opinions will help inform others. Collecting with a licensed review partner also demonstrates that all reviews are welcome, and customers know their voice will always be heard, instilling trust.
Review collection can be automated, with each new review appearing in your Reviews Timeline as well as review alerts set for specific review types. The platform makes review collection a breeze, leaving your business to focus on the feedback itself and keeping your customers happy.
Once collected, reviews can so easily be displayed on your own website via a Reviews.io badge or widget, which in turn has a host of benefits. Reviews which are easily accessible keep shoppers on your site, helping turn browsers into buyers. If individuals can educate their purchase decisions right there and then, they're less likely to look around for other services which have more readily available information.
Not only can shoppers educate themselves easily, but reviews offer richer insight than your product or service specifications alone. Your customers therefore enable your business to garner a wealth of insight, which facilitates more knowledgable purchases and thus less returns.
With a widget installed on-site, you won't need to keep updating it with the latest reviews. Reviews.io widgets dynamically display all new reviews as and when they are left, giving your website a constant source of fresh content! Google loves new and relevant content, so when it crawls your webpages displaying your reviews, this can help you show up in the listings over other sources.
You can also see your review stars in paid and organic Google listings. As a Google Licensed Review Partner, Reviews.io enables you to get those shining stars alongside any paid ads such as Google Ads, as well as any product review stars in your Google Shopping campaigns. Stars evoke trust and shoppers are drawn to businesses who have clear favourability from customers over those without customer validation.
With the addition of a special Reviews.io Rich Results-friendly widget, your reviews can also appear alongside organic listings, once again catching shoppers eyes. An enhanced online visibility drives traffic to your site, and with the addition of customer reviews alongside products or services that traffic converts, boosting your bottom line.
All-in-all, the review process is like an appropriately-themed pumpkin. When you nurture a pumpkin by putting it in the right soil at the right time, and then give it enough water and light - it begins to grow.
If you nurture your business by offering great services, and then ask for feedback at the right point in the buying journey, your reviews and business will start to grow. The more individuals that view your reviews and see your services validated by other happy users, the more custom you're likely to receive. More custom, more reviews - an ever expanding, James and The Giant Pumpkin.
A bad apple
However, you may be concerned about the damage negative reviews can do for your business; an understandable concern. Not everyone has nice things to say and although it should go without saying you're doing everything you can to mitigate negative experiences, there will always be a handful of occasions where you can't please your customers. I can feel the panic in you rising. Stop. We're leaving those feelings for the Halloween lovers.
Firstly, the benefits of reviews far outweighs the concept of negative reviews. Not only that, any negative reviews you may receive can actually be placed in the benefits camp. So really, there are only benefits. That may seem backward, so let me explain:
When you receive a negative review, you'll be notified within the Reviews.io dash. This enables you to stay on top of your feedback before anything escalates. You can reach out to the customer both privately and publicly, which we advise. Getting in touch to try and establish what went wrong and how you can resolve it can actually turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. If you resolve the situation, you can also ask your customer to amend their review to match that.
If for whatever reason your customer is still not happy and you've done everything you can to make their experience a good one, your public response to the issue can do wonders. Other shoppers are then able to see that when things do go wrong you're active in trying to make things right. They can then determine for themselves whether that experience is going to impact their shopping decisions.
Not only that, a few negative reviews actually strengthen trust in your brand! Don't intentionally aggravate your customers, that'd be shooting yourself in the foot. But when you do receive a less than 5 star review, add it to your arsenal. A smattering of negative reviews actually increases customer trust, because it's more natural to see some complaints regarding your service. An entirely positive repertoire can raise suspicion, so some negative feedback that you can't make positive is in fact not the end of the world.
The spirit (pun intended) of Halloween
With everything considered, review collection, publication and management should seem a lot more straight forward, and the benefits clear. Let's find out how your business can grow this Halloween season with 5 steadfast tips!
You don't have to be Halloween crazy like me to enjoy the rewards Halloween can bring your business, and you don't need to sell Halloween related merchandise to get on board the All Hallows' bus. Every holiday should be used to your advantage, because if you're not preparing for it, I can guarantee your competitor is!
Add some colour
Each tip applies to both your online or bricks-and-mortar stores, and the first involves adding a little Halloween colour. Don't go orange or black mad, a halloween themed banner or homepage, or some spooky window decorations can let shoppers know you're light hearted and take part in some holiday fun.
If shoppers can see you're into the Halloween spirit, it's likely you've got some seasonal offers too and they'll want to check them out (see discounts).
If you do happen to sell items which can be used or consumed around Halloween, give them a Halloween theme.
[caption id="attachment_9975" align="aligncenter" width="1069"] Biscuiteers Halloween Biscuits and Cookies[/caption]
Chocolates or sweets could be displayed in-store on a Halloween themed display area, or you could stack your items to take the shape of a cat. Normal items could take on a new name, such as toilet paper could be jokingly labelled "mummy bandages".
Online products or services could be bundled into a special Halloween-only package, giving them an exclusive or limited feel. Any of your year round items such as thriller or horror books can take centre stage - just try and think outside the box!
Briefly mentioned in the last tip, labelling items or services under a new name, or simply using some wordplay and puns is a cheap way to give people a laugh, as well as take advantage of the holiday's theme. Bedding could become "ghost costumes", alcohol "witches brew" or pet treats could be "werewolf snacks".
If you sell a service or if you're looking for a blanket statement for all your products, you could say: "Feed the hordes/your little monsters" or "Keep the ghouls and beasties away this year".
A fun way to involve your customers and get them talking about your business is to have them post seasonally-appropriate pictures using your product or service! If you use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you could run a costume competition, or get people to share their halloween recipes and creations.
You could even share your own office's Halloween attempts, and get your customers to hold a poll on your efforts. You're interacting with your customers so don't forget to include a hashtag and get them to use it when they post their pictures or mention your business.
Lastly, one of the easiest and most effective ways to take advantage of Halloween is to offer your customer-base a promotional code or discount. This is a great way to utilise the holiday if you're a service-based industry, or sell items that are far from Halloween related.
If you have an online checkout, consider free shipping in the week leading up to Halloween. Setting a free shipping limit also encourages shoppers to buy more. Any bundled items could be discounted to make them even more appealing, or a buy-one-get-one-free or buy-one-get-one-half-price (desirable for more expensive items) could be applied.
We all appreciate a good deal and seasonal offers: As holidays happen on a regular basis, those events and celebrations can get a little pricey. If you can offer your customers the same thing your competitors are but at a special rate, you'll really feel the benefits this October.
[caption id="attachment_9977" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Ocado Halloween Deals[/caption]
Remove reviews from your list of horrors, and take advantage of your well-earned feedback to see monster amounts of traffic, on-site content which your customers can sink their teeth into, and a boo-st in your bottom line.
And with the application of some tips for your business this October, the only thing your customers should scream about are your Halloween themed products or services, and the great offers you give them!
To find out more about review collection, publication and management, visit our website or give one of our team a call today.