REVIEWS.io marketing lead Rich Ball caught up with company owner Ash Young to find out more.
CarMats.co.uk was founded in May 2020 in the midst of the UK’s lockdown. The business provides quality mats for all car makes and models, customisable by colour and thickness, at a much more affordable price than buying directly for the manufacturer:
We fill a gap in the sense that a.) it’s a cheaper alternative and b.) we let you customise it. We also do the full range. It can be difficult to order older sets from the manufacturers whereas we go all the way back to the 1980’s.
The brand has grown rapidly in a short period of time, already processing between 100 and 200 orders a day, success Ash attributes to the company's marketing efforts.
A key part of those efforts is using customer feedback to build brand credibility:
Very early on I was really keen to show our potential customers that we could be trusted. So right from the get go we signed up with REVIEWS.io and started inviting customers to leave reviews from day one.
As a Shopify site, CarMats.co.uk uses the REVIEWS.io plugin to automate review collection and has seen a huge uptake from customers, with around a 14% conversion rate.
Over 1,300 CarMats.co.uk reviews and a high average star rating are added to everyday and displayed on both landing and product pages via widgets embedded on the site.
One thing Rich was keen to learn was why Ash had, to this point, focused primarily on company reviews. As Ash explains, it’s all about building brand trust with a target market right from the outset, and company reviews are a great solution for this:
We’ve not gone out for product reviews aggressively because we wanted to build that company review in the first case.
It’s a good approach when you consider the brand’s range includes over 2,000 products. That’s a lot of SKU’s to juggle. Essentially, Ash wants to ensure everything is integrated correctly before pushing for product reviews, but knows the importance of building trust in the meantime.
There’s also timing to take into account. Currently, company reviews are triggered once an order’s been dispatched. What Ash wants to ensure with product reviews is that invites are sent post delivery, something he’s encountered issues with during the pandemic as deliveries have often been delayed.
Issues like this can form the basis of negative reviews, so how does Ash deal with these?
I personally respond to every negative review. We respond by looking into the issue, seeing if we’ve spoken to that customer. If we haven’t we’ll encourage them to get in touch or proactively reach out to them.
We encourage all customers to respond to negative reviews as it’s a great way to showcase good customer service. CarMats.co.uk has an effective system in place, with email alerts set up for any feedback under three stars, which is then handled right away.
Currently, the brand only uses REVIEWS.io and no other platform, but moving forward looks to make use of our third party review solution, as well as investing in product reviews and integrating tools like Klaviyo for more streamlined marketing.
Something Ash is really keen to establish is better email marketing techniques as part of the review process. He feels some customers use the review request as a direct form of communication with the business:
It’s almost like they’re not leaving a review - they’re not going out there to slate you. It’s almost like they want someone to solve their problems.
To encourage customers to raise issues before leaving their feedback, we’ve implemented a custom email template suited for the needs of CarMats.co.uk - one that prompts direct communication between buyer and brand for problem resolution, whilst ensuring authentic reviews are left in the right context. Our onboarding call will cover some options that will suit your individual needs.
If you’re after guidance on improving your own review strategy or have any ideas on how we can improve the REVIEWS.io platform drop us a line. We’re always looking to develop the review experience for both our clients and their customers.