Our founder and CEO, Callum McKeefery, recently caught up with Will Laurenson on the Customers Who Click podcast to discuss reviews as a form of social proof and how best to use them for business growth.
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Callum knows what he’s talking about. He’s grown himself over the years, from being a victim of the dot-com crash to building a business that now serves over 6,000 clients globally.

I kinda had a choice, I could either get closer to Google or leave — I decided to get closer

Callum Mckeefery
CEO and founder of REVIEWS.io

Some  key takeaways from what Callum’s had to say:

Trust increases conversion - successful online businesses are built on trust. Take the likes of Amazon, eBay and Airbnb. They’ve all built trust through customer reviews. Smaller eCommerce businesses can also do this at scale by using reviews to full effect.

Verification is key - review fraud is a major problem, so all customer feedback needs to be verified. Consumers need proof that the reviewer has had an actual experience with the company or product. Fake reviews don’t build trust, they damage it.

Negative reviews are important assets - they might be hard to take, but they’re a great way to improve your business. Be open, take ownership, resolve problems and learn from them.

Incentives don’t work - they increase neither quantity nor quality. They also lower the value of reviews. If a customer knows you’re offering incentives for feedback, they’ll never fully trust what they read.

Gatewaying is definite no - sending happy customers to your review page, and unhappy customers to a private space for complaints may seem like a good idea, but it’s a bad practice that often backfires. Not only that, it’s prohibited by reputable platforms like Google and Yelp.

Start with company reviews - if you’re working with a Google Licensed Partner, these will get you stars on Google Ads, increasing both traffic and trust. You can then move on to product reviews which have a major impact on conversions.

Avoid long term contracts - review platforms are evolving constantly. What suits you one day might not deliver the next. Don’t get tied down into lengthy contracts that are impossible to escape from.

Get your collection method right - keep your invites to the point. Don’t use them to cross sell or ask for social follows. Timing is also key - try and capture customers at their happy time.  

Manage your reviews - collecting reviews is not enough. You need to interact with them. Respond to positive and negative reviews, share positive feedback across all marketing platforms, and analyse review data to improve your offering.

Upcoming review trends - video reviews are having a huge impact. It’s a far more trusted medium, and one which younger generations are comfortable with. Video is definitely the future of review collection and publication. Attribution is key too. Review attributes help build better consumer profiles and provide detail rich product reviews. On an operational side, we’re looking at the ability to assign a review to a particular person within a company to help businesses identify their star performers.

Learn more about Will Laurenson & CustomersWhoClick

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