How do you rate your advocate reviews program?

Advocate Reviews can help you boost your online ratings, enhance your online reputation, and increase revenues -- but only if you follow best practices.

How do you rate your Advocate reviews program?

Here are five questions to ask yourself. Give yourself one star each time you answer "yes" to the question below:

5 stars = excellent

4 stars = good

3 stars = fair

2 stars = poor

1 star = very poor

1. is your Advocate Reviews an ongoing program?

It’s not smart to start a review program to temporarily boost your ratings and rankings, then discontinue it, even if results aren’t immediately compelling.

Here’s why: 

This “start and stop” approach usually results in wiping out the gains you’ve made or could make in the future once the program gains momentum.

Here’s an actual example of a Zuberance customer:

Rating before program started: 2.8

Rating six months later: 4.1

Rating three months after stopping program: 3.2

Even if your Advocate reviews program doesn’t boost your ratings and rankings in the short-term, it’s still very important to get “fresh” reviews on third-party sites plus your site.

Prospects place significantly more credibility in recent reviews than older reviews.

44% of people say a review must be posted within the
last month to be relevant. (source: BrightLocal.)

Bottom-line: You should be soliciting reviews an ongoing basis. You will get the most benefits from an Advocate reviews system and program, not a short-term campaign.

2. are you Leveraging Advocate reviews in multiple places?

Advocate reviews are a premium form of user-generated content. UGC is about 2X more trusted and influential than brand-created content, studies by Contently and others have shown.

In addition to encouraging and enabling Advocates to post positive reviews on third-party sites, here are three places to display this valuable content:

•    On your website, particularly on “buy pages” and on other high-traffic pages

•    In your marketing emails to add valuable “social proof” 

•    In your social media marketing with tactics like "Customer Review of the Week"

Make sure to make Advocate reviews very visible on your website. Prospects and other site visitors shouldn’t have to work hard to find these reviews. 

Leveraging Advocate reviews has proven marketing benefits:

•    Boost SEO results

•    Increase engagement on your website

•    Increase conversion rates on your website plus in email marketing campaigns plus boost sales

Here’s an example of how Hibu, one of our customers, is leveraging Advocate reviews on its website. Check it out below and here: https://hibu.com/hibu-reviews/

Notice how nicely Hibu displays featured reviews. Hibu also uses an attractive, informative header that includes the total # reviews; reviews by star rating, and the average star rating. In addition, users can sort reviews in several ways including by most recent and also search by keyword.

Notice how nicely Hibu displays featured reviews. Hibu also uses an attractive, informative header that includes the total # reviews; reviews by star rating, and the average star rating. In addition, users can sort reviews in several ways including by most recent and also search by keyword.

As mentioned above, putting Advocate reviews in emails is proven to boost click-through rates, conversions, and sales.

This skincare company got a 25% increase in click-through rates after it added Advocate reviews to this email:

3. are you Soliciting Advocate Reviews in multiple places and ways?

Dedicated emails to customers are a proven, effective way to generate reviews. But since Advocate reviews are so valuable, you should also be soliciting reviews on other channels like:

  • On your website
  • On your social channels like your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • On customer portals
  • On your online community
  • Kiosks in your stores

In fact, you should be soliciting reviews in nearly all places that your customers interact online or offline with your company or products. 

4. ARE YOU USING ALL REVIEWS AS VALUABLE FEEDBACK?

Whether or not you succeed in getting Advocates to publish their reviews on third-party sites, the feedback you get from all reviews (positive and negative) can benefit you in many valuable ways.

By analyzing reviews, you can use this feedback to:

  • Improve your products and services
  • Learn more about key customer segments
  • Identify a problem and solve it before it wreaks havoc with your business

Are you regularly sharing reviews with discussing insights and actions with?:

  • Product management
  • Customer experience
  • Sales

5. ARE YOU GIVING AS MANY CUSTOMERS AS POSSIBLE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RATE & REVIEW?

One of our customers only allowed customers who previously identified themselves as "Promoters" (9s and 10s) on a customer survey the opportunity to rate and review.

This not only severely reduced the number of reviews they received but also didn't allow them to get feedback from all customers. 

Best practice: give everyone the opportunity to rate and review, even if you only accentuate the positive!

How did you rate your company? Let us know.