A story of Trust

Steph Gillies, UK Marketing Director at global review platform Trustpilot, talks about how the consumer opinion now has the most influence over a retailer’s success.

In an increasingly competitive and saturated retail environment, the challenge for marketers to ensure their business stands out from the competition is tougher than ever before.

One area where a brand can really set itself apart is through the customer experience it provides, and consumer reviews are an excellent way to measure how a business is performing. Good customer service is an increasingly important factor in consumers’ shopping decisions, with studies showing that the majority of shoppers globally would prefer to buy from a company that listens to customer concerns over one that appears to never make mistakes. These days, whilst consumers don’t expect businesses to be perfect, they do expect them to care.

What’s more, positive reviews now rank as the second most popular element influencing UK consumers to purchase from a company – in a world where shoppers increasingly replace in-store visits with online purchases, they are being guided by the experiences of other customers more and more.

With research showing 79 percent of UK consumers agree a good Trustpilot score makes them more likely to trust a brand – taking the time to build your digital reputation through reviews has never been a more worthwhile investment, with ever growing returns.

Steph Gillies, UK Marketing Director at global review platform Trustpilot, explains the benefits of engaging with reviews. “Reviews help brands build on their best selves – and the opportunities are essentially threefold,” she said. “Through proactively engaging with and inviting customer feedback, brands are able to earn consumer trust, gather actionable insights on how they can improve their service, and use these to ultimately support business growth and grow revenue.

“For consumers shopping for high value purchases such as mattresses and furniture – particularly in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis – it’s all the more important for them to ensure they’re getting value for money and a product built to last. Being able to see the genuine feedback and experiences of other customers through reviews is, therefore, a crucial step in the shopping journey – helping them decide which businesses are most trustworthy, and guiding their decision-making process.

“Trustpilot has hundreds of millions of reviews across every business sector imaginable – a new review is posted on our platform more than once every second. When it comes to the home and garden sector specifically, our platform has seen over 6.3 million reviews globally posted to date. It’s clear that consumers place a lot of value in the opinions of other customers and the chance to share their own experience with businesses in the sector.

“What’s more, over 36,000 home and garden businesses are listed on Trustpilot’s platform alone – a number which is growing every day. These days, businesses are defined not by what they tell their consumers, but what consumers say about them. Those that don’t jump on the opportunity to engage consumers through reviews may risk being left behind.”

“We acknowledge that buying flooring is a major purchase for our customers, and something they won’t do often,” explains Martin Harris, founder and vice chairman, at Tapi Carpets.

“So, it’s essential for us to make the whole experience, from walking into our showrooms, booking free home visits or going online to be as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible.

“Trustpilot reviews are a crucial part of our marketing strategy in earning and maintaining a trustworthy reputation. We believe our customers are our best advocates, particularly for boosting our business. New customers look at our positive reviews and our excellent rating and feel confident to try us. There’s nothing better than personal recommendations from happy, satisfied customers, especially as they often mention by name specific colleagues or regional stores.

“We started Tapi with a desire to put the joy back into flooring and our stores have been designed to provide the best environment for customers to choose the flooring that best suits their needs. We use internal messaging to reinforce our service ethic and consider the use of the Trustpilot brand to be part of this important messaging.

“Our Customer Experience team personally responds to all reviews on Trustpilot, whether they’re positive or negative. It’s always great to celebrate our colleagues who have been mentioned, but equally, it’s essential to listen to the negative reviews, learn from them and continue to deliver excellent service.

“If we ever get a one-star or two-star review, Tapi’s Customer Experience team ask the store management team to look into the customer’s comments and see if we can remedy the complaint. We monitor every response to ensure we are collating vital information regarding root cause, as well as how well each store and each region is doing. This allows us to spot any trends and be proactive, so we can mitigate the risk of poor reviews and increase the number of happy customers in the future.

“We’re so proud of our ‘excellent’ status we’ve created permanent signage with our Trustpilot rating on the front of our stores. It is also one of our key performance indicators used to measure store performance. Continuous improvement and self-reflection are key to Tapi building on our Trustpilot reputation and keeping our customers at the heart of everything we do.”

Katrina Bhowruth, Social, Content & PR Manager at sofa, flooring and furniture retailer ScS, said: “We’re hugely proud of our 5 star rating and we ensure that our score is visible in our advertising in-store, online and throughout our press and tv advertising. We showcase our customer reviews both in-store and online, and find the feedback we’ve received incredibly valuable.

“When something goes wrong, we seek to understand what has happened and try to put it right. We aim to reply personally to any one – three star reviews within 24 hours of receipt. We’ve used the feedback we’ve received to help improve our processes and our communication.

“Over the last two years we’ve also reduced customer contacts by 40%. The more we can do to create a seamless journey for our customers and reduce the need for a customer to get in touch as their order progresses, is important to us.

“Placing a priority on responding to and listening to reviews has helped create a culture focused on delivering a seamless experience for our customers. In a marketplace where customers have a number of choices as to where they purchase, we feel that Trustpilot has helped us showcase the standards of service we always aim to deliver for our customers.”

To read more about how reviews can power business growth, visit www.business.trustpilot.com

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