During Web2day, of which BDM is a partner, Clément Poupeau from Guest Suite showed how important customer reviews are for a local business and gave some tips on how to collect more. He was accompanied by Marielle Maure, whose Europcar Atlantique brand has garnered 7,000 reviews in just two years.
Reputation, number 1 criterion to choose a company
Clément Poupeau first recalls some interesting facts.
- 97% of Internet users search for business information on Google and 8 out of 10 Internet users “stop at Google” to obtain it.
- At the same price, reputation is the number 1 criterion for choosing a company, ahead of geographical proximity, according to an Ifop study for Guest Suite.
In practice, the internet user’s eye naturally turns to the data collected on Google Business listings, as the various PC heatmap type studies show. This is even more the case on mobile devices, when Google imposes its local pack at the top of search results. For a business just starting its digital strategy, Clément Poupeau also advises starting by setting up your Google Business profile. It is not very long and allows to obtain first results quickly. He sums up the value of customer reviews for businesses as follows: to be found, to be chosen, to be better”.
Why organize the collection of customer reviews
Europcar Atlantique has launched its strategy of Review Management in 2019. At the time, the company had fewer than 900 reviews on Google. And above all: he observed a significant gap between the scores obtained (the e-reputation that prospects feel) and the real satisfaction of their clients (by calculating their NPS). Clément Poupeau explains this paradox:
90% of dissatisfied customers talk, but only 1% of satisfied customers do.
Therefore, the strategy was to encourage the collection of opinions, through a systematic request. “Dissatisfied customers talk anyway. This process allows everyone to have a voice and get feedback from satisfied customers. »
How Europcar Atlantique gets customer feedback
Specifically: each customer receives a satisfaction form by email, one day after the rental of the vehicle. It is very simple: a note and a comment are requested. The Guest Suite solution then makes it possible to automatically transmit the opinion to Google, thanks to a specific agreement, with the prior consent of the user; or on the Yellow Pages site, or on the client’s site, based on a breakdown determined by the company.
Result: You can now see more than 7,000 reviews on the company’s Google Business listing. Europcar Atlantique has chosen email on D+1. Depending on the business, other payment channels can be activated: SMS, tablet, QR code, NFC, etc.
The homogeneity of the opinions of the clients reinforces the credibility
The benefit of transmitting reviews to various platforms (company website, Google, Yellow Pages, etc.) helps to strengthen the electronic reputation. The user who observes 5 stars in Google, but 2 in the Yellow Pages and very contrasting opinions on the company’s site, can ask questions about the veracity of the opinions and, when in doubt, go to a slightly less valued competitor. Remember that most people stop to read Google results and that rich snippets allow you to see the average ratings of reviews without clicking. Therefore, this information is easily accessible to a prospect. The transmission of reviews to all platforms allows to erase irregularities and obtain a more uniform rating.
Maximizing reviews in the Yellow Pages also has other benefits:
- the pages of the site, whose domain is well recognized, are always very well referenced;
- The population that places great trust in the Pages Jaunes brand may correspond to its target;
- and on iPhone, in the Maps app, Yellow Pages reviews are displayed.
Beyond the rating, the importance of comments
In the case of Europcar Atlantique, the satisfaction questionnaire includes two questions: the user must provide a rating and a comment. To reduce friction and maximize the number of scores obtained, it would have been possible not to ask for feedback or to make this information optional. But the company preferred to force users to provide one, with a minimum number of characters, even if it meant reducing the number of reviews obtained.
This allows the company to improve, thanks to the feedback obtained. It also appeals to Google, which values businesses that get reviews. Internet users naturally use keywords that increase visibility. Prospects can accurately visualize the experience customers have had, in a market where they generally have a negative outlook and need reassurance.
Why and how to respond to customer reviews
When it comes to response to reviews, Marielle Maure rightly points out that the brand doesn’t just speak to the customer, it speaks to all prospects, and that’s arguably the most important thing. A person interested in the company can see how the brand reacts to a bad experience, and this can put them at ease. The answers given may also make it possible to place some keywords…
And who should answer to customers? Again, several possibilities depending on the structure and culture of the company. Guest Suite can ensure this by determining with the client their voice tone and the strategy to adopt. Europcar Atlantique has chosen to delegate responsibility for responses to its branch teams, because they know their customers best. A training module has been launched to support them, since they are not communicators, as well as rules to respect: do not copy and paste, insert keywords, need for transparency… It is essential for the marketing departments that decide delegate this task to their teams, to do everything possible to internally evangelize the importance of this mission, so that those who respond are strongly committed.
The company now responds to 100% of negative reviews and 20% of positive reviews. Clément Poupeau reminds that the response rate is an important element for SEO in Google, after the volume of reviews, the quality of the rating and the freshness of the reviews.