Lisa Love-Bebb

Reputation is earned through action. And in a digital world, the actions of a business are often shared in online customer reviews that, in turn, impact a business’ reputation and influence the purchase decisions of other consumers. This is a big opportunity for companies who provide a great customer experience, but even great companies don’t always get the high volume of reviews that can lead not only to a stronger reputation, but also to better search engine placement and higher sales.
The hospitality industry is especially exposed to the power of online reviews, and these reviews have become a kind of currency for hotels. Though they have likely taken steps to boost their survey response rates, it is still very difficult to get the same responder to share their feedback in the form of a review. There is a private vs. public issue going on here — people are less willing to stake their own reputation on behalf of the reputation of a business. Beyond that though, there is also simply the perception that there are time-consuming barriers to posting a review online.
Because of this, it’s not that uncommon to see a business with good (or even great) survey results have a comparatively small volume of online reviews. The potential risk for any business is that when promoters don’t speak up in numbers, it’s much easier for a handful of detractors to quickly misrepresent a business online. A lack of reviews can result in more than hurt pride—it can make it difficult to:

1. Present actual reputation
2. Build trust with future customers
3. Get discovered by customers

This 3rd piece can be the result of bad SEO — which can be partially symptomatic of a lack of reviews on a company’s own site. In order to combat this issue (as well as tackle 1 and 2 at the same time), many hotels have turned to services like Bazaarvoice to collect more reviews and boost their online reputation (and search ranking). Bazaarvoice makes it easy to not only amplify the voices of consumers, but also provides a robust authenticity policy supported by anti-fraud technologies and human moderations to root out fake content, flag potential legal issues, or identify valuable product and service recommendations often contained in reviews.
Medallia’s focus on enabling companies to capture customer feedback made for a natural collaboration with Bazaarvoice. We thought: If your survey response rates are good, but reviews are lagging on your company’s website, then why not create a synergy between the two? And that’s how the Bazaarvoice integration into Medallia Promote was born. Now, you can turn surveys into reviews on your brand’s site.
This is how it works:

1. Customers can opt to write a website review during a Medallia survey without going to a separate website. (Remove the hurdle, yay!)

2. Medallia sends the review directly to Bazaarvoice for moderation and posting on your site. (Makes sure you don’t get any truly offensive reviews, no spamming, and no legally iffy reviews.)

3. If you are a Medallia Social Feedback customer, Medallia integrates all reviews on your site with your Medallia Social Feedback. This allows you to enjoy the power of reporting, analysis, and closed-loop feedback on your review data, all within Medallia. (Clean integration so you know what the customers think so that you can take action!)

4. If you do want to close-the-loop and write a public response to the review, it goes back to Bazaarvoice for any moderation and posting so that you know that the quality of your responses are up to snuff.

By leveraging surveys as reviews, you are giving your customers a voice, making it really easy for them to share their opinions publicly. In a sense, they can now kill two birds with one stone. By removing the traditional friction, we’ve seen as high as 50% increases in review volume on brand websites through this integration. With greater volume, the occasional “squeaky wheel” or detractor is drowned out by a chorus of people singing your actual reputation, which will help you build trust. You’ll also be able to improve your SEO and gain deeper insights into how customers promote you to the public. The result of improving trust and discoverability? Better sales.
At the end of the day, this is another way we are helping companies show their customers that they are listening and that they care. Getting feedback not only helps these companies improve, but also helps create a mutually beneficial loop where customers are happier — and businesses are able to create a reputation they can be proud of.

Photo credit: Paul Inkles