Desperately seeking customer reviews

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Experts in soliciting consumer testimonials say a key to earning praise is to ask early

SSA online review speakers customer reviews
THREE TIMES THE EXPERTISE The Specialty Sleep Association’s seminar featured James Winn (left), vice president of sales and operations for Boston-based Feefo; Brian Rea, director of retail partnerships for Lehi, Utah-based Podium; and Michael Magnuson, founder of San Francisco-based GoodBed.com.

These days, mattress retailers crave rave online customer reviews and five-star ratings as much as swinging store doors because they know glowing testimonials help drive customers into their stores.

How can you grow your business by accumulating all-important online customer feedback more quickly? Three experts shared their insights at a seminar during the Winter Las Vegas Market Jan. 28-Feb. 1 in Las Vegas that was sponsored by the Friant, California-based Specialty Sleep Association.

Panelists included James Winn, vice president of sales and operations for Boston-based Feefo, a platform that allows companies to encourage reviews and connect with customers; Brian Rea, director of retail partnerships for Lehi, Utah-based Podium, a customer-interaction platform that enables businesses to collect reviews in-store; and Michael Magnuson, founder of San Francisco-based bedding review site GoodBed.com.

The three panelists offered several general ideas for encouraging shoppers to create product and store reviews:

  • Ask for the review either in-store or in a follow-up conversation
  • Offer to put reviewers in a drawing for a prize
  • Tie a customer experience survey to a review site
  • Use QR codes on products to deliver customers to a review site.

Another tip: Both Rea and Winn advised retailers to make full use of their Google My Business listing to place well in local searches.

Podium enables retailers to capture happy reviews while the customer is right there, in the store, Rea says. He also urges business owners to activate the Click to Message function in Google My Business so that customers can text a business.

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