Gaining Momentum- Customer Reviews Online
Peter Muhlmann on Trustpilot's business momentum and the ever increasing importance of online reviews.
Billions of opinions are now shared and read online, with that number increasing every day. It’s a global trend we foresaw in 2007 when Trustpilot first began. But we couldn’t have predicted the speed of growth.
For some context, Trustpilot entered the market when the first iPhone was released, and Twitter and Facebook were only young. The boom in social shareability has seen us grow to 12 million reviews for over 100,000 businesses. A new review is posted every five seconds on our sites around the world. And there’s no sign of it slowing down.
Let’s take a moment to reflect
We’re not a website uploading pictures of cat memes for people’s (myself included) entertainment – at Trustpilot, we strive to guide people to better shopping experiences. We’re at the cutting edge of a new market as it develops, which means every hurdle the industry faces, we face.
Challenges such as fake reviews have been met head on and we are paving the way with solutions through developing rules and regulations, company policies, and educating consumer and business behaviours.
While online reviews are a widely used channel of communication, they are still unregulated. As an industry, we are still learning and adapting.
I’ll be the first to admit we’re not there yet, but we’re certainly making leaps and bounds.
If I could pin it on one thing, our success has been in that we closely listened to our customers to understand their wants and needs, where their pain points lie, and adapt accordingly.
A hugely important part of this journey has been the people that have brought the business to where we are today. My role alone has changed multiple times over the years. After all, it’s a very different job heading up a company of 20 employees than one of 325 employees as we are now.
So what’s next?
The times we live in are in our favour. As consumers, we’ve never listened as much before. The aim? Double the business over the next year and become a household name. Ambitious, but we’re seeing fantastic growth in the US and UK markets and these will continue to be key priorities for us.
We have a pipeline of exciting product launches, helping customers utilise the rich data online reviews provide. Coupled with further investment in even better standards, we are continually investing in processes, teams and in new technology systems to improve quality control and fraud detection services.
It’s an exciting time, so watch this space.
The demand is clear – customers want to be listened to
Companies are no longer competing on value alone. In today’s digital world, businesses need to differentiate themselves by more than price. This is where customer experience comes in. Consumers care what other people think, no matter where they are. Your business is therefore no longer what you say it is; it’s what your customers say it is.
There’s a growing understanding amongst businesses about the voice of the customer. Retailers in particular are recognising this way of thinking, but it’s not just limited to your ‘traditional’ shopping experience. We’re seeing growth in areas across the services industry as more and more businesses understand the importance consumers place on the previous experiences of their peers. From undertakers to airport parking, the word is out.
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