How Carriers Can Leverage the Most Trustworthy Form of Advertising
In the age of information, both consumers and business buyers have become inundated with ads and commercial messages, leading to a lack of trust in advertising. According to a study by Nielsen, fewer than half of those surveyed still place trust in traditional messaging such as print ads, and only one third trust online banner ads. What messages do buyers trust? Not surprisingly, buyers trust opinions from other buyers. Online customer reviews were deemed to be highly trustworthy, with 70% of buyers finding them to be credible. The importance of trustworthy company information is especially important to buyers in the logistics industry. Here, the difference between a good carrier and a bad carrier can mean business as usual, or a lawsuit over thousands of dollars in damaged freight. Therefore, it's essential to leverage your happy customers' reviews. Here is a pro and con list to help you decide where to post your reviews.
Your Company Website
Pros: You're in complete control of what goes onto your website. Just ask for a positive review from a client and go ahead and post it.
Cons: Because it's clear that you're in control of the reviews that are posted, this is the least credible type of review. From the shipper's perspective, it is difficult to tell if the reviews are true, or something that you wrote yourself.
Pros: Anytime anyone wants to post a review on your LinkedIn profile, it must be approved by you, so you'll never have a negative review. Also, because reviews are linked to your clients' personal profiles, it's easy for viewers to check their validity.
Cons: Because everyone knows that LinkedIn reviews must be approved by you, it's common knowledge that the reviews on your LinkedIn profile will only be positive, even if you've had customers who have had negative experiences. Also, your prospects will not be able to find your LinkedIn reviews unless they search for you personally.
Google Business Pages
Pros: Your Google Business Page is a common place to find reviews. It's typically one of the top listings that come up when you search your business name into Google. And because Google allows positive and negative reviews, it improves their credibility.
Cons: While it's easy for prospects to find your reviews when they search your business name, they must already be looking for your business before they will find your reviews. Another disadvantage is that anyone can create a Google account - or several Google accounts, for that matter. Therefore, your prospects can't tell if your reviews are real or just written by you. This also allows your competitors to write fake negative reviews of your business. If this happens, your only recourse is to delete your page entirely, but that would also mean losing any positive reviews that you've accumulated.
Pros: Shippers can search for a carrier serving their area, so they can discover your business, even if they haven't previously heard of you. This is a helpful feature, as shippers do not always know which carriers are available to them, but they know where they have freight.
Cons: Of the logistics directories that list reviews, it's rare to find one that verifies the identity of the reviewer, leading to the same issues as with Google Business Pages. Also, most review sites do not provide the option to delete your listing, meaning that negative, anonymous reviews will stay up indefinitely.
The Elite League
Pros: Elite League verifies the identity of the reviewer, so shippers know that they can trust the source. Also, because both positive and negative reviews are allowed, the reviews hold credibility. However, you're protected from your competitors posting fake negative reviews, since anonymous reviews are not allowed. Even if you have a legitimate unhappy customer, knowing who they are allows you to follow up and resolve the issue. As with logistics directories, shippers can search for carriers by location, so they can find your business even if they haven't heard of you previously. There is also an option to search and sort carriers by load capacity and number of empty running miles. These features enable shippers to find your business based on their shipping needs. Shippers can also search by your company name if they are already familiar with you.
Cons: Shippers need to sign up for an account before they can use the advanced search functions, but an account is free, and only requires an email or social media account.