5 Tips for Using Customer Reviews in Jewelry Marketing
In episode #189 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share five tips for making the most of customer testimonials and reviews in your jewelry marketing efforts. You’ll learn:
– How to encourage most customer testimonials and reviews
– My five tips for utilizing them to build trust with your target audience
– Your homework to start implementing the power of testimonials and reviews in your business
Check out the audio transcript below.
Hi, I’m your host Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and professionals, so they can thrive while adding more beauty to the world. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you. As we all know “jewelry is joy”, so I’ll gladly seize any opportunity to talk about it.
This is episode #189, and today I’ll be sharing five tips for making the most of customer testimonials and reviews in your jewelry marketing efforts. In this episode, you’ll learn three things. One: how to encourage more customer reviews and testimonials. Two: my five tips for utilizing them to build trust with your target audience. And three: your homework to start implementing the power of testimonials and reviews in your business.
But before we get to the solid gold of this episode, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this podcast has both an audio and video component. So you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform or watch on YouTube by searching Joy Joya. I love creating this content as my act of service to you my awesome listeners. And you can always support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe, but also to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other jewelry dreamers find it too. I want to read my favorite review of the week, as Zwibs says, “I love what Laryssa is doing with her show, and I’m excited for the show’s next steps.” Thank you. I really appreciate that. If you leave a review, I might read it on a future episode. Please let me know what you think about this episode or any other major takeaways that you’ve had recently from this podcast.
In this segment of the podcast, I give out my Sparkle Award for the week. During this segment, I highlight a jewelry brand that’s impressing me with their marketing. This Sparkle Award is also interactive. so you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode. S
o this one it was an article that I saw from Jingdaily.com. And it’s called how Chaumet consolidates brand value through a new Paris exhibition. So this week’s Sparkle Award if you haven’t guessed yet goes to Chaumet. They’re hosting a new exhibition in Paris that fully engages visitors senses and emotions, allowing them to experience the naturalistic narrative of Chau,et and understand how the maison draws inspiration from the great outdoors that’s a quote from this article. So it’s this really cool art exhibit in Paris that I wish I could go fly and see right now. It features masterpieces by I’m gonna say this totally wrong by Arcimboldo, Monet, and Le Corbusier are now on display at Maison Chaumet’s exhibition “Végétal – L’École de la Beauté” (also known as Botanical), housed at the Beaux-Arts de Paris. The art is being displayed alongside some 100 jewelry objects by the Parisian jeweler and other luxury names. Through this exhibition, the centuries-old house builds a dialogue with global artists who pay close attention to nature, such as Chinese contemporary artist, Jiang Zhi, whose work often references plants. There’s this really cool quote from Chaumet CEO, Jean-Marc Mansvelt. He says, by proposing a deep understanding of nature from a botanist point of view, reviewing nature and plant species not just as a landscape, but as the sum of the different native elements. And by revealing the relationship between man and nature, the exhibition initiates thinking about nature from a broader and newer perspective. So in planning and constructing the exhibition, the brand has also shown its commitment to sustainable production, with materials being biosource reusable or recyclable.
I think it’s really cool that Chaumet is kind of using this as a way to amplify and expand upon their brand values and brand story and kind of add like new layers with this juxtaposition of art and jewelry and really show their inspiration. And I think it kind of just brings like, warmth and vitality to the whole story. So I really love that they’re doing this. As I mentioned, you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days. And I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.
Let’s discuss some recent news related to jewelry or marketing. As you probably know, each week I share my thoughts about three relevant articles. And you can get those links simply by visiting the show notes. So this is probably old news at this point, but I wanted to mention it anyway, since it happened, like, immediately right after I recorded last week’s episode, and I thought, oh, my goodness, I missed saying something about this news. So you’ve probably heard that Signet, the global jewelry company, recently acquired Blue Nile. And I’ll put a link in the show notes to an article from JCK about this acquisition. So Signet purchase Blue Nile, the ecommerce store, if you’re not familiar, they really first opened up discount diamonds to consumers in a mainstream way. It was really new and innovative, what they were doing in the ecommerce space was selling diamonds. I remember back in like early 2016, I purchased a diamond from Blue Nile. And I thought how cool and innovative it was with their filtering and search features and like a lot of transparency around the pricing. And I could even see like pictures of the diamonds and 3d images as well as the GIA certificate. So I’ve always admired Blue Nile and thought, you know, at least at one point, maybe not anymore, they were really on the cutting edge of ecommerce or diamonds. So according to the news from JCK, Signet snatched it up for $360 million in cash, which is slightly more than it paid for James Allen $328 million and less than it paid for 21-store chain Diamonds Direct $490 million. It seems like kind of a steal of a deal. And everyone is really talking about it in the industry. Signet’s strategy really seems to be growth through acquisition.
But what I’m wondering is, how will that ultimately impact their brand strategy? As you can imagine, when one company acquires another, it’s common for there to be some confusion between the two brands in the midst of a transition. So where does one brand end and the other begin? How does the company doing the absorbing or doing the acquiring absorb the new company into their existing brand? What will the new strategy look like? In any case, an acquisition really signals a time to review and revise brand strategy. And now Signet has very pretty recently acquired all these other brands, like I mentioned, James Allen and Diamonds Direct. So I’ll be really interested to know what Signet does following the acquisition of Blue Nile? How will the target customer and messaging change? We’ll definitely stay tuned about that.
The next article is actually a podcast episode/article that I recently checked out on the Glossy podcast. So I’ve mentioned this podcast before a few times on past episodes. I love listening to this podcast because they have really great fashion industry news, as well as interviews with entrepreneurs in fashion and oftentimes in the jewelry industry as well. So a recent interview was with founder, Lele Sadoughi on growing her brand at her own pace. So the Glossy recently interviewed Lele Sadoughi, founder of the namesake jewelry and accessories brand, and she’s been getting a lot of attention lately for especially for her bejeweled headbands. I don’t know if it’s been under your radar or if this is just the content that Instagram delivers to me. But I’ve been seeing these headbands all over the place, especially because I follow the fashion influencer, Atlantic Pacific who has done a lot of collaboration and partnership with this brand. So Lele Sadoughi, I actually didn’t know that she launched J. Crew jewelry category in 2005, before deciding eventually to create her own line. So the brand first made a splash in 2018 with its pearl and jewel headband and has since expanded. Again I have I didn’t even know this into 15 different categories including handbags, eyewear and home decor. And currently the brand is really focused on opening more physical retail spaces. I thought this interview was just extremely informative, especially for like new jewelry and accessories entrepreneurs hoping to break in with a new product idea.
This was one great quote from the podcast. “It’s important as a company or as a designer or design based company to really keep to your DNA. I never did little dainty jewelry, because that just wasn’t us. We’re known for our statement pieces. And being consistently sold in the same retailers, whether it’s Neiman’s, Nordstrom, or Saks, our customers come to us for the big, fabulous statement pieces, there’s always that person. There are some times when the trend comes your way. And then you just run with it”. So it really seems like this brand is committed to their mission, their brand DNA, their core product offering, and they really know their target customer. They’re also extremely strategic about the retail partnerships that they had, that they have. I think this interview has a lot of amazing gems of information that can be learned, especially about the intersection of merchandising, and marketing, as well as about scaling a product assortment in a strategic way. So I highly recommend it again, check it out in the show notes if you also want to get that podcast episode.
And then the last article comes from Wall Street Journal, this was super informative to me actually didn’t know a lot of these things or about how much time has passed in relation to what they’re talking about. So the article is called “What Brands Should Know as FTC Prepares to Update Green Marketing Guidelines”. So the green marketing guidelines is something that was last updated in 2012, so 10 years ago, and it’s finally scheduled for a refresh. So the FTC or the Federal Trade Commission publishes its guides for the use of environmental marketing claims, also known as the Green Guides to describe how consumers are likely to interpret certain claims by brands and marketers who are using terms that sometimes can be thought of as greenwashing. So like organic, natural, sustainable terms like that. And when I saw this article from Wall Street Journal, I thought that this could be super relevant to the jewelry industry, because there’s so much terminology around gold and gemstones and about the ways certain brands choose to market themselves. And whether or not it actually like quote unquote, means anything. So unfortunately, the FTC hasn’t said yet where it intends to focus the revisions after 10 years. But the agency may revisit labels that it hadn’t covered in 2012. And those are some of the words that I just mentioned, like sustainable, organic, natural. So there’s honestly not a lot of clarity in the US, in general, even with this, these Green Guides. So brands in the US that are trying to, you know, have this more green storytelling approach. They’re kind of at a loss for how they can use certain terms or like what makes sense to them. And so instead, they’ll watch environmental policy guidelines and regulations in the European Union, to see where things are going, because they’re more progressive and have like stricter guidelines around some of these things. And then, of course, if you’re familiar with this segment, or aspect of the jewelry industry, you know that there are grassroots organizations or nonprofits that are trying to help standardize some of these terms, and to help brands understand how to talk about their sustainability practices. And those groups are like Ethical Metalsmiths, and the Fairmined Initiative or example. So it’ll really be interesting to see the revisions and whether or not any of them specifically addressed the jewelry industry. So I’ll be looking out for that.
For more information about any of these articles, check out the links provided in the show notes. Alright, so let’s get to the content that you are waiting for. How can you best leverage customer testimonials and reviews? Well, number one, you can’t be leveraging them unless you have them. So I want to talk first, about how you can encourage more testimonials and reviews from your customers, where to find them, how to get in the habit of asking for them. So I’m going to give you a few tips.
Now first, I want to say how you go about doing this definitely depends on your business model. So like brick and mortar versus ecommerce versus a mix of both. So I’m just gonna throw out a bunch of ideas, and you can decide what works the best for you. So if you have a brick and mortar presence, you should definitely have a Google Business profile and a Yelp profile. These are two things that can really help your search engine visibility. And once you have customers that start writing reviews, and once you as a business are filling out those profiles, it can really help build trust with your target customer. Of course, those profiles on those sites can’t just stand alone, there should perhaps be signage in your store, encouraging your customers to write reviews, you can also have your sales people mention that you have a Google Business profile or a Yelp profile. And say, you know, that’s, that’s open for you to to leave feedback, especially if the salesperson believes that the customer was happy and had a really great experience. If you have an ecommerce shop, and not a brick and mortar presence, you of course want to make sure there’s a place people can actually leave reviews. So that could be for example, on your ecommerce site. Typically, you’ll find reviews on product pages.
So does your E commerce functionality if you use Shopify, does your theme or whatever kind of like design you use have the functionality for someone to leave reviews on a product page? Is it easy to do that? Does it look nice? And there are some Shopify apps that can kind of help you optimize this as well. So make sure that the actual process and the display of those reviews is easy, user friendly, looks great. Also, if you have e commerce store, especially if you have a small business where you have really personal relationships with your customers, you can always write a personalized email to your customer, and ask them to provide a testimonial or leave a product review. And I think there’s a lot more opportunity if you’re a small business business owner and have those personal relationships with your customers, you can very transparently say, as a small business owner, what does a review actually mean to you? It can help you make changes and improve your business or improve your processes. It can help you attract more business, it can help you build trust with customers, tell your customers those things like be really honest about what it means for you to get a review. And don’t, don’t be shy about that. Because I think if a customer had a really great experience with you, they’re actually going to feel good and proud that they can help a small business owner who would really benefit from a few sentences. One sentence, you know, it’s not really a big deal for both ecommerce and brick and mortar, especially if you have any sort of email marketing, which I would recommend you have, you can always have an automated email that sends post purchase. So right after they make a purchase, or after someone visits your store, of course, with the store visit, they would have to opt in, and you’d have to get permission to email them. But having something in your email marketing strategy, a message that gets triggered, so you don’t have to manually send it, thanking them, and inviting them to share their experience, whether that’s on a product page, whether that’s on the Google Business profile, or just some kind of like survey form that asks them to write a few sentences about their experience. And as I mentioned before, in any sort of messaging that you do, I think it’s important to explain why reviews means so much to you and why they’re important. And it helps customers connect to that like human aspect of this sharing feedback. You can also consider some kind of incentive for people to write product reviews, for example. So, of course, you’re not gonna be like, paying people to write a review that is not ethical, and it kind of can ruin your reputation. But maybe you can say like, every month, everyone who writes a review, whether it’s good or bad, or whatever it is, will be automatically entered into a contest win like a $50 gift card or whatever it is. And you could do something like that monthly or quarterly, and it makes people feel okay, not only am I helping this business, but like there’s a potential chance that I can win something so there’s something in it for me. So those are definitely some ideas and it’s important to get in a consistent habit of asking for these things. So don’t just think like once a year like oh, no, I need some reviews. Let me just like see what happens.
So the second part of this is I want to share my five tips for once you have your reviews and testimonials, how to utilize them. What is the goal of building trust with your target audience? Because that is the most important thing, it’s truly gold. Once you have your audience captivated and you have their trust, they will be so much more likely to do business with you. So my five tips. Number one, when you do get your reviews, I would say, pay attention to the things people are saying the most. Are there patterns there? Is there like a really common piece of feedback that you get, whether it’s good or bad, hopefully good? And then if it’s good, start thinking about how you can incorporate those things into your brand messaging, your product descriptions, even your core values, as a business, these things are obviously resonating with your customers, so take the time to amplify them. And, you know, speak in the words that your own customers who know that you’re their experience with your business are saying. I think it’s really important to consider those things in your own messaging. If there’s a pattern of negative obviously address that, take that seriously, maybe like a one off a bad experience, you know, don’t go overhauling your business model because one person was unhappy. But if there’s a consistent pattern of negativity, then you’ll definitely want to start implementing some changes.
But going back to how you can make use of those positive reviews. So here’s an example. If a whole bunch of your customers keep saying that they love to travel with your jewelry, then maybe that becomes a selling point that you haven’t even considered before. Like, who would have thought I never considered that my jewelry was like optimal for travel. But if your customers keep telling you that, then that’s something to pay attention to. My second tip is pull customer reviews from wherever they’re located. And don’t be afraid to repurpose them. So for example, if you have Yelp or Google reviews, you can put them on your website, or you can feature them on social media, I would definitely write the source of them. So you can put like the reviewer’s name from Yelp. If you have product reviews, consider featuring those reviews in email campaigns. So let’s say you have a product that has like the most reviews on your website, maybe you want to even do an email campaign spotlighting that product, and then feature some of the reviews of that product. Or you can do the same on social media. So pull out snippets of the best reviews and put them on your homepage or on a landing page. And make sure you’re doing everything you can to repurpose and amplify that content. Tip number three, if you have some really awesome reviews, do not ignore them. Follow up if you’re able to, if you have a way to contact the reviewers who wrote the best and most thorough and interesting reviews, and see if that person would be willing to be interviewed for like a success story. Just like a Zoom interview or an in-person interview where you sit with down with them and ask them to kind of elaborate on their experience. Tell a little bit more. What was the background? How did they find you? What was the whole experience like shopping with you? And then you can repurpose that content for your blog for an email campaign for other marketing materials, or even just keep it in your back pocket. That would be great for someone who does a lot of like custom jewelry, for example, that, you know, if someone’s on the fence about purchasing from you, you could be like, “Hey, I just want to share this success story that’s really personal about how someone else felt about going through this process.” So I would not be shy about following up and asking for additional feedback. And you can even provide an incentive for that. Maybe say, “Hey, if you want to spend 30 minutes with me, I’ll give you like a $50 gift card or whatever makes sense for you.”
Tip number four, do you have bad reviews? It’s kind of inevitable. If you’re in business, especially in the jewelry industry, you know, you’re in the business of people’s emotions, basically, and you’re bound to at some point, have someone who’s not happy, even if you have the best intentions, and you’re an amazing business owner, it’s just impossible to make everyone happy. So if you have bad reviews, don’t ignore them. Don’t sweep them under the rug. Make sure you’re responding to them and doing everything you can to really make it right. So offering you know a redo or a refund or like a personal consultation. Whatever makes sense in the context of the review. Your other customers who are doing research, or your prospective customers who are doing research about your business, are really looking for maybe not consciously. But if they see a bad review, and it was never addressed, that could be a red flag for them, because they may be wondering, well, what if, in the off chance, something bad happens in my interaction? Am I just going to be left hanging? Is this not going to be resolved, they are wondering how you interact with the unhappy customers, it may not even be the negative review itself that sways them or were like, influences their desire to purchase from you or not. But moreso how you respond to and interact with those unhappy customers, are you willing to make amends and own up to your mistakes? And I think that’s super important not to just like sweep things under the rug and pretend they didn’t happen.
And then tip number five, if you are kind of more of a startup, where you don’t have a lot of sales volume, especially on an ecommerce site, and you don’t have a lot of product specific reviews yet, find a way to just get some general customer testimonials on your product pages. So maybe again, you’re not selling enough volume of product, or maybe you have a lot of one of a kind. So it’s hard to even like get reviews on a product, reach out to those customers personally, or through that automated post purchase message and ask them to respond or speak to you to give a customer testimonial. And then you can kind of work those in even to your product descriptions, they don’t have to look like that traditional like Amazon five star review. That’s, you know, in its specific section, you can be creative about how you work those reviews into your product pages. Or if you have really enthusiastic customers who love to show you photos and videos of how they’re wearing their jewelry, maybe you show those as long as they’re okay quality as like alternative product photos on your product pages. And you can have like a little description, or even on the image like from submitted by customer, so and so to show that your customers love their product, enthusiastic about them. I think there are a lot of ways to kind of give that Amazon review feeling without necessarily having the volume of reviews that like an Amazon product, for example would get. So now that you’ve heard my five tips, your homework is to start implementing the power of testimonials and reviews in your business. I want you to sit down with a notebook or wherever you like to brainstorm and think about where have you missed opportunities to ask for reviews? Is it should you kind of have a schedule around doing this more often in like a personal outreach? Are you missing like a product review functionality on your website? Have you not set up your Google Business profile? Do you not have a Yelp page? Do you not have a post purchase email? Like where are the things that you don’t want to say neglected because no judgment here.
But where are ways that you can implement things that you haven’t implemented before. And even if you just choose one thing, you don’t have to do all the things, put that into place. And start making sure that there’s some kind of consistent action behind it, whether it’s that you check in once a week or once a month, or that you look for ways to optimize whatever thing it is that you implement, so that you can actually get those reviews that you can use my five tips to start making those reviews work for your business because I think in 2022 and in the future, that those customer testimonials the user generated content that authentic, true customer experience is going to be what sets the successful businesses apart from the soso ones.
What did you think about this episode? You can always email me Laryssa that’s email@example.com. If you love this podcast, please share it with a friend who’d appreciate it. And don’t forget to subscribe as well as leave a review on Apple Podcasts. To purchase a signed copy of my book Jewelry Marketing Joy visit JoyJoya.com/book for more information
Transcribed by https://otter.ai