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Many people visit multiple websites every day and use many of them for some sort of service. For example, we would use a sports betting website to place a bet. But, then what?
We leave the site, may return to it depending on our user experience, and we may mention it in passing while out for a beer with our friends. But, do we leave a review?
The majority of people will answer ‘no’ to that question, but website users should consider leaving more reviews. A review can mean the difference between more or less visitors, which in turn will determine the success of a website.
Reviews inform other possible visitors to the site of the reliability, usability, functionality, look, and features of a sports betting website.
Good, or even excellent, reviews can significantly boost traffic and increase revenue to the site. But, it also ensures that customers are getting a better experience using a good site because they read some good reviews. It’s basically a win/win situation for everyone in this instance.
Bad reviews, if genuine, may prevent potential customers having a bad experience at a below-par sports betting site. It may also increase the potential of the site owners improving their features to become more user-friendly.
If we don’t review, we are leaving people to find out for themselves whether something is good or bad and also not giving the website itself any feedback on which they can act to improve or maintain.
People listen to recommendations and they take in what they read in a review.
Many people will avoid visiting a restaurant or using a company who provide a service, because of bad reviews. It also works the other way and people would use services of a company or visit a restaurant that has several excellent reviews.
Around nine out of ten people will read reviews before using or visiting a business, and the majority of those will look elsewhere if the reviews are poor.
People want to be provided with a great service and they look at the experiences of others before choosing where to go for that service. Research has suggested that almost 90% of people trust online reviews as much, or even more than personal recommendations from family and friends.
The same research has suggested that people will spend over 30% more with a business who have excellent reviews, while over seven in ten people insist they trust a business or service more if it has excellent reviews, and 72% of consumers will only use a service or business once they have seen that it has had excellent reviews.
Online reviews are an extremely powerful tool and can help build or ruin the reputation of a company. A study from a review site suggested that a rise of one star in a businesses rating could lead to between a 5-9% increase in revenue, but every negative review can cost a company around thirty customers. Review are not only found on review sites either, they can be found all over social media and beyond.
When a person reviews a company or service, that review will be widely available all over the internet and can often show up when that company name is typed into a search engine. Several potential customers can then easily see if that company meets their requirements.
This makes it imperative that a sports betting website does all it can to provide first class customer service, make their site user friendly and with high functionality, and constantly thrive to improve and offer more to its customers.
That way, people will leave good reviews and potential customers will read them. This should increase traffic and revenue for the site.
Importance of Customer Reviews for Marketing
Every business must advertise, to spread the word about what they offer and try to gain new customers. Online reviews can be used as an extremely powerful marketing tool, if they are good that is.
Building up a good rating through customer reviews may take time and involves constantly providing a top-notch service. But, it can be valuable in the long run with regards marketing.
When designing an advert or promotional video, a company will look at what they can use to give them an advantage over the competition. Great reviews which include information about services and features provided, and the level of customer care, are top of the list of things to use.
It can often be ignored when a company is telling potential customers how great they are, informing them of the fantastic and innovative features they provide, and how their customers always come first. People will immediately come to the conclusion that a company would obviously say good things about itself in a promotional advertisement.
However, if a company includes testimonies and reviews from past customers, detailing what they liked and disliked about the company etc, potential customers will take heed. What it says in a good review isn’t said by someone being paid to read a generic script, it’s a real review of the services provided by a real person who has real experience of the company.
If a potential customer sees several 5-star reviews, with reasoning behind it, there’s a high chance they will opt to use that company.
Unfortunately, in the world we live in, there are vindictive and spiteful people who like to bring misery to others. These people are the type who write bad reviews for the sake of it and ruin reputations in the process.
A lot of these people will be looking for a refund, or special deal, from the company in question and revert to review blackmail to get what they want. They threaten to write bad reviews unless their requests are met immediately and the company either gives in or risk their reputation going downhill.
For some companies, especially larger corporations, the odd 1-star review is just a drop in the ocean and isn’t going to make much difference to the bigger picture. However, some companies rely mainly on reviews and word of mouth to attract new customers.
A bad review for these types of businesses can cause irreparable damage.
If someone threatens to leave a bad review, there are several things a business must do to ensure the review system isn’t being abused for personal gain.
The business must always take the threat seriously but never bow down to blackmail. They should do what they can to rectify the situation immediately, in a calm and professional manner, but not give in to aggressive demands.
Everything should be recorded, every phone call or message between the company and the person threatening them with a poor review. The company should keep a log of all contact, so that they have evidence of the review blackmail should they need it in the future.
If the person does post a bad review, which is full of lies and damaging to a businesses reputation, there are ways of dealing with it.
Firstly, the business can contact the review site itself with details of the false review and evidence of the review blackmail. Nine times out of ten, the review will be removed, and the score excluded from the overall rating.
If the review cannot be removed, the company should try a polite response. This will show potential customers that you listen to criticism and remain calm and professional while dealing with it.
Some reviews may contain foul language, poor grammar and spelling, or just general nonsense. In these cases, the company would be best served to just ignore it. People aren’t stupid and potential customers will be able to spot false or damaging reviews, especially if it’s one bad review out of fifty and the others are all four and five stars.
Businesses should never get into an argument with anyone threatening a bad review, and they should remain level-headed and professional throughout the whole episode. Getting into a personal spat with that person over social media or on a review site will be a lot more damaging to the reputation of a business than one 1-star review.
One problem with the review system is that there are a large number of people who only write bad reviews.
They look for things to complain about and omit any positive experiences from their review. Unfortunately, a company cannot do anything about these types of reviews as the things being complained about are usually true. They are just mentioned in an extremely one-sided review that paints the company in a bad light.
There’s a big difference between someone abusing the online review system for personal gain, or just to be spiteful, and a genuine review by someone who just likes to have a moan about everything.
Looking at hotel or restaurant reviews will give you an example of the types of things people complain about. There have been reviews about all-inclusive holiday resorts not serving enough food, despite the fact they offer several different cuisine options in a buffet style.
This is usually because the person writing the review wanted to find something to moan about, so chooses the fact the hotel served chips every night.
That person probably could have found several positive things to say and upped their star rating, but it wasn’t in their nature.
But, this problem is caused by a minority of people and not everyone writes bad reviews just for the sake of it. For the most part, people realise that writing a review allows others to get an idea of the type of service they will receive and try to make reviews as honest as possible.
If everyone wrote a bad review, no business would ever attract any customers.
Spotting the Difference Between Genuine and False Reviews
One of the biggest problems potential customers have is spotting the honest and genuine reviews from the false or intentionally poor ones.
There are three types of review you will find on a review site. These are:
False Reviews – These are not always the negative, spiteful reviews written by someone who blackmailed the company and is attempting to gain revenge. There are also positive 5-star reviews that some companies will pay large sums of money for, so their business will rise up in the rankings and gain more custom.
Overly Negative Reviews – These are usually the ones written by the type of person who loves to find the negatives in everything and will spend their whole time searching for something bad to write in a review. Some overly negative reviews are genuine but are few and far between and easy to spot.
Honest, Genuine Reviews – These are the reviews written by honest people who are trying to help their fellow consumers by providing an honest review of the service they received. There will usually be positive and negative elements to these reviews.
Once a person knows the type of review they are likely to encounter it becomes easier to spot which one fits in which category.
If you see a review which is spiteful and vindictive, with outrageous claims that sound hard to believe, it has probably been written by a review blackmailer and fits into the false reviews category.
Also, in the same category, you can put overly positive reviews which have generic sayings and lack a personal touch. These are usually paid for reviews, with people offering their services to write glowing feedback to improve the businesses ranking.
5-star ratings with no actual review can also be included in this category. Although some of these will be genuine, they aren’t the slightest bit useful and can be ignored.
Overly negative reviews are the ones that simply sound like someone moaning for the sake of moaning and finding the bad in everything, without any positive feedback whatsoever.
Of course, there’s a chance that an overly negative review is completely genuine, but these are easy to spot. If you find this type of review for a business whose reviews are littered with 1-star ratings and negative comments, it’s highly likely that the review is genuine, and the company really is that bad.
However, if you see a review full of negative comments for a business who have a high percentage of 4/5-star reviews, it becomes increasingly obvious that the person who wrote it is just a negative person.
Honest and genuine reviews usually have positive comments mixed with negative ones, they are written with a personal touch, and will more often than not feature a ‘verified user’ badge under their username.
If you have doubts about the legitimacy of a review or cannot determine into which category it should fit, we have a useful tip for you. Click on the reviewer’s name or visit their profile on the review site. Here, you will find any other reviews they have written.
This allows you to determine the type of person the reviewer is and the chances of their review being genuine or not.
Encouraging Customers to Leave Online Reviews
One of the most difficult things for a business is encouraging their customers to leave a review, especially if the person has had less than a perfect experience.
Requesting an online review can work, but this method can be met with a sour glance and a person less inclined to leave a review.
The best way to try and encourage customers to write reviews is to offer an incentive. People love to be rewarded for their time and some will feel they deserve something for spending a few minutes of their day reviewing a business.
So, incentives can work by giving the reviewer something in return for what the company will hope is an honest and genuine review of the services they received.
Such incentives include, but are not restricted to, entering the reviewer into a prize draw to win cash or another prize, or special loyalty bonuses. These bonuses could be money off or free bets in the case of an online sports betting website.
To encourage customers to leave a review, without nagging at them or making them feel pressured, a company must include links or website addresses to review sites in advertising or promotional material.
A sports betting website could include links or hyperlinks to review sites on their homepage or throughout their site. They could send out e-mails to registered users requesting a review in exchange for a free bet, price boost, or entry into a draw to win a cash prize. Or, they could have a promotional banner on the site advertising an incentive for anyone who writes an honest and open review.
Another method is to have a review section on the website itself, or a pop-up asking for customers to leave a quick review once their session has ended. If people are visiting the site anyway, they may be more inclined to spend a few moments writing a brief review whilst they are there.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to force someone to write a review although offering incentives, along with providing a fantastic service and a great customer experience can go a long way to encouraging customers to spare a few minutes of their time.
Responding to reviews in a professional and calm manner can also pay dividends. This isn’t recommending just responding to positive reviews or getting into a personal slanging match with a negative reviewer. It’s a suggestion that the company should respond to each and everyone of their reviews, in the same tone and within a set time period.
Saying thank you to a positive reviewer shows appreciation and other customers can see that, which will make them more inclined to write a review themselves. Also, if a customer posts a negative review, a company representative should be responding to ask what they could do differently next time or for customer suggestions on how to improve the service they provide.
This offers a personal touch and allows potential customers to see that the company has time for the people who pay for their services. Listening to suggestions also shows a willingness to improve and offer a better customer experience.
One other way of enticing or encouraging customers to write a review is to interact with them over social media. Companies should post or repost reviews, both good and not so good, and then post their response to it. Maybe even offer the reviewer the option of expanding on the review they left.
Sometimes though, it isn’t about how to encourage customers to leave a review. It can also be about how to prevent alienating a customer or putting them off leaving a review of the company.
A sure-fire way of forcing customers into not writing reviews, or intentionally posting a negative review, is to make them feel forced and obliged to leave a review. Constantly hassling them with e-mails, or leaflets, is not just asking a customer to leave a review, it’s borderline obsessive.
Send an e-mail once, to new customers who sign up to an online service or send a leaflet through the post once. Other than that, businesses must let the customer decide whether they want to leave a review or not.
Also, if the business has provided a customer with a poor experience or bad service, and the person isn’t the type to air their grievances online, a review is probably not going to happen. The customer may just want to put the experience behind them and move on from it.
Businesses must remember that reviewing is done off the customers own back, in their own time, and at their leisure, so the company must appreciate every review as long as it’s honest and open.
AWFUL. Avoid at all costs. The withdrawal time is ridiculous. They leave withdrawals pending for over 48 hours and if it should be a significant withdrawal they just leave it pending indefinitely in the hope you reverse it. Poor customer service, they claim to have Live Help but the link directs you to your e-mail! Having used sports betting sites for the best part of 15 years I am struggling to think of one that matches their incompetency.