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Trustpilot Reviews With Stephanie Gillies | ProActive Podcast #133

Gaining consumer trust is one of the hardest parts of business, but new research from Trustpilot suggests there is a simple and powerful way to do so - by exhibiting positive company values.

The study, released in late 2021, found that “49 per cent of Australians now consider a brand’s stance on social, political and environmental issues before buying products or services.” 

This trend likely emerged as a response to years of disingenuous messaging from companies, greenwashing, greed, and less than ideal transparency.

Compounding public skepticism of brands is the prevalence of online scams. In 2020 alone, Australians filed more than 216,000 reports to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ‘Scamwatch’ website, reporting around $178 million as lost.

So how are your potential customers deciding whether your business is worthy of their patronage?

The quick answer is, they’re checking your social media (44%), asking friends and family (43%), and reading user-generated reviews (43%).

In Trustpilot’s research they discovered that “89% of global consumers usually check online reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences.

Depending on the type of business you operate, consumers will often Google your brand or product name accompanied by the word “reviews” or “scam.”

Addressing these searches on your own website is great, but having a third party platform that helps reinforce your trustworthiness is a major bonus.

Trustpilot is, without a doubt, one of those important third parties.

While Google reviews are great, and managing and responding to them can help you improve your Google ranking, even this platform has its limitations.

According to Sendgrid Data (2019), 38% of Aussies have a Gmail account which means that potentially 62% of the customers you ask for a Google Review may not be able to complete the task. 

This presents the opportunity for Trustpilot to be a great alternative or addition to Google Reviews.

In light of all this I decided to conduct a podcast with Stephanie Gilliesfrom Trustpilot to ask her some burning questions.


Video Transcript:

- [Narrator] Welcome to the Proactive Podcast, brought to you by MeMedia.

- Good day world, Chris Hogan coming to you from MeMedia studio here at Burleigh Heads for episode 133 of the Proactive Podcast. And today I have with me Trustpilot's very own head of marketing for Australia and New Zealand, Stephanie Gillies. How are you, Stephanie?

- I'm great, thanks Chris. Thank you so much for having me on your podcast today.

- Thanks so much for joining us. Now, the reason why this happened is because at MeMedia, we are all about basically growing the trust of brands through content marketing and our proactive methodology. Stephanie, obviously being head of Trustpilot has a similar, I guess, bag, you know, of helping brands increase their trust. Now, can you tell us a little bit about Trustpilot in your language, please Stephanie?

- Yeah, so Trustpilot is a leading online consumer reviews platform, which hosts reviews of hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. So Trustpilot actually started 14 years ago in Denmark when our founder wanted help his mother buy a washing machine and saw a gap in the market for online reviews. So now we're leading our platform with over 780 staff across eight offices, including Melbourne. On our platform, we have now over 120 million plus reviews across 500,000 websites and a new review is left every second. So as we work for both companies and consumers, we try and remain independent of both.

- Very good, thanks so much for that. So one of the things that came out in your recent, in sorry, Trustpilot's recent brand integrity survey 2021, was that 49% of consumers don't trust brands that appear to be dishonest or boastful in their marketing. For example, over exaggerating their environmental impact by greenwashing, otherwise known as ethical fading. So how does a user review help protect brands from being seen as a greenwasher?

- Yeah, I think greenwashing is a really interesting topic and it's something that will only become, I think, more relevant as consumers evaluate the environmental impact of a brand prior to the purchase. So like you said, we did a study of a thousand Australian consumers and yeah, 49%, so almost half of the consumers studied said that they would be unlikely to purchase from a brand that was overexaggerating their marketing or being dishonest or boastful, especially with the environmental impact. So I think that it's a really significant result, I think in terms of showcasing the changing consumer priorities and also where brands should be starting to focus on. And where the reviews come into play, I think reviews is one part of the strategy for brands that are looking to be a little bit more sustainable or protect themselves from greenwashing and reviews help brands be accountable. And they're the perfect channel for having these kind of constructive and open conversations. So a consumer can jump on Trustpilot, review the brand, it's marketing, its product and it can really look at whether the brand lived up to its claim as well. And I think having reviews really adds to your level of credibility and authenticity as well, which really plays into that overall trust factor. And I think you need that trust factor when you're talking about these bigger kind of macro trends, such as, you know, the political stance or the social stance of a brand as well. And by having, I think kind of these reviews, you decide to demonstrate that you are trustworthy and you are authentic, you know, especially if people are leaving reviews around some of the initiatives that you are doing, or maybe it is around, you know, some of the green marketing that you are investing in as well. So by having kind of, you know, a consumer, sorry, jump on, you start to win the hearts and minds, right, of your target consumers, because you start to demonstrate you are trustworthy, you are authentic and then businesses can then take those reviews, showcase them across their website or their marketing channels and you kind of leverage that wisdom of the crowd and you start to alleviate kind of any concerns there. And I think we're start to see this more with the number of, you know, sustainable ethical brands that are really starting to pop up in Australia. So, you know, reviews are one part of the strategy and they're a great way to have those constructive and open conversations around these kind of topics.

- Awesome, thank you. I'm using some software and so of course I've just hidden myself and now I don't know how to bring myself back.

- Of course, there you are.

- Beautiful. Amazing. So I'm so glad you used that word, or those two words, hearts and minds. You know, "Building a Brand on Purpose" is the book that I wrote and that's actually the subtitle, you know, how to win the hearts and minds of your team and customers. So I'm on board with that, absolutely. I think the, yeah, sorry.

- Oh no, I didn't do that on purpose, but I think it's so critical these days for any brand that wants, you know, to be leading with purpose or wanna lead with authenticity as well. You do have to win those hearts and minds and the benefits long term of doing that are significant.

- Yes, absolutely. So the benefits long term are emotional because, you know, there is that statement that people won't always remember what you did, but they'll always remember me how you made them feel. And so that emotional connection that you end up having with your customer through tapping into your mutual value sets will actually, you know, bring a long term relationship of true value to both parties, so. I think the problem that's occurring is that, you know, not everybody understands what greenwashing is. So let's go through that for just a few seconds or ethical fading, which is pretty much the same thing. So, you know, people are going out and saying that they're doing all these amazing things for like the world, the environment, or social causes or the community. But then effectively, like there's part of their process or maybe even their supply network that sort of undoes that for them. You know, maybe they're using, you know, a dirty supplier that's, you know, spewing out stupid amounts of carbon emissions for, you know, in the environmental sense. Or they're still using plastic bags, you know, things like that, you know. So I guess that helps explain sort of how people sort of become undone when they say they're doing all these things, but then they're not doing them holistically. They're only doing them maybe on a small level. So there's this importance around, I guess, not preaching too much that they're doing these things, but showing through their marketing that they're actually taking action on certain things. And also I think there's a balance and not doing it all of the time.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. So, let's just talk about Trustpilot again, and how should a business respond to reviews? Should they be responding to every review that they get?

- Yeah, I get ask this question a lot and we always recommend to our clients and anyone that's looking to invest in a review strategy to respond to all reviews, whether they're positive or negative. I think by responding to reviews, it really highlights that you care about your customers, their experience and their feedback. And, you know by resolving an issue or giving thanks, it allows you to build that, I think it allows you to build a better relationship with your customers and drive lifelong loyalty and engagement. So it's about kind of creating a two-way dialogue. And we always say that you should try and respond to a review, you know, not long after they've been left. You know, you don't wanna jump upon it, you know, months, months after that they've left a review. And research actually shows that, you know, about half of customers actually wanna hear back from a business after they've left a review as well. So you don't wanna leave a customer who has left a really positive review feeling underappreciated. You don't want a customer who's left a negative review to feel unheard as well. So it's about striking that balance. And we say that you should respond and engage with all customers leaving a review. And it's interesting because 72% of consumers now trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And in Australia or New Zealand, 70% of consumers read a review prior to making a purchase. So given that, reviews are now a critical part of the buying journey. So people are actively turning to reviews before making a purchase decision. And I think by responding to reviews, it shows to the world that you care about your customers, you're willing to invest in your customers as well. And, you know, there's long term benefits seen with, you know, engaging your community with their reviews, because it can lead to repeat purchases, lead to recommendations, and also new customer acquisition as well. So anyone that's serious about kind of building out a review strategy, you know, we always say it's a great way to build more connections with your customers. And you can take a lot of learnings as well from these reviews. So you might as well harness them, showcase them across, you know, the different customer journey touchpoints, but also it's a reflection on your brand as well out to the world.

- Absolutely, yeah. Something you said there that's super important for brands is it is market feedback, right? So effectively, it's market research, right. And too many customers of ours, not so much ours, actually. So too many brands, actually don't listen to the market. And sometimes that's because, you know, they're, especially in today's world, they're hyperdigital, right? So they never actually see their customer face to face. They might even be lucky to see them on Zoom. You know, so, you know, e-commerce businesses are a perfect example, right. They're getting the order, they're shipping it out. They never see the customer, they never talk to them. I think that the best place for people to get feedback is, you know, person to person. And in early stages, if you're selling a product or a service, even, go set up at a market. You know, like the markets are an amazing place and it's funny, to analyse the market, to research the market, to understand the market because people, you'll see it. People will walk past you or they'll come in, you know.

- That's right, and we, you know, we've had customers come back and say how much they've learnt from their reviews as well. You know, it might have been a product that someone has made a comment on. You know, they may have loved it and they said, "Oh, but I would've loved to seen, you know, this small tweak to it. Or, you know, this would've made it, you know, 10% better or something like that." They've actually gone away and developed and worked on that. And they've released it to the market and said, "You know, it's because of the feedback you gave us." It's that direct and, you know, you kind of almost get it real time as well rather than just waiting, you know. You might do a survey out to your customers, you know, once every six months or once a year or something like that, or, you know, wait for that meeting to occur or potentially not occur as well. So you're kind of getting these kind of almost like real time feedback, right. Especially if you ask for a review, say after purchase and after they've used it, or potentially even after a service has occurred. So you can only get in these stream of insights to come in and whether it's good or bad, you can take a lot of learnings from it. And that's why we say you should always review as well, so you should always respond to the reviews because you start to build that community and, you know, they'll go back and, you know, they can re-review as well as you kind of release new products or new services, or if they buy again from you. So it's really, you a lot of insights from reviews. And it's a great marketing tool, especially, for externally facing kind of marketing initiatives as well, because it showcases your brand and it helps, you know, others with their buying experience.

- Sure, sure. That's a great segue into, so the bad review. What do we do when we get a bad review?

- Yeah, I feel like the first thing is don't panic. I feel like that's, you know, that's our first response is people see a bad review and go, "Oh, what do we do here? This isn't good. How's it gonna impact the brand?" and everything like that. Especially on, you know, when it can be a public forum as well, and other people can see it. And we need to acknowledge that not everything goes right a hundred percent of the time. You know, it's unrealistic for businesses and consumers to expect that and to expect that everything will be right, you know, from the shipping to, you know, the distribution to the product or service. So it's interesting, because 72% of Australian consumers prefer to see a realistic mix of both positive of negative reviews. So it's actually about how do you respond that's key, rather than always aiming for 100% positive reviews. So when you do receive a negative review, we always encourage you to respond. So like I said, you should try and respond to all reviews, positive or negative. And by responding to reviews, it just shows how much you care about your customers. Again, about their experiences and their feedback as well. So when you do kind of look at a negative review, when you go to a respond to it, you know, try and stay objective. You know, try and keep your ego out of it as well. And I know that can be hard for, you know, some people, especially if they own a business as well, or you might take it a little personally or get, you know, a little bit offended. And, but we always try and say, "You know, feel that, but then, you know, don't necessarily act or respond on that." So try and take the ego out of it. And then also show empathy as well because this is someone's experience and they're taking the time to, you know, leave a review and share it because they might want, you know, people wanna see businesses get better as well and help other people make their purchase decision easier. So show empathy in your response.

- Absolutely, yeah, That's a big one. And you know, there's been times here in MeMedia where we've actually, you know, had to check ourselves on something we've said in a response and maybe even delete it and rewrite it. You know, I'll be honest, we've learned a lot over, over the last 20 plus years doing this sort of stuff. And now, we do have, we create canned responses for our clients so that they, you know, that they can actually say something really nice, straight away, really empathetic, you know, without letting their emotions take hold. And then that gives them some time to, you know, think about at it and potentially make a meeting with the client or customer, you know, via phone or email or whatever it is in person to then resolve it.

- That's right. We kind of say to both consumers and businesses, you know, maybe just pause. You know, take a moment and make your reply count as well. So we know responding to negative reviews can be challenging and, you know, like you said, you've gotta check yourself, you know, and your processes at time. And so, you know, before you respond, you know, have that chat internally and chat to somebody else and try and kind of digest it a little bit more.

- Is there an ideal timeframe?

- Well, we always say, "Try and respond, you know, not long after that they've come in as well." Because you don't wanna kind of keep customers waiting.

- Long after, come on, come on, what's the ideal timeframe, Steph?

- There's no, look, you know, there's no ideal kind of timeframe. We see some great businesses do it, you know, in the same day to three days. You don't wanna kind of keep customer waiting at all, you know, and that's why we say always respond. But, you know, make sure that your reply also counts as well. So, you know, have that constructive, useful conversation. You know, maybe it is that you wanna jump on the phone. You know, they've left a review. You wanna jump on the phone to try and resolve it. You know, and your reply, you know, we always say, "Don't over apologise, you know, apologise and then try and provide a solution if you can, as well." You know, make sure if you are providing a solution, it is actually achievable and realistic. You don't wanna kind of over promise and then you're back in that same situation you were in initially. So, you know, we always say that, I think, you know, the response that you give, whether that again, is a reflection on your brand and it's what other consumers are reading as well. So then go, "Okay, a problem happened. We know, again, you know, not everything goes right a hundred percent of the time." But hang on, the brand actually dealt with it really well. They resolved that problem. So therefore, I feel more comfortable, you know, either doing a repeat purchase or actually engaging with that company because I can see how they've handled it as well. So the research kinda shows that if you can kind of address it quickly and promptly, you actually have a higher chance of retaining the customer and building loyalty in the long run as well. And I think the good thing is with like a platform like Trustpilot, it is open, so everyone can see the review. But consumers also have the option to go back and it could be to update their review or leave a new one. So they may have dealt, you know, they may have left the negative review. You may have resolved it, they can actually go back and say, "Yes, I had this negative experience or not so great experience, but the company actually did, you know, they actually resolved it. And so therefore, you know, the way they handled that was fantastic or something." So they can actually then leave your positive review based off, you know, that new experience they're having there.

- I've done that myself, I've done that myself. So Steph, why aren't we just going and deleting all the bad reviews?

- Yeah, look, I think that kind of goes then against, you know, being open and transparent as a brand, you know. It'd be easy to just delete it, but like we said, as well, you know, consumers wanna see that mix of positive and negative reviews. So I think it's that comfort that you can see you when things go bad, how the brands handle it and you wanna see the good.

- That, the handling.

- You wanna see the good as well. You don't wanna kinda just see a hundred percent all positive reviews and everything like that. So you wanna see, you know, you wanna see that mixture there. But you know, if you start deleting it as well, I think it goes against, you know, your brand's purpose, being open to the market and being transparent as well. It's kind that kinda false sense that you're giving off to other consumers. You know, there are ways that, on Trustpilot, we don't allow you to delete reviews at all.

- Thank you, that's what I was looking for.

- Yeah, we don't allow you to delete them at all, but you know, you can raise them, you know, if you think that a review, maybe breaches guidelines or something, you can raise it with our content integrity team. So, you know, you might flag a review because maybe, you know, it's not based on a genuine experience, right? So maybe current employees are paid to leave a review or it's actually about a different business or a different domain. So you can kind of flag that or, you know, maybe there's, you know, some information that maybe it's harmful or it contains too much personal information, something like that.

- What about local laws? I mean, you're an international company. So how do you go with managing like breach of local laws?

- Yeah, so our content integrity team kind of looks at all of that. So you can flag, you know, businesses and consumers can flag it as well. So it is open to both to flag reviews and they will go through a detailed process and look at things like international laws, maybe one of those. It could look at, you know, whether it's harmful or it's got some illegal information or something like that. So there's definitely quite a bit of a process that goes through it's, you know, something that's quite independent in Trustpilot as well, the team sit through and they will have a look through everything that is flagged. But in general, you know, we don't allow reviews to be deleted. You know, we think that having that feedback displayed to the world, whether it's good or bad, again, it's opportunities to learn and improve, it's opportunities to build trust as well, and actually an opportunity to kind of help acquire new customers, but then also build, you know, loyalty in your customer base.

- Cool, so brands are actually paying for this service for themselves, right? They're setting up this service on their own. It doesn't just happen, like for example, you know, Google reviews can just happen for brands sometimes, you know. Like they've got a Google my business page and next minute, you know, they've got reviews happening. So with Trustpilot, brands are actually setting them up, yeah?

- They can, so we have unclaimed and claimed profiles. So an unclaimed is when, you know, people, consumers have left a review and the business hasn't claimed their profile. And then we have yeah, claimed profiles where they've actually gone through and set up their profile page. You know, they may have added the category or industry they're in, they've added some business information as well. So you will see, we do kind of mark that on the Trustpilot platform. So you can see claimed or unclaimed. But yeah, people, you know, we do encourage consumers to leave a review, regardless if they've got a profile page set up or not. Trustpilot is free and open to all as well. So we do have, you know, you can sign up for free and get started for free. Then there are add on modules that you can purchase, depending if you wanna include, say, the reviews on your website, so you would need certain widgets and stuff. But you know, back to one of our purposes is that we're open to all, we're transparent, we're honest and we help build that trust there. So that is why we do offer that free plan. So we can kind of get businesses, you know, started using reviews, but also consumers can jump on and leave a review whether a business is claimed or not claimed their profile page.

- Yeah, very good. So how long does it take to get started on Trustpilot?

- Yeah, it's pretty easy. So like I said, you know, trust pilot's free and open to all. So you can jump on, you can use one of our free plans. We do then have a support centre available that helps you guide you through kind of the setup. And then you've also got those for those that are on a paid plan, you can access a customer success team to help you with your onboarding there. So first, you need to claim your business profile. So that's where your reviews leave. That's where the other information is all publicly available. So that would be your star rating, your trust score, and, you know, a couple of other business details there. You know, from there, once you've claimed it, you can kind of then set up your business categories and you can start sending out invites. So it's a fairly easy process. And then there are then the add-on kind of modules, you know, such as trust boxes, which like I said, are those widgets that you can embed onto your website, which then shows the reviews and you can use that in other touchpoints of your marketing as well. So we wanna make it as easy as possible to start collecting reviews and we also wanna make it as easy as possible for consumers to leaver a review as well.

- Cool, so one of the things I think a concern for brands would be that potentially, they have a unclaimed page, you know, that's being created by a consumer, they've got reviews there, do you reckon they'll be positive reviews at the get go, or maybe slightly negative at the get go?

- Well it could probably be a mix, I would say.

- [Chris] Well, I think they're gonna be negative.

- They might be negative.

- Yeah, 'cause people are highly motivated by telling the world of a negative experience, whereas less motivated for a positive one. The stats used to be, you know, positive experience people would tell three. A negative experience, people tell 11. Well now they jump on the internet and tell the whole world. So, there's an unclaimed page there, a brand's basically come to find this page that exists for them and now, they need claim it. So that they can get notifications when someone creates a review, right?

- That's right.

- So that they know when this stuff's happening. Just with teams, you know, like there's, we've all got so much going on and sometimes we don't have an individual person that's just dedicated to managing reviews. So can we actually set up multiple people to receive notifications for when a review occurs?

- Yeah, you can. So you can be alerted via email when a review is written or it's updated. I do love something that one of our clients has done recently, 'cause they really wanted to focus on the kind of that voice of the customer internally, have that stream and have multiple people see it as well. And what they've actually done is they set up an internal, like public slack channel for reviews and stuff. So they had all incoming reviews coming to this slack channel and then posted for everyone in the channel to see kind of real time. And what it did was it actually gave for like a constant, unfiltered stream of insights into what customers were saying. And you know, you had people from the CEO, to the department heads to, you know, product teams be part of this slack channel. And it really opened up that conversation internally. And it actually meant that they were kind of getting the right person to respond to the review as well in a faster time, because they could just kind of tag the right person in the slack channel, everyone can see it as well and they were jumping on it because I think there was that bit more sense of a, you know, urgency when it's coming through that slack channel, everyone can see it as well. So what they were saying was they've actually seen improvements in response times to customers and there's also been a little bit more feedback in terms of, from a product and service perspective, I think, you know, actually seeing, having multiple people see the feedback, they've been a able to feed that back internally as well and actually make improvements to the product or service rather than maybe just having one or two people, you know, look at the reviews and respond and they might not feed it back into the business. And I thought it was a great way to really kind of build that, I guess, that customer culture and that culture of improvements as well and listening to the feedback. I hadn't heard that before, but I think it's a wonderful solution that they've come up with.

- Yeah, of course. We'd probably wanna turn off notifications for that channel if you were getting a lot of them, far out, that would be distracting for some of our brands. They get like multiples a day.

- No, I also would do the same, but yeah. I would be that one. But I think it's good that, you know, if you're not somebody that might be connected to, or you know, living in the review platform, it's great for you to kind of pop in and out to see what exactly is being set out in the market and see some of the responses as well.

- So, I just wanna jump to this whole, I think burning question in my mind, your know, signing up with Trustpilot, why the hell do I need Trustpilot when Google reviews exist, all right? And anybody that's experienced Google reviews, a fantastic platform, free for all. But you know, managing reviews there can actually be tricky, that's from my point of view. And sometimes, you know, when you've got negative reviews that are just total, what's the word, bullshit, they're completely unfounded and irrelevant to the business sometimes, even getting rid of those can be difficult. So the Google review team aren't as responsive as Trustpilot, let me just say that.

- Well, that's good to know.

- And one of the other things is, I guess, there is some statistics around, especially in Australia and New Zealand around, I think there's not as many, well not everybody's on Google, right? So actually placing a Google review requires you to have a Gmail account or a Google workspace account. So what's the stats on that? How many people actually do and don't have a Google account here in Australia?

- Yeah, I dunno the exact stats. I think it's, oh, I'd have to come back. I think it's about maybe 40% of Australians have got a Google account, give or take around that. And I think that can be, you know, that can be a big barrier for leaving a review because you've gotta log in. And I think one of the positives of a Trustpilot or, you know, having an independent third party platform is, you know, when a review invitation is sent out, you can respond straight away. There's no logins, you don't have to have necessarily, a Trustpilot account. You can just go in, leave a review straight away. So, you know, we hear that time and time again, and especially, I think there's different demographics as well that don't have a Google review. So you could potentially be missing out on, you know, capturing some of your customers as well.

- Yeah, so SendGrid's data. I do have it in the show notes for this, which was some research prior. Yeah, SendGrid actually came out 2019 and said that 38% of Aussies have a Google account. So that's 62% of people that you're potentially asking for a review may not be able to actually fulfil on that request. So that's a bit of a bummer.

- Yeah, that's a massive number, especially given how many consumers are now reading reviews as well.

- True.

- So if you flip it as well, you've got, you know, over 70% of Australian and New Zealands reading at least, you know, two to three use prior to making a purchase. So you wanna make sure that your customer base can actually, you know, leave a review when you send out that email, you wanna kinda capitalise on that and get them to.

- Yeah, potentially they're not seeing 62% of the market's actual feedback, so. Wow, that's a different way to look at it, isn't it? So look, we've talked about embedding. It is relatively easy, which is great. Can multiple people receive notifications? Yes, that's awesome. Slack integrations, I love that. How does Trustpilot's purpose fit with your own purpose and value, Steph?

- Yeah, it's a really good question. And I think as I've become, you know, you grow and you become more comfortable, you know, in your career and as a marketer, I tend to look for businesses now that there's an alignment with my purpose, what really drives me and kind of what gets me, you know, up every morning and where my values align as well. And I think that's become probably highlighted, especially in the last two years for a lot of people. I think, you know, we're really seeing that shift where people wanna work for companies where they might have alignment with their purpose, or they're proud to work for a company that does certain things. And for me, you know, Trustpilot's a very purpose-driven company, especially around that trust and transparency. And there are two kind of factors or values, I hold pretty, you know, dearly to my heart and also as a marketer as well. I think that comes up time and time again in marketing. And, you know, I've worked in marketing roles where you could maybe be a little bit more open or transparent and on the flip side, as well as a marketer, I've, you know, engaged in services where I thought actually, there could be more transparency there, or I'm not quite getting the full picture and there are two kind of values I thought, you know, that really struck out to me and struck a chord to me when, you know, I was looking at Trustpilot and you know, it comes across, I think the way I kind of talk internally to my teams and, you know, stakeholders internally, but I feel like it also strongly reflected in, you know, the approach to market as well. So when we can have these open and transparent conversations that are still, you know, constructive and useful, I think it changes that dynamic significantly. And it's somewhere that, you know, as a marketer and, you know, also as a human being, you know, you want to come to work and have that alignment and not feel like you can't be honest and open and have that transparent view on whether it's your role or the business. And, you know, I think that's kind of the reason why I came to Trustpilot and the reason why I think, you know, we're starting to see more businesses adopt Trustpilot in the market as well, especially locally, because you know, it comes, you can go to work and it becomes easier to do this every day. You know, I think your values then come across in the way that you market or go to market as well. And it's a seamless, it's not like, you know, you're being disingenuous or anything in your values because the way your marketing is completely different to what you believe in. So for me that, you know, being trust and, you know, that trust and transparency piece was a really big factor, in terms of the alignment between my values and what Trustpilot stands for and what they're trying to achieve. I feel like, you know, you always wanna have that bit of purpose behind you and also believe in, you know, what the company stands for.

- Yeah, absolutely. And it's a hugely popular opinion and trend, especially as the millennials sort of come through, it's definitely been something that the millennials have popularised, and it's kind of like, you know, we don't want dictatorships, we want democracies. You know, we want our opinion to matter. And for some, I guess, brands and businesses that have been around for so long, it's a very hard pill for them to swallow. And the thing that I would ask them to remember is that who is their market? Because if they are bringing on a millennial market in their workforce, sorry, millennials in their workforce, then effectively, you know, they need to understand that millennials are also their market. So they can give us give brands awesome insights into, you know, the buying habits and behaviours of their customers. So their opinions absolutely do matter. And so do all. Even the older guys, like me.

- Still matters.

- And older, absolutely. And I think that if there's the mutual respect going on, then it's all good. As soon as the respect, I think disappears from that relationship, then, you know, it's very difficult to work and work together. So purpose is important. One of the insights that I discovered through my own experience over the last 20 plus years is that we only need to have three values in common for us to actually be able to get along with each other and get through those tough times. Filing those three values in common, not having any values in common means that we are never gonna see eye to eye. They're our driving force in our behaviours and our opinions and how we make decisions, so.

- Interesting, I didn't know it was three.

- That's my research. It's experiential. It's not like I went out and, you know, I have a published document that says, "I interviewed this many people." It's just based on experience.

- Yeah, and I guess that's why people are starting to work for companies that, you know, they have got that alignment because you do it day in and day out. You wanna see, you know, some similarities and you don't wanna feel like at the end of the day that, you know, you've gone completely against what you stand for as well. So kind of that makes sense that, you know, if you've got that alignment and, if it's three or whatever that number is, that makes sense.

- Well, I found that one doesn't quite cut it. When times get tough, you know, when the going gets tough, you know, and there's some debate over how things should be done in a workplace, then one doesn't really cut it. Two's better, but three really is that sort of that tipping point to mean that we can actually get past these challenge internally or externally. So, yeah, look, that was a bit of an insight from my research and time in the saddle. So Stephanie, thank you so much for coming on board for this podcast. Do you have any last recommendations for brands to build trust in the marketplace other than Trustpilot?

- Yeah, well, we've talked a lot about reviews, so that would be my number one recommendation is to get on board with reviews. It's a great way, but I think have a think about broader user-generated content. So that's anything that, you know, customers create that relates to your brand, your service, or your product, right. Reviews is one part of that, but it could be a testimonial, it could be a blog post that they've written, or, you know, maybe they've put something on it's Instagram about it. I would have a think about the power of that and why I'm kind of saying that to build trust is you wanna know how real people feel about, you know, a product or service and, you know, real people kind of being the emphasis is not necessarily the brand going out with their marketing or their ads saying how great they are. You wanna have that customer speak on your behalf almost and take advantage of that external validation. So, you know, you wanna know, does the top actually fit true to size like they say on their website? You know, will it shrink in the wash? Will they turn up on time for the service that I've booked in? Or, you know, are they gonna honour their promise at the end of the day that they've got on their website and they go to market with. So I think kind of having, you know, real people actually kind of speak and build advocacy for your brand that way is another awesome way to build trust in the marketplace and something that, you know, some brands do really well of, they really take advantage of that external validation in order to influence other customers. But I think a lot of brands can really take, yeah, take advantage of this because the content's being created. And I think sometimes it comes across more authentic when it's not necessarily the brand telling everyone else how awesome they, but it's their actually customers telling the stories. So, you know, we all know trust is so hard to come by these days. And trust is also now kind of, I think a foundational element for why you buy or why you might not buy as well. You know, if you've got this gut sense that something might be off, you know, you might not buy there or you might not engage with that service. So actually having, you know, real customers say that, so yes, reviews is one part of that, but have a think about that broader user-generator content spectrum, and see exactly what you can kind of take and grab and then incorporate into your brand messaging. Or, you know, on your website or on your social media channels as well.

- Great, great insights there. Thank you so much, Stephanie. Thanks so much for watching everybody. We're gonna wrap this up. If they want to get on Trustpilot, do they come and see you or do they go on Trustpilot and start doing their research there? How do they get moving?

- Yeah, so you can jump on our website. You can create a free account there as well. And then of course you can always speak to the team. You know, if anyone wants to add, add me on LinkedIn, they can certainly do that I'm happy to answer any questions as well.

- Beautiful, you're gonna be busy. All right, thanks so much guys. And that's the end of episode 132 of the Proactive podcast. Actually, one final question.

- Yeah.

- Where are you most proactive in your life and how has that paid off for you?

- Online or.

- [Chris] Life?

- Where am I most proactive? That's a good question. Can I ask you where you are most proactive?

- Yeah, my health and fitness.

- Yeah, okay. That is something that is a bit of a goal for me. I was into that quite a lot. For me, I think it's my relationships. I think that kind of really inspires me and motivates me, the relationships I have. You know, not just family and friends, but also colleagues and, you know, people I know in the industry as well. For me, that's a real motivator for me.

- Awesome, thanks. Thanks, that'll be a snippet. Thanks guys. You can check out our podcast. All of them are on, that's the great index there of all of the 132 also podcasts. And we're also on Apple podcasts and Spotify. So check them out. Thanks Steph, again.

- Thanks Chris.



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