Recomazing works by enabling friends to find, make and share business recommendations to their social contacts – saving everyone time and money.
Filling a social media gap
While social media has traditionally played a strong role in customer engagement, brands have cottoned on to the fact that social media platforms are lacking in their ability to identify and enhance the social influence of advocates to generate more referred business. Facebook’s organic reach tumbling towards zero also means it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to engage current advocates to drive referred customers.
According to Recomazing’s founder Marc Cowper, “Many brands know their customers are willing to recommend them to friends, but currently there isn’t a social media platform for brands to request, store and track positive friend recommendations at scale.
“With Recomazing, businesses simply create a business profile to enable their customers to give them a ‘reco’ for their amazing service that all the customers’ social contacts can see. So if you are searching for a financial advisor or an insurer, you can check out your friends’ recommendations on Recomazing first before making your purchase decision. And if you find an amazing business and you want to let others know about, it is very simple to proactively give it a ‘reco’.
“We also created the platform with a ‘set and forget’ profile page for brands – this means there’s zero investment in content creation so brands can just focus on delivering amazing service to get rewarded with positive friend recommendations,” said Cowper
Harnessing the power of personal referrals
Cowper recognises that trust and credibility of the recommendations is paramount to referral of new business: “For years we have known that friend recommendations are the most powerful form of advertising, more so than regular review sites. Recomazing delivers this positive word of mouth at real scale and provides unique social advocacy analytics to understand how and where recommendations are spread, and which are delivering new business.”
The site was specifically set out to only feature positive recommendations. If a customer gets amazing service from a brand then they can provide a recommendation; if they don’t, they simply don’t give it a ‘reco’. So rather than wading through thousands of reviews from random people, users can just minimise their purchase path by finding their most trusted source of information, friends’ recommendations.
Stories of review fraud are also fairly common these days. In December 2014, TripAdvisor was fined $700,000 for failing to put in place proper controls to prevent false reviews. Similarly, the ACCC fined two companies last year a total of $125,000 for publishing bogus testimonials on YouTube and their own websites.
“Review sites allow anonymous reviews so there will always be an inherent incentive for businesses to game the system but since Recomazing users only see the recommendations of their existing network, this issue is negated,” said Cowper.
“The credibility of the recommendation is everything for us. This is why, unlike other sites we do not allow any form of incentivisation – so friends can trust that their friends are recommending a business because they genuinely love it, not because they are getting something free in return. Research shows that only one per cent of true advocates recommend due to incentives.” says Cowper.
He adds that while Net Promoter Score (NPS) is becoming more dominant as a global business benchmark the tool focuses on identifying advocates to optimise internal operations and does not harness their ability to drive referred customers on social media. Recomazing does, and for those consumer centric brands implementing NPS, it perfectly complements this activity.
Developed in Australia, the platform is currently being rolled out to Australian businesses with the consumer launch planned for June 2015. “Prior to business launch we had already been in discussion with a range of service-based businesses or their agencies and the response has been tremendously positive. We also have a number of key strategic partnerships in place to achieve scale at consumer launch.”
One business that understands this issue is Weight Watchers. Michael Burgess, general manager marketing has known for years that the organisation has very dedicated and passionate customers, but until now has felt there hasn’t been many ways to actually heighten the impact of customer advocates.
“We provide a great service and as a result we know we have an extensive customer base who love our brand and are willing to recommend us. The problem is without a proper channel to do this through, this group is like a sleeping giant. What we like about Recomazing’s model is that it would allow us to capitalise on the great customer service we provide by identifying advocates and driving more referred customers to Weight Watchers,” he said.