Technically, a third party review is not a customer review. In fact, by definition
a third party review is definitely NOT a customer review, as it is given by
a person or party with no vested interest in a business either way.
However, we have decided to include third party reviews in our series on customer
reviews because, in terms of marketing, they work on the same principles as
a customer review would. Namely, a third party review can add an element of
trust when a potential customer is considering whether or not to buy or use
a product like new roof shingles from the Wickes factory or industrial supplier to a new
couple looking for a real estate agent to help them find their dream condo out of the many that are available.
In fact, many people would probably say they are more likely to trust a third
party review over a customer review. What is the reasoning behind this?
Again, we have to point to the definition of a third party. Potential customers
might see a customer review as potentially misleading. Sure, the person said
that their commodity funds are worth ten times more now than when they were
purchased, but where is the documented proof?
With a third party review, on the other hand, a potential client can look up
the existence of the "endorsing" party themselves. They don't
have to just take the written word on a website or the spoken word on a commercial
at face value. If a trading company is endorsed by a firm which specializes
in commodity funds (a firm whose existence is easily verified) then they are
probably worth investing with.
The third party review adds an important element of distance to the concept
of the customer review. A person looking at reviews for doggy daycare in the city of London for instance, realizes that the endorsement for the company came unsearched for, and was merely the view of
an unbiased onlooker on the services provided by the business in question. The
fact that it was unsolicited only lends credence to its statement.
Third party reviews can come from many different sources, and positive ones
are great for marketing your business, especially if you're working business
to business deals. For example, an Internet business is more likely to put a
large investment into a global internet access company with a trusted reputation than one
with iffy credentials. Still, you have to remember that permission is needed
if you want to use the review, or portions of it, within your marketing strategy.