Customer Reviews Drive CitizenShipper's Word-of-Mouth Marketing

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A transport and shipping company, CitizenShipper competes in a $92 billion industry dominated by big-name providers including FedEx, UPS, and DHL. But the company isn’t easily intimidated—in an era in which customers care much more about experience than legacy, CitizenShipper CEO Richard Obousy knows that good customer reviews can be more valuable than a massive marketing budget. With the help of online review platform Trustpilot, CitizenShipper is leveraging its solid reputation for customer satisfaction to boost clicks and conversions.

CitizenShipper has always featured customer reviews on its Web site, largely because the nature of the business is so personal, Obousy says. The company ships oddly shaped and fragile items, and often pets, by connecting customers to a network of drivers that offer individual quotes for their services. "When you've got a customer trusting you with a pet that's essentially a member of his family, it becomes very personal, and customers expect the best. They're not just going to trust anyone. It has to be a reputable, highly recommended company," he explains. In an effort to make its customer review process more transparent, CitizenShipper began looking for a third-party validation provider, and turned to Trustpilot at the end of 2014.

Since then, CitizenShipper has integrated Trustpilot's solution into its feedback funnel. Once drivers complete a shipment, CitizenShipper sends customers a completed transaction email, and copies Trustpilot on the message. The email subsequently triggers Trustpilot to send customers a follow-up notice, inviting them to review their experience with CitizenShipper. The feedback is then posted to CitizenShipper's Web site with a Trustpilot logo, and is added to Trustpilot's own customer review marketplace, where companies are ranked according to the reviews by industry.

Though CitizenShipper just recently began using Trustpilot's service, Obousy has already noticed a significant difference. The click-through rate on CitizenShipper's "free quote" call to action has increased by 42.2 percent, and the rate of customers completing the "shipment wizard," which involves submitting a request to drivers, has grown by up to 120 percent. The conversion rate, which is measured by how many customers accept a driver's final quote, has also gone up by 23.8 percent, according to Obousy.

As of March 2015, CitizenShipper has a Trustpilot rating of 9.2 on a scale of one to 10, and is number one in the relocation services category on Trustpilot's customer review marketplace. With more than 72,000 members, CitizenShipper is still growing at a rate of approximately 300 users per day. The company plans to continue working with Trustpilot as it expands, and both are currently working together on an email campaign designed to inform long-time customers who have not used CitizenShipper's service in some time that the company is now validating all of its reviews through Trustpilot.

"There's no way around it: Consumers trust other consumers more than they trust brands. Word-of-mouth marketing is very powerful, especially online, and we've been impressed by how proactive Trustpilot has been about helping us find new ways to engage our customers through reviews," Obousy said in a statement. "For us, this has been a marketing effort designed to attract customers with transparent and honest messaging," he says, "and so far, I think it’s been very effective."

The Payoff

Since Implementing Trustpilot's Review Validation Platform, Citizenshipper Has seen the following results:

  • a 42.2 percent increase in call-to-action click rate;
  • up to a 120 percent increase in "shipment wizard" engagement rate; and
  • a 23.8 percent increase in conversion rate.

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