Customer reviews are important in your marketing efforts and since most purchases start online these days, there is nothing shoppers plan to buy without asking a friend or reading a review. Genuine and frequent online reviews from your customers can contribute to increased visibility and even improve conversions from search traffic.
Reviews can shape your business, customers share their experiences on everything and what people say online matters and can influence whether or not someone purchases from you. Therefore, the question then is how can we encourage product or service reviews from customers?
Here are some ways to help your customers review your product and or service given the gravity and the significance that reviews can bring to your business:
Make it easy
Keep the process of getting a review from customers as simple as possible. “Create some examples that they can use as a model, and give them a form to fill out,” You can browse different online stores to see how they set up their reviews, and consider including a star-rating system.
And don't forget to follow up, you can create automation within your email marketing systems or point-of-sale tool so that shoppers who made a purchase also get an email that asks them to share their experience a few days after product delivery.
Offer an incentive
It's good to offer incentives to get reviews, it shows that you genuinely want feedback and are willing to pay for it. Customers are more likely to give a review when they have an incentive, so give them that final push by rewarding them for writing a review.
Consider offering a coupon, discount or freebie to people who purchased your product or used your service, so that the reviews can be authentic. This method is excellent however it can sometimes go against a platform's policy, for instance, Amazon does not want its vendors to do this, so make sure to solicit customer reviews within guidelines.
McDonald's does this very well. If you notice on their receipt after you purchase an item, there's usually a number to call whereby you can leave a review and in return, they give you a free whopper, I always take them up on that offer and this incentive tends to work effectively.
Ask for a review
Find unique ways to ask shoppers to write reviews for products they purchase. Customers are more likely to give you feedback right away, so don't wait too long. The best time to ask customer reviews is when you finish the job while the satisfaction and excitement are still in the air about your service.
You don't just have to ask for a review. You can word it in a variety of personable, and friendly ways depending on your brand's voice. You can ask customers for reviews via your website, telephone, email, or even use a more traditional method by sending them a comment or postcard card that asks for a review.
Respond to customer reviews
Monitoring your reviews and responding publicly can solve problems with negative reviews, and furthermore, this encourages customers to share their feedback since they know someone will be reading.
When you get a positive review, be sure to say ‘thank you' with one or two sentences that speak to what they wrote if the review site allows it. A simple thumb up won't do here.
Adding a simple call to action in your default email signature can create a decent amount of reviews on its own. Consider how many emails you send out a day; include a review link in your email and you'll be surprised at how many reviews you get within a short period.
Think about sending an email to customers after they make a purchase. Keep it simple, reminder them, and ask them to write a review via the link. You're likely to get a review when the purchase is still top of mind.
Final thought on customer reviews
Asking for reviews doesn't require any special tools or technology. All you need to do is implement sound marketing strategies that build trust, reduces risk, and influence the business and purchasing decisions of your prospective customers.