5 Tips on How to Harness the Power of Customer Reviews
Many different factors come into play when a customer decides to make a purchase or not. Aside from price, trust is a significant factor, along with being confident they have a great quality product or service.
At one time, word of mouth used to be a very powerful tool – some would argue it still is, even in the digital age – but there is another powerhouse in town: online customer reviews.
Hop on over to any main e-commerce brand sites and you will see those magic star ratings that instantly show whether a product is worthy of a second look or not. Get it right, and the row of 5 golden stars will be the hook that reels in customer after customer. But get it wrong and you can guess the consequences…
Customer reviews are not just about selling but are an effective SEO tool too. When a search engine algorithm identifies customer feedback being left regularly, and with a growing star rating, it too takes note. Bumping you up the page rankings, product reviews are powerful in more ways than one. But just how do you snaffle more online reviews?
#1 Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
People don’t have a lot of time on their hands so whilst they might be more than happy to leave a trail of positive reviews about your stuff. If they can’t do quickly and easily, you’ve lost them.
That means opening up various customer review channels, of which there are many. From Facebook and Google reviews to independent sites such as Trust Pilot and Trip Advisor, the more platforms you have, the better (but don’t forget, you need to manage them all!).
#2 Link it
Online brands serious about making more of customer reviews include links for leaving a review on product pages. This is perfect for attracting attention but also for maximising ease and accessibility for customers to leave a review.
#3 Incentivise customer reviews
It works which is why many brands use incentives as a means of encouraging customers to leave a review about a product or service. From winning free coffee for a year to a cash prize, encouraging people with a little incentive is no bad thing.
#4 Pick your moments
Let’s be honest, there are times when a brand contacting a customer to leave a review etc. is bad timing. It seems you’ve hardly hit the ‘buy button’ and within seconds, you are being asked ‘how was your experience today?’. It’s all about picking the right time.
Ask them to leave a review when they re-order, for example, or if they tag your product on social media.
#5 Add value
Many brands email customers after delivery of a product to ask them to leave a review. Some experts frown on this, but others say that done right and with added value, it is a successful way of encouraging customer reviews online.
Instead of just emailing to ask for a review, include a link in the body of the email but how about adding additional information such as ‘the best place to position your new rug’ or ‘how to clean your new yard brush’. Obviously, the information needs to relate to the product or service the customer has bought. This personalisation alone can be enough to encourage a positive response.
BONUS TIP – Ask the right style of question
A closed question is answered with a ‘yes or no’ (or even a maybe) but doesn’t invite any more information than that. It is a style of question that has its place but when it comes to encouraging online customer reviews, it is not the style of question that pulls out more information.
You need an open question – ‘how is your skin enjoying the nourishing effects of our top-selling face cream?’, for example or how about ‘how well did our promotional team do at your recent event?’ to pull out the information you want to know but you also want potential customers to know about you, your products and services.
How do you encourage online customer reviews?