Customer reviews are very influential. They can boost your sales more than paid advertising. However, they’re hard to get.
Customer reviews can help you convert casual web browsers into eager buyers. At first, it may seem like you’re opening a can of worms, but the benefits of customer reviews outweigh the potential issues. For instance, a recent study shows that online reviews influence 93% of consumers’ buying decisions. This underscores the value of publishing your customers’ reviews.
So, how can you encourage customers to leave reviews?
Check out these five techniques to encourage your customers to leave reviews –because 70% of customers will leave a review if you ask them to!
1. Make It Easier to Review Your Products or Services
Add a system for reviews within your business website. You can do this by including a star-rating system in your site because many consumers feel this is an important measure.
You can get inspiration from Amazon’s customer review system. Amazon has a star-rating system alongside written reviews, and it has a search functionality that allows buyers to read different reviews. They also have easy-to-find “write a review” buttons.
Also, add personalized calls-to-action on your product pages, within your confirmation pages and emails, or on invoices or receipts. Make it easy to review specific products, and make the page where customers can leave reviews easy to find.
Remember to make a follow-up, because customers are likely to leave reviews weeks or months after their initial purchase. Build automation within your point-of-sale system or email marketing tools so customers who have made a purchase can receive emails after the product delivery that invites them to share their experience.
2. Focus on What’s In It for Your Customers
Motivate customers to write reviews by rewarding them for doing so. Rewarding customers for writing reviews makes sense, and it’s fair. It takes time and effort to write a review. So, receiving a reward for writing a review adds to the overall experience they had with your brand.
For instance, you can offer discounts or coupons to motivate customers to share their experiences. Also, you can host periodic giveaways and choose a winner from those who submitted reviews in a certain timeframe.
Incentivizing customers for leaving reviews is an acceptable practice. What’s unacceptable is buying reviews. So, you need to reward customers for writing reviews, but not to write a review with a certain angle or spin.
3. Ask for the Review Online and on Social Media
Apart from your website, there are many other places customers can leave reviews. So, work to make it easier for happy customers to leave reviews whenever they have a positive experience with your brand.
Set your business up on third-party sites that host customer reviews. Start with the following places:
- Google My Business
- Search engines such as Bing, Yahoo etc.
Also, leverage industry-specific directories which apply to your brand. These may include directories such as CitySearch, Trustpilot, TripAdvisor and the BBB.
4. Connect with Your Customers Where They Are
You can motivate customers further to leave reviews by making it easy for them to write those reviews on mobile devices. So, make sure the reviews you want align with what’s realistic for thumb-based typing.
Also, be more creative and don’t focus solely on gathering reviews. Work to get more data points from surveys. This will enable you to create valuable web copy that you can set up alongside customer reviews, all while making it easier for customers to leave their feedback on mobile devices.
For instance, you can send out these three questions with yes-or-no answers:
- Are you satisfied with the product/ service?
- Would you recommend this product/ service to your family, friends, or colleagues?
- Would you buy this product/ service again?
Then, tally the responses and include that data on your product’s sales page. Naked Wines, for instance, does this perfectly.
While this isn’t a written review, it’ll supplement longer-form feedback given by customers. Also, include a field to ask for comments, which you can publish as customer reviews.
5. Remember to Make the Ask
Remember how 70% of customers will leave a review only if they’re asked? Don’t assume customers will automatically leave reviews. Even the most loyal customers need a nudge to write leave a review.
Therefore, find unique and polite ways to ask customers to write reviews for the products they’ve bought. Don’t just ask in a general way. An actual ask must be personalized and friendly; it should reflect your brand’s voice.
For example, you can use the following phrases:
- Leave your feedback.
- Share your thoughts.
- Tell us about your experience.
- How did you like your product?
Using your point-of-sale system, you can track individual customers and their purchases to create customized follow-up email campaigns asking about their experience.
Remember, the best time to ask for reviews is after customers have interacted with your brand. A well-integrated point-of-sale software can help you track certain activities to personalize your request for reviews.
Following these five techniques will help you generate instant online visibility with customer reviews.
The customer reviews will validate your brand and boost your bottom line.
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