How to Get More Customer Reviews
You want customer reviews. Period. Why? Because it has repeatedly been shown that potential customers are more likely to read reviews and trust those who write them than to take what you say about your company and product and immediately believe you. This is because people trust people...at least more than they do corporations. So, be sure you've made it as easy for customers to leave a review. How do you do that? We've got some ideas.
Be Where the Customers Are
Ensure customers can learn about you anywhere they research online before purchasing. Provide easy access to both read and write reviews. Set up social links on posts and profile pages to direct visitors to your Google my Business, Yelp, Facebook, and Amazon pages. This way, they can read what others are saying and know they can easily leave feedback if and when they do make a purchase.
Optimize your website for mobile devices. It's the way of the world. More and more people do their product research on their phones, and if your site is not optimized for mobile, those folks will simply leave and go someplace else to shop and buy.
Keep It Brief!
If you ask for reviews via email, keep it short and to the point. Attention spans keep shrinking. If there’s too many words, they will leave and go elsewhere.
Facebook, Yelp, and Beyond
The most trusted sources of customer reviews in the U.S. are Yelp and Facebook. So ensure your business is registered with these sites and the information shown is current. Start by using Yelp for Business Owners and associate your page with your contact info to ensure you receive notifications of new reviews. Then set up your business's Facebook Page so potential customers don't have to leave their social network to find out about you or get in touch.
Facebook rewards high levels of responsiveness, so assign someone to monitor this and other social media channels you're using for customer acquisition to ensure that all incoming messages are quickly responded to.
Use Google My Business to claim your business on the world's biggest search engine. If you're an Amazon seller, claim your Amazon page and use that page to tell your story in a brand voice for consistency.
You might also want to register with the Better Business Bureau. It's a long-standing and trusted source of customer reviews. Admittedly, potential customers under the age of 40 don’t know what it is, but if you have boomer/gen X in your marketing plan, claiming your business on the BBB means you can access more candid reviews and become accredited. The accreditation lends credibility and trustworthiness to help potential customers decide between options.
Check for any industry-specific sites you might want to have a presence on if they have a track record of being popular within your business's niche.
Ask for Customer Reviews: Here's How
Reach out directly to your customers to ask for reviews. Send follow-up emails for every purchase. Be sure to time these emails appropriately to get the best response rates. If you ask for a review too soon after purchase, the product may not have arrived. Or it arrived but has not been used yet. On the other hand, if you delay the email request for too long, the purchase has become stale news, and the customer is more likely to sense that the time has passed and simply not respond.
Encourage your customers to write product reviews by doing your homework. Be sure you have a presence on all the social sites potential shoppers might look at to read reviews—or create reviews for you in the future.
It's okay to use incentives to increase the number of customers who write reviews for your products and services, especially when you are just starting your business. Since you want only authentic reviews, you are not offering to pay for reviews. You can offer a discount, or special sale event, or social mentions. Don't forget to tag the customer.
Ask your customers/followers for help. Send out an email newsletter where you include a section where you ask purchasers to respond to FAQs. Their answers can be highlighted on your homepage next to the relevant product.
Use social media to get more reviews by including a link to the product's review form in a post and simply asking followers for a review. Showing your newest reviews on social media also encourages more followers to submit their reviews.
Across social media, you can start a conversation with customers with an open-ended question rather than starting by asking directly for a review. Ask how the customer likes the product or how their recent interaction with customer support was. You can gauge their level of satisfaction before you ask for a review.
Ask them about dissatisfaction and fix the issue if you sense dissatisfaction or a bad experience. Then you can ask for a review.
Highlight Customer Reviews
Including reviews on your website serves several purposes. First, it provides social proof by showing potential shoppers that people are enjoying your product. Second, the original review content also bolsters SEO and rankings.
Acknowledging All the Reviews Means Good Reviews and Not So Good Reviews
Respond to every review. Don't try to overlook negative reviews. Take time to respond thoughtfully without being defensive. You want to come to a resolution. Start by apologizing specifically for whatever triggered the negative review in the first place. Tell the customer how to contact you and explain how you'll make things right. When everything has been solved, and the customer is happy about the new outcome, ask for an updated review.
Establish a protocol so every reviewer receives a personalized thank you for their review. Keep in mind that there is significant power in social proof.
When customers see others like them sharing reviews, they are more likely to do the same. Promote positive reviews across all the channels you use for brand promotion.
Managing All Those Reviews
A final word about managing all those reviews you are now receiving. Various product review tools are available to help you manage them, so you should have no problem finding one that suits your needs. Here's a quick overview of a few of these tools. For more information, we like this article from OptinMonster.
Kudobuzz aids in your collection of customer reviews in several ways. It will send out post-purchase email requests. It will manage posts and reviews from big sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp. It can also create broadcast links that you can send out to request more reviews. All this content is displayed on your dashboard so you can decide what you want and where to use it.
Yotpo is a review management tool whose strongest features are its analytics and reporting. Based on what your reviewers say, you can alter your strategy, get quality traffic, and generate more reviews.
Product Reviews by Shopify is good for anyone who wants a good-looking product review feature on their website but doesn't know much coding. It allows customers to engage with you and with each other within the reviews and makes it easy for you to respond to each review. Your customers can even ask each other about fit and feel, and those discussions provide you with increased social proof.