Customer reviews and public feedback is amongst the most powerful, and most elusive, marketing collateral at your disposal as a marketer. Why? Because people trust the honest opinions of their peers.
There is simply nothing more powerful than an honest opinion from a real customer about your products and services. Word of mouth marketing has been around longer than any other kind of marketing, and it remains the most powerful.
The only difference between now and 100 years ago, is that today there are so many more platforms for us to share and communicate our opinions with the world, thanks to the wonders of the digital information era
Social media, Google reviews and your own website are all important places to have positive reviews about your company.
The public today is more informed than ever before.
So before making a purchasing decision (especially when purchasing from a company they haven’t dealt with before) most consumers will go online to look for reviews.
They want to know if your Ecommerce business is legitimate. They want to have a good idea of what to expect in terms of service, quality and delivery. They want to make sure that you’re not a scam and that if they give you banking details that you won’t leak them to anyone else.
But good reviews are not only about influencing the purchasing decisions of potential customers who are already on your website. They can also help to attract more customers by improving your SEO and strengthening your online presences and findability.
How to get you customers to leave a review
Now that you know why reviews are important, how do you get your customers to leave them for you, and what do you do with them once you have them?
While you can’t control what your customers say about you, you can encourage them to share their experiences. If you do get the odd bad review, that’s okay too. It makes your good reviews look more authentic and believable.
Create a space (or many spaces) for them to leave a review
If you want your customers to review you, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do
Start with your social media channels. Remember that you can quote social media reviews on your website if you wish.
Make sure that your Facebook business page is set up to allow reviews. Facebook even gives you the option to prompt visitors to your page to leave a review.
It’s important to remember to reply to those who leave you reviews in a public space. If you find yourself dealing with negative reviews, simply express your concern about the customers’ experience and ask them if you can contact them via direct message to resolve the issue. You can then take the conversation to a more productive and less public space, such as Facebook messenger where you can ask for additional information and contact information to help you rectify the situation and hopefully turn the review around in the long run.
Google reviews are such a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal that it needs section of its own.
In order to allow Google reviews you need to set your business up on Google. You have probably already done this, especially if you have a brick and mortar store that customer’s visit. If you haven’t, click over to Google now and get started.
The reason that Google review is so important is because it is not only the first thing that will be displayed to those searching the web for your business, but it is believed to also have a direct effect on your SEO. Google likes trusted websites. If you have plenty of good reviews this tells Google that you are trustworthy.
You will not only rank higher in organic searches, but you could also pay less per click for your Google Adwords, because you are proving your business to be relevant and well supported
It’s really important to take the time to regularly reply to those who leave you Google reviews, too. This shows the search engine giant that you are responsive, and it shows your potential customers that you pay attention to your customers’ experience and value their feedback.
Create a review space on your website
If you want to display reviews for your products and services on the product page, make it easy to leave a review,.
To make sure you get reviews from people who have actually bought your product, it’s a good idea to make it mandatory for a customer to sign in before their review can be published. You can also add a vetting process so that malicious or spam reviews can be flagged before they reach your website.
Be careful, though, not to only display 5 star reviews. Make sure you allow some of the other reviews through, too, to make the review platform more authentic and believable.
Make reviews part of the customer journey
As soon as your customer receives their product or service send them an email asking for a review of their experience, or the product, or both. Include a link in the email which will take them directly to the platform where you want them to leave a review.
Let them know that you value their feedback and ask them to include specifics about anything that they particularly enjoyed or suggestions for what they feel you can do better.
If they placed an order with you online then you should already have their email and contact details.
If you feel they need to use the product before they can review it, set up an automated email to be sent to them a few days after they receive their order. Just make sure you don’t leave it too late. You want the entire experience to be fresh in their minds when they leave a review.
Incentivize reviews with a lucky draw
While you can’t ask your customer to leave a good review, and you can’t tell them what to say (bribery is a big no-no), you can incentivize them to leave an honest review.
Let them know that everyone who leaves a review on your preferred platform will be entered into a monthly or quarterly lucky draw and could win vouchers or other relevant prizes from your Ecommerce store.
Incentivize your staff to bring in positive reviews
Make sure that your staff understand the power of good reviews. Whoever is customer facing in your company is a huge driver for good reviews, because they are creating the customer experience.
Whether you make use of an NPS rating system or not, your staff can encourage positive customers to leave a review. You can let support staff who are mentioned in reviews (or who are traced in any way back to the customer) receive an incentive in the form of a gift voucher, or even an afternoon off for every 5 good reviews.
Just make sure you outline the parameters of the incentive clearly at the outset.
By incentivizing staff to get in good reviews, you not only get more good reviews, you actually encourage your staff to go the extra mile and deliver better service because they are working towards the review and the incentive.
Thank your customers for their review
When your customer submits a review, say “thank you”. It makes them feel that their feedback is valued and it makes them more likely to visit other platforms and leave a good review for you.