How to get customers to leave reviews
Many online retailers face the challenge of getting customers to leave reviews – and while it may seem like reviews and other types of feedback is less important than actually making sales, reviews are incredibly important to the long term success of a business. In this post, we’ll be digging into why reviews and feedback is essential for online retailers, and how retailers can encourage customers to leave feedback. Let’s go!
Why are customer reviews important for online retailers?
Before eCommerce was a thing, word of mouth was what helped retailers grow. While there may be some business generated by people talking about your business, reviews go much, much further, and reach more people. Social proof is today’s version of word of mouth, and consists of people being able to find evidence that they can trust your business.
Reviews are a huge part of building the social proof that your business needs, and reviews from people that are like them are more powerful than anything you can persuade them with. When you consider that a massive 95% of consumers read reviews before buying an item, there’s absolutely no question that you need as many great reviews as possible, so let’s dig into how you can get more of them.
How can you get customers to leave reviews?
You don’t get anything if you don’t ask for it – and the same is the case with reviews. Inviting your customers to leave feedback shows them that you are open to receiving their comments, and actively want to continue to improve your business. For many customers, being able to leave reviews is something they tend to do when they have had a negative experience – so encouraging positive reviews is even more tricky, but important to do.
Choose your approach
There’s a few approaches that you can use to get reviews from customers. A direct approach – clearly asking customers to leave reviews – is often the best way, but it isn’t the only way. You can hint that they can leave feedback, such as putting a link on emails saying, “feedback is appreciated!” or similar.
Asking them for feedback when they’re happy is a good move, since they are more likely to leave more positive reviews – so following up with an email just after their product is delivered is more likely to result in better reviews. On the flip side, when customers have contacted your customer service team, they’re probably less happy. However, when your customer service team have resolved a problem, they can ask for reviews – especially if they are on a call or on live chat.
Make it as simple as possible to leave a review
Wherever you can, include links to leave reviews. Make the links easy to find on your website, on email templates, and on your social media accounts, such as on your Linktree on Instagram. In addition to that, use automation to help make your reviews even easier. When a customer clicks through, use automation such as pre-provided sentences, allow them to check boxes, and so on. Look to Amazon for guidance – a star rating system for your products is helpful, and a couple of simple, easy to complete text boxes, as well as the chance to upload a video or photo means that Amazon customers are more likely to leave reviews.
Personalise your request for customer reviews
Personalising communications is super easy – and using the customer’s name, and what they bought from you, in your request for a review will mean customers feel more valued than if you use a generic email. 71% of customers expect personalised emails and other communications from businesses, and a massive 76% are frustrated by generic communications that don’t use their name and so on… Definitely don’t skip this step!
Often, your customers will see your request for feedback at a time that doesn’t suit them. If you don’t receive feedback, there’s nothing wrong with following up once or twice to ask them to leave a review – just don’t keep hounding them.
Allow customers to leave reviews in multiple places
Different customers search for social proof about a business they are considering buying from in multiple places – just like they use different sales channels based on what suits them best. Not only that, but they want to be able to leave reviews where it is convenient for them, so it is in your interest to make it as easy as possible for them. Allow reviews directly on your website, list your company on websites such as Trustpilot, Reevoo, and Feefo.
Make the process as easy as possible
Customers don’t want to have to create an account, to sign into something, and then to write their review – it is way too much hassle. Make it as simple as you can to leave reviews for you, in as many places as possible, and you’re almost certain to receive more feedback.
Add “awaiting review” reminders
If you log into your Amazon account and check previous orders, you’ll notice that there’s a section asking “How’s your item?” where you can write a product review, or create a video review. These are much more likely to receive feedback from customers, and it is clear how customers can leave their feedback. Video reviews are incredible for you, as they provide even better content and social proof – so if you can include this function, it might well pay off.
How to get more quality reviews
How many times have you seen a review that just says “good”, or a single word answer? That type of review isn’t helpful for your business, or for other customers that are considering that product. Ideally, you need descriptive reviews that tell what was good and bad about their experience – but that can be tricky to get to happen.
Start with an open ended question
Avoiding those one word answers is key here – so using open ended questions in your invitation and automation will help you to avoid those. Questions such as “how are you getting on with [product]?” will encourage further information.
Thank customers for helping your business grow
Particularly if your business is new, or still on the small side, thanking your customers for helping your business to grow is a good idea – they can feel good about the fact they bought from a small company rather than a corporate, and they’ll feel valued for having provided their review.
Consider offering an incentive – but carefully
If customers don’t feel like it is worth their time to leave a review – which, if they don’t have anything to complain about, they often won’t even think about doing so. That means if you’re trying to collect reviews, you might consider incentives for customers that do leave you reviews. However, you do need to be careful with this approach. You can’t bribe customers – it isn’t only unethical; it can be problematic for your business too. Some places that you can collect reviews will penalise you if you offer rewards, while others actively encourage it – so if you’re going to do this, make sure you get it right.
How to make your reviews shine
Once you’re collecting reviews, that’s brilliant – but that isn’t where you should stop with them! The point of collecting reviews is to build trust in your business, and to help showcase your business further. With these tips, you’ll find that the reviews that your customers leave you will squeeze even more value from them.
Engage with reviews
When you get a review from a customer, it is really important that you respond to it. Potential customers read reviews before they make their purchases, and that means that reviews are an important marketing tool for building trust. By replying to a review, it shows you care, and that you’re taking comments on board – especially with critical reviews. Both positive and negative reviews can be valuable opportunities for your business, so don’t hide from negative reviews. How you deal with them is the key. Even if all you need to say is thank you to your customer, taking the time to do so proves you’re reading their comments, and means that trust continues to build.
Share your reviews on your social media accounts
Constantly creating content for your social media can be a taxing job, and you can’t just rely on images of your products. When you get a great review – whether that is for a certain product, or for the service that you provided the customer with – use that for on a social media post. There are endless options, including building carousels, and you can share links to the original post for extra trust too.
Reviews are going to be a huge help for your business, so it is well worth pursuing them even though it is hard to get customers to leave them. With our tips in this post, you’re certain to collect more reviews – which is only going to help your business grow further.