All You Need to Do in Order to Get Customer Reviews and How to Use Them Once You Have Them!Are product reviews useful? Let's start with some hard and unbiased numbers! A March 2018 poll from shopper insights firm Field Agent unveiled that three-quarters of respondents surveyed cited product reviews as an essential purchase driver (eMarketer). Another research by eMarketer found that only 8.5% of global internet users don’t like recommendations when shopping digitally. If you’re looking to buy a book or a game, a beauty product or a computer part, you rush to see what other shoppers before you have to say. And no, you don’t trust the story that the brands tell you, you want honest “regular people” reviews, which very often means that they contain both positive and negative sides to the product or service.
More is BetterSo, how do you get them? For starters, you want to make sure you’re allowing your customers to leave a review whenever they want. We’re not only talking about Amazon, eBay, or Best Buy reviews - the eCommerce retailers already make it easy and even fruitful for customers to leave reviews. We also mean enabling Google My Business. Once you have your business profile, you can ask customers to leave reviews, respond, and interact with them. Wherever users find your brand (Google search, your official website, or a retailer), they should be able to come by product reviews easily. This part of the buyer’s journey is almost as important as featuring your product specifications or clear, high res images, so don’t miss it!
Ask and You Shall ReceiveAs we’re constantly reminded, honesty is the best policy! However, the review will significantly depend on when and how you ask your customers for feedback. Asking them as soon as they bought something from you would be annoying and pointless, as they didn’t even get to try your product or service. Following up in a couple of days or weeks (depending on what was bought) is the best way to go around it. As for the medium, you could write an email or even directly contact a person. Social media is another great place to collect feedback and reply to it. Also, whenever someone expresses their satisfaction to you in person, ask them to comment online on your business profile – customers are often asked to do so and when they are truly satisfied with a service or product, they’ll willingly write about it in a review. Also, especially when you’re just starting out with your business, you can learn from eCommerce retailers and offer incentives. We’re not talking about paying people to review (influencers are another story), but once your customers buy and use your product, you can reward those willing to leave reviews by offering loyalty points or percentages off.
Finally, make sure you’re asking for the review that you need. If you want users just to give your product stars and write down a couple of words then ask them to do so. However, if you want them to elaborate the reasons they like or don’t like your service or give their opinion about the best/worst product features, then formulate your questions in such a way that there’s no confusion as to what you’re asking for. For example, you can ask “why would you recommend our brand to other users?” or “what specification made you hesitant when buying our product?” etc. You can also ask for images or video reviews, as they have great potential to be repurposed.
Reviews Can Be EditedSometimes you’ll get a bad review, but that’s not a sign that you should give up on that particular customer. Most reviews can be edited, which means that there’s still room to work with the feedback you got. Make sure to reply to any and all feedback and if it’s constructive criticism try to work on correcting whichever flaws are pointed out.
On the other hand, this also means that once you get a good review, the job is not done. Having well-established customer service and clear lines of communication (both for feedback and questions) will enable a smooth user experience even after customers convert. You need to constantly remind your buyers that you care and that you want a long-lasting relationship with them.
Once You Get a ReviewMake sure to thank each and every user who took time to write a review, even if it’s negative! A couple of personalized sentences that answer to a particular review will let them know that you take their feedback seriously.
If you’re only looking to get stars on your product, then you don’t need to read on. However, if you asked for and got elaborate reviews, you don’t have just to keep them displayed on your website or retailer. Here are some creative ways to amplify their utility:
Points to Improve on: Well, this is an obvious one. Use this form of feedback to learn – maybe you’ll understand better who your right audience is or which are the shortcomings of your product. Both negative and positive feedback give you information about the users and utility of whatever it is you’re offering.
Feature Them on Landing Pages: Be honest and transparent when using reviews on your website. If you’re only leaving 4- or 5-star reviews on your website, the users will notice. One of the best ways to do it is to list a couple of positive and a couple of constructive negative reviews. If there are downsides to your product or service, this way you’re letting the potential buyers know that you are aware and honest about them. After all, there’s no such thing as perfection.
Create with Testimonials: Whether we’re talking about banners with a couple of sentences of customer feedback or social media posts with images and videos or custom created emails with testimonials, there’s so much you can create with customer reviews. If your customers are willing to provide visuals, you can edit them in interesting collages. For example, you could make a fun video of all the product testing fails and thank your users, telling them that it has been a great learning experience and that you plan to improve the product that was tested. Again, honesty is the best policy and your customers will appreciate it.