The Power of Customer Reviews
Are you using Reviews to help promote your business and build trust with your potential customers?
Think about the last time you wanted to buy something from a business that you hadn’t used before. Did you happen to look at customer reviews before deciding which business that you would buy from? I’m guessing that your answer is likely to be a resounding yes!
Research undertaken by Bright Local found that 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions.
Not only are reviews now an integral part of the customer purchasing decision, an effective customer review program will also help businesses stand out online in what is typically a sea of competitors.
Customer reviews give your ideal customer the confidence to buy from your business especially if you are a new brand to them.
HOW TO CREATE A CUSTOMER REVIEW PROGRAM
We’re going to look at 3 components of an effective customer review program:
There are a few options for you to consider where you’d like to collect your reviews from including:
- Product Reviews
- App Store
The product or service that you offer will determine which channels are more appropriate for you to collect reviews from for your type of business. And if you’re worried about managing multiple channels, there are tools such as Podium that can facilitate multi-channel collection and management of your reviews. One client using the Podium tool has generated almost 900 reviews in 18 months!
How to ask your customers for reviews
Remember, everyone is busy so we need to make it easy for your customer to make a review. The best way to approach this is to think about the customer journey and identifying at which point would be the best time to ask for a review. And ideally, this should be automated so you can set a process in place and you can watch the reviews come in!
For example, if you’re an online retailer you can automate an email to be sent once sufficient time has passed for the customer to have received (allow for shipping time) and used the product. If you offer professional services, you can email your client with a link to your preferred review platform once service has been carried out. Perhaps you own a beauty salon, you can look to text your clients at the end of each day or the next day asking them to complete a review based on the treatment that they just received.
An invitation to complete a review should be:
- as short and concise as possible
- on brand - think tone of voice, branding colours, visuals (and suitable for delivery channel eg email vs text)
- be clear what you’re asking for
- And provide examples of past customer reviews.
Giving your customer examples of other reviews will help them work out what they can say and how to say it. Unfortunately, we’re not all Pulitzer worthy writers so to give your customers some confidence to write a review, it is a great idea to provide them with examples of other reviews. You can also look to include some questions to prompt their thoughts and trigger ideas on what they can write about.
Want a cheat sheet to get you started? You can grab an REVIEW REQUEST EMAIL example here
Reviews require someone within your team to manage them, directly or via a tool such as Podium. You want to ensure that the reviews are being read, acknowledged and also replied to. Customer Reviews are a fantastic way to obtain feedback and it is up to the business owner or assigned Reviews manager to respectfully respond to both positive and negative reviews.
Dealing with negative reviews
No matter how great a businesses customer service training is, there are going to be times when a product or service leaves a customer dissatisfied... which may lead to a negative review.
Should you respond to a negative review? Yes, indeed you should! The team at reviews.io have put together 7 Rules for responding to negative reviews.
"That being said, there is a sweet spot - revenue may decrease if a business starts responding to more than 40% of its reviews so it's important to be selective when replying to reviews. Don't entertain the fakes or respond for responding's sake. It's the negative ones you want to concentrate on.
When it does come to responding to negative feedback, it's imperative to get it right. A huge 69% of customers who get an inadequate response to their review say they won’t shop at the retailer anymore, so it's definitely worth learning how to get those replies spot-on."
Once you have your system in place to collect reviews, you want to ensure that you are maximising your great reviews across various channels. You can do this by sharing your amazing testimonials across platforms and collateral such as:
- Your Website
- Your Social media channels
- Your Invoices/receipts
- Your Email signature
- Your Company presentations
- Your Promotional Flyers
Positive reviews give business the perfect opportunity to use them as customer testimonials, giving an unbiased third party opinion of your business. Reviews not only have the power to influence consumer decisions but can strengthen a company's credibility. Reviews have the power to gain customer trust, and they encourage people to interact with the company. Customer interaction ultimately leads to improved profits for businesses.
Whether you’re looking for a restaurant for date night or buying a new software solution for your business, the opinion of those who have already made that decision matters. What did they like? What did they dislike? Would they make the same choice if they could do it all over again?
There is power in customer reviews, for both the consumer and the business. For the consumer, they get insights from previous buyers that can confirm or deny their positive and negative feelings towards a product. As for the business, positive reviews act as a form of advocacy and negative reviews provide feedback on what they can do to improve.
Are you ready to take action and gain more customer reviews for your business? You can grab an REVIEW REQUEST EMAIL example here
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