Online customer reviews are vital whether you are selling a product or offering a service. We all have friends and family who rely on feedback and other people's recommendations on services and products. They trust the word of mouth marketing. We all are guilty of using the internet for researching the products before we buy, so when people say online influence matters, they are right.
The digital world has made information available at our fingertips. We have applications today that allow us to scan a barcode and get immediate feedback. We all want to know what others have to say about a particular brand or company.
Reviews are not only good for consumers but also for your overall online presence. Online reviews have a growing impact on search engine results; consequently, the reviews you get positively impact your search engine placement, especially in local listings. Reports have also shown that customer reviews often increase the click-through rate to your website and reinforce your position in the geographic listing, which is why you might see an increase in your local search placement.
Consider placing a couple of reviews right on your homepage. If there are reviews for particular items, publish them on the product page. You can even consider adding an entirely new page dedicated to reviews. Putting your reviews upfront will motivate people to place theirs. If it catches their eye recurrently, they will remember to leave their reviews before going offline.
Ask the right questions. To ensure this happens, know the type of answers you want before you start asking. Know your target audience. Understand their concerns when making a purchase. Recognize the pain points of your industry and tackle those. This way, you will get meaningful and relevant testimonials.
Educate your users on how to leave a review. You'd be surprised to know how many customers don't realize the importance of a review today. Create an easy to follow, one-sheet tutorial that educates them on how to leave feedback and where it can be posted.
If possible, try not to automate the process. You will definitely receive more feedback If you send a personal email asking for a review. In this overly digitalized world, we all miss that personal touch, especially when it comes to doing business online.
Give your users incentives to leaving a review. This does not mean you're bribing them to get a good review. You are giving them an incentive to leave 'a' review. Rest is up to them. For example, create a lucky draw, and upon leaving a review, their names get added to the list. Be creative.
This is an excellent way to thank your reviewers and also adds credibility to their review. This will encourage people to give their reviews as they will feel that their opinions are being valued.
Maybe add an option to leave a review before making the payment, or when they are the happiest, like after they receive their parcel. Look for times when people are most likely to leave a review.
Consider running an ad on search engines like google, explicitly asking for reviews. But instead of targeting everyone, target the people who are on your email list. People are used to seeing ads for companies they don't know; thus, a message from a business they trust will be a novelty. While this method might be a bit expensive, it is still generally cheaper than other online advertising methods. Running ads may remind them to order again or leave reviews.
You are most likely to get a review if you email the buyer as soon as they make the purchase. This way, the purchase will be on the top of their mind, and they will leave a review without considering it a hassle. Eliminate as much friction as possible between your request and their ability to submit a review.
Using phrases like 'thank you' and 'your time is of value to us' may be simple for you but will mean a lot to the client. It will encourage them to leave more reviews for your website next time they avail your services. This gesture goes a long way in making your customers feel warm and fuzzy, which means more reviews for you.
A positive online presence will go a long way for you and your business.