Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. What would you do before purchasing a product, let’s say a pair of shoes, for the first time? It’s more than likely that you’ll read a couple of online customer reviews.
Well, you’re not alone!
👉🏻 Stats show that 93% of consumers read reviews prior to buying and 62% are more likely to buy if they see actual videos and photos from other customers.
👉🏻When it comes to sources of inspiration for new products, customer reviews make up 26% of the sources, according to Statista.
For any business that exists on the internet, reviews are a necessity. In this article, let’s understand the importance of customer reviews and explore ways to populate your brand with them no matter your niche and size.
Why Are Online Customer Reviews So Important?
Having online reviews builds your reputation, drives purchases, boosts your visibility, and more. Learn more about each benefit below.
Improve your brand’s reputation
Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.”
As it turns out, online reviews greatly influence how people perceive you. Making a good first impression, living up to your values, and being the best at what you do are a few ways to build an excellent reputation.
Increase your E-A-T for Google
E-A-T in stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trust. It’s a concept in SEO (search engine optimization) that will potentially improve your organic rankings by making sure that your content provides value to readers.
Online customer reviews are one of the things that Google’s quality raters consider when checking websites. See the screenshot above (taken from Google’s updated Quality Raters’ Guidelines).
Create an uplift in sales
By displaying customer reviews, you’re promoting your business without being too salesy. These reviews also help with the sales process by letting prospects know what customers especially liked about your product. Perhaps it might be the solution that solves their problem.
Foster customer loyalty
Loyalty begets loyalty. When people see that customers are loyal to your business, it causes them to feel the same way. Keep in mind that increasing loyalty isn’t just about posting positive feedback — it’s also about acknowledging customers’ complaints and making them feel heard.
Drive more referrals
Ultimately, online customer reviews lead to increased referrals. This is especially true with positive reviews. Even without asking people to refer their friends to your business, they would willingly do it knowing how great your brand is (even more so if they experienced it directly).
Read more: How to Get Referrals for Your Business
How to Ask for Online Customer Reviews
Get those first few reviews going with these tips. If you’re just getting started with reviews, know that it’s normal to feel awkward asking for them. However, keep in mind that people, in general, love sharing their thoughts! ♥️ You just need to give them an extra nudge.
Add a review button on your website.
Make it easy for website visitors to leave their reviews by adding a review button “Write a review” underneath your products. That way, customers can go back to a specific product page to write down their thoughts showing their personal experiences.
Use your email and SMS channels to remind customers to leave a review. In your message, be sure to indicate the specific page or pages where they can write the review.
In your message, you can say something like, “We hope you liked [product name]. We would very much appreciate it if you could share your experience with your purchase. To write the review, click the link below.”
Run a review collection campaign using UpViral.
Did you know that you can achieve any business goal — leads, sales, and even written and video reviews — by running a simple contest? Contests are a fun and creative way to generate reviews. Not to mention, everyone receives a prize in exchange for sharing their thoughts.
With UpViral, you can create a campaign from start to finish that will incentivize participants with exciting rewards by leaving reviews. Once you get UpViral, log into the app and create a campaign.
From the options, choose “Use Campaign Templates” and select the “Online Reputation Engine” template. The screenshot above is a snapshot of what this template looks like. You can easily edit this template to suit your branding, assign specific rewards to be unlocked, add Custom Actions, and more.
UpViral also gives you the ability to send automated email reminders to keep sharing your campaign with friends and family who may have tried your product and would love to participate in leaving reviews!
Explore more UpViral features here.
Ask for feedback immediately after their purchase.
There are two ways to ask for online customer reviews post-purchase:
1 - Order confirmation email: People usually expect an order confirmation message with the complete details of their purchase from this type of email. However, you can always include other information, such as a request to leave a review.
2 - Thank you cards: Include a nice “thank you” card along with your customer’s purchase. On that card, place a note saying, “Loving our product? We would appreciate it if you wrote us an honest review. Scan this QR code to leave a review or go to [URL].”
Do it from a live chat session.
Real-time feedback is extremely valuable for it allows you to address customer issues quickly. A live chat feature on your website can be used as a tool to ask for any clarification about your product or service.
Businesses often use live chat to provide customer service, but don’t miss the chance to find out what they think about your company. At the end of the live chat, have people fill out a custom post-chat form based on the type of feedback you want.
Monitor feedback inside your online community.
Facebook is a popular example of a platform to build a community on. An exclusive Facebook group is a place where your customers can offer support to one another, share tips, and keep up with the latest updates in your business.
Also, why not use that online community to observe what people are saying?
Of course, it’s important to create guidelines that prevent trolls and spam. At the same time, encourage members to voice their true opinions — both positive and negative. Use the feedback you gather to create meaningful improvements!
You could also plan a list of things on what to post inside your community that will allow your customers to share their ideas. For example, Mondays are for sharing all of their wins from the previous week and Wednesdays are for sharing their challenges about your product or service.
Start Collecting Reviews Today
You can see that there are many ways to gather online customer reviews, but the best approach will depend on your goals, resources, and what you’re willing to try.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is to always make it easy for them to leave a review. With a tool like UpViral, the process becomes exciting because people love rewards! 🎁
For long-term success, strive to learn from your reviews. Good or bad, these reviews help you come up with fresh ideas and new ways to keep your customers happy.