How to Encourage Customer Reviews
When it comes to converting casual customers into eager buyers, one tactic can help prompt shoppers to action: customer reviews.
While it might feel like a difficult task, the benefits outweigh any potential issues. For example, one recent study shows that 90% of people’s buying decisions are influenced by online reviews — which only underscores the importance of publishing the opinions of your customers.
So, how exactly do you encourage customers to leave reviews? Here, we’ll tackle the ins and outs of customer reviews, including the many benefits and how to set up a review system for your retail site.
Why Retailers Should Consider Customer Reviews
Real customer reviews can persuade a new, on-the-fence buyer to take action and make their own purchase for several reasons.
Potential shoppers can gather more information that is relevant to them by browsing customer reviews from like-minded consumers or other shoppers in similar situations to their own.
Detailed reviews like this that appear on your website can even help with SEO, boosting a product’s page in search result rankings. This can play into social proof, too. Human beings tend to look to groups or communities to validate their decisions.
A customer might be interested in a product but be hesitant to buy. Customer reviews can provide the “social proof” he or she needs to validate their initial interest and make the decision to purchase, since they could see how other shoppers reacted to the product.
When a customer writes a review, that story can act as convincing feedback from an unbiased source in a way your product description alone just can’t do. No matter how detailed and honest you are, you clearly have a vested interest in presenting your products in the best light.
Now that you understand how powerful and compelling customer reviews can be, check out these 5 strategies to encourage the people who buy from you to leave their own review
- Make It Easy to Review Your Products Online
Include a system for reviews within your ecommerce site. You can browse different retailer’s online stores to see how they set up their reviews, but consider including a star-rating system (since consumers feel that’s the most important measure).
You can include your own calls to action on product pages, within your confirmation pages and emails, or in receipts and invoices. Make it easy not only to leave reviews for specific products — but make the page where customers can do so easy to find.
And don’t forget to follow up! Customers will likely leave reviews weeks or even months after they made the initial purchase. Create an automation within your point-of-sale system or email marketing tools so customers who made a purchase receive a simple email a few weeks after product delivery that invites them to share their experience.
- Claim Your Business Online and on Social Media
Customers can leave reviews in more places than just your own website. You want to make it easy for happy customers to write reviews when they have positive experiences with your brand. Be sure to set your business up on third-party sites that encourage positive consumer reviews.
- Consider What’s in It for Your Customer
You can encourage customers to write reviews by rewarding them for doing so. Incentivizing your shoppers this way makes sense and it is fair — after all, it takes time and effort to write a review, so receiving some sort of reward for doing so is likely to add to the overall positive experience they had with your brand.
You can offer coupons or discount codes to encourage buyers to share their feedback publicly. Or host periodic drawings and giveaways, and choose a winner from the pool of customers who submitted reviews in a certain timeframe.
Rewarding customers for writing reviews is an acceptable practice. Buying reviews is something to avoid. Your offer should simply be for writing a review, not for writing a review with an angle or spin you requested.
- Meet Them Where They Are
You can further encourage customers to leave reviews if you make those reviews easy to write on mobile. Just make sure the review you want them to write lines up with what’s realistic for thumb-based typing.
Creating a place for customers to respond and leave a star rating, for example, is an easy task to perform on a smartphone.
You can also get creative, and look to gather not just written reviews, but also data points from surveys. This will allow you to write web copy that you can use to set alongside customer reviews, while still making it easy to leave feedback on mobile.
- Don’t Forget to Make the Ask
Remember how seven out of 10 customers will leave a review — as long as they’re asked? Don’t assume your shoppers, even the most loyal among them, will take the initiative to write a review for you.
Find unique (and polite) ways to ask shoppers to write reviews for products they purchase. You don’t just have to ask for a review. Your actual ask could be worded in variety of personable, friendly ways depending on your brand’s voice:
- Leave feedback
- Share your thoughts
- Tell us about your experience
- How did you like your purchase?
Your POS system can help track individual shoppers and their purchases if you want to create customized follow-up email campaigns asking about specific activity. The best time to ask is after customers interact with you, and well-integrated point-of-sale software can help you track a number of activities to tailor your request for reviews. Many POS systems in Pakistan also provide up-to-date features to help store owners get the best experience from technology and help them figure out customers’ choices.