You’re probably aware that there’s entire websites dedicated to reviews of customer experiences, services or businesses. The power of a review is that it takes the power out of the business’s hand – their customers do their marketing for them, be it good or bad.
It’s especially important for online businesses to have reviews, to give assurance to customers of what they are purchasing before they receive or lay eyes on it. For local businesses, reviews are important to make you stand out amongst your competition.
It’s the consumer’s way of keeping businesses accountable to what they are selling, and rightly so!
A reviews or testimonials page helps a first time customer, or someone who has never come across your website before, to trust you. This is especially true if you are selling a product or service directly from your website. When a customer doesn’t have a store visit or concrete experience to gauge your reputation from, reviews are crucial. Whether you realise it or not, your business may already be racking up reviews under your nose through sites such as Google, Facebook Places and TripAdvisor.
Here’s some stats on customer reviews to get you thinking:
-Nearly 95% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase (source).
-Displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270% (source).
-If two products have similar ratings, consumers are more likely to purchase the product which has more reviews (source).
Encouraging customer reviews on your own site shouldn’t be daunting.
Here’s a few tips to add reviews to your site:
Contact previous clients who are happy with your work to provide a testimonial. This is a great way to get the ball rolling and also make you feel good about what you provide!
As part of a follow up process, enable clients to submit or fill out a review form. This can be done over email. The beauty of this is that it won’t go directly on your site, and you can gauge where your business needs work before allowing a review plugin to work for you. Alternatively, you can manually upload the reviews with the customer’s permission.
Follow up bad reviews with offers to remedy the situation. Not all things can be fixed. But a lot of negative experiences can be put right with a little communication, customer service and generosity! If your customers are the mouthpiece of your business, you should be doing what you can to ensure they walk away with positive thoughts. Find out more ways to remedy a bad review here.
Many customers won’t speak up when they’ve had a poor experience, leaving them frustrated and more likely to go vent on a review platform. Don’t forget to ask your customers how their experience was, with a willingness to amend any negative responses.
To get lots of reviews – Seek after them by prompting customers to leave a review.
To stop negative reviews – Make sure you check in on your customers before their experience with you is over.
To amplify good reviews – Ask positive customers to leave a raving review or highlight their testimonial on your web page.
Show you care about negative reviews by replying to the customer’s review both publicly and privately. Show genuine care when apologising for their negative experience and show other potential review-reading customers that you’re acting on it.
Contact the customer privately to show you weren’t just interested in their review, but their experience with your business as a whole. Thank them for their feedback and offer them something if you deem fit. Remember that 7 out of 10 customers changed their opinion about a brand after replying to their review (source).