Reviews are among the most valuable tools any business can have. About 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase.
What’s more, your customers trust the testimonials of other clients far more than any kind of marketing you can do.
The biggest challenge for most companies is convincing customers to take the time out to review something.
Your clients are busy people, constantly getting distracted by other online content. You need to convince them that leaving a review is worth their time.
So, how do you boost your chances of getting those all-important reviews? It all starts with making the review process as engaging and attractive as possible.
Give Your Customers Options
When you’re asking your customers for reviews, one of the best things you can do is ensure that you’re providing plenty of options.
While some people will be happy to leave a message on the bottom of your product page, others will prefer to leave reviews through apps like Facebook or on well-known review websites.
Giving your clients the opportunity to share their opinions in multiple channels will make them feel as though they have more control over what they want to say about your company.
It is also beneficial because it improves your brand reach and helps to get your name out there for other clients to see.
For instance, why not give customers the option to rate you on Facebook? Their reviews will be more likely to get seen by other similar potential leads on the social channel.
You might even end up with more traffic going back to your site from your social page.
Ask for Reviews Correctly
If you want your customers to give you great feedback, you need to let them know.
Most clients will buy something from your website then forget all about the transaction until they need to buy something again.
However, if you give your clients just enough time to start using their products, then reach out with an email requesting a review, you can grab their attention.
When asking for testimonials, think about the best way to reach your audience.
If your customers interact with you through mobile, would an SMS make more of an impact than a message on social media?
Consider the timing too. If your client orders something from your store, it doesn’t make sense to ask them for a review the same day.
You need to give your customers time to receive their purchase and formulate an opinion on it. Just don’t leave it so late that your customers forget about your brand before you connect.
Consider Using Incentives
Product reviews are some of the most valuable conversion tools on the market today. However, they’re often notoriously difficult for companies to access, particularly if you’re a new business.
Taking the time to write a heartfelt review or post a picture wearing your fashion items is extra work for your customers. You may want to think about rewarding their effort.
Offering incentives, like free shipping or a discount code for every customer that leaves a review, might seem akin to bribery at first.
However, the reality is that by providing perks, you’re showing your clients you respect their time. Once again, the key to success is making the experience feel as ethical as possible for your customers.
So, for instance, don’t tell them they’ll only get the incentive if they leave a good review.
You should be offering the bonus regardless of what kind of message your customer has to send. This shows that you genuinely value their feedback, both positive and negative.
Remember, bad feedback can also be a valuable opportunity to learn from your mistakes and improve your business.
Make Leaving a Review Simple
One of the main reasons customers don’t leave reviews is because doing so seems like a time-consuming and exhausting process.
If you can make the experience as simple as possible, you can reduce one of the hurdles preventing great feedback.
Provide a link to your review page when you send a request asking for a testimonial and offer customers some examples of reviews that have left before.
You could consider offering pre-written review templates for customers—although be careful with this, as it can rub some customers the wrong way.
For people who don’t have a lot of time to spend on a complex review, consider adding a star rating system.
This is a much quicker way for clients to share their opinions on any device. While the feedback won’t be as valuable as a written review, it still makes a difference.
Add Reviews to Your Apps
Finally, if you want to make it as simple as possible for your customers to leave reviews about your products or services, then make sure they can do it easily from their smartphones.
A business app is a great way to engage and impress your customers.
You can provide access to a simple shopping experience through an app, making it more likely your customers will buy from you in the future.
Apps are also a wonderful way to stay connected to your target audience through regular push notifications, messages, and targeted discounts or offers.
Within your app, you can also remind your customers to leave a review whenever they make a purchase.
It’s simple to add an automated “thank you” page to an app where your customers can review their previous purchases.
You might even add reviewing to your app as part of a reward or loyalty scheme.
The more your customers leave reviews, the more points they earn towards discounts and free gifts from your store at a later date.
Make the Review Process More Appealing
Today’s customers want their shopping experience to be simple, intuitive, and convenient. In their quest for agile checkouts, most clients forget all about leaving reviews.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to engage your audience and improve your chances of testimonials. We’ve covered some of them in this article.
Now all you need to do is get out there and start gathering feedback.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland.
Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.