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Guest Post
christine james
Christine James believes that every customer has a voice. She is the Community Manager at HissingKitty.com (a customer complaints website) and loves talking to customers on social media about their challenges with Fortune 500 companies. Her work has been published on Huffington Post, Inc., SocialMediaToday, and Thought Catalog. Follow her on Twitter @hissingkittycom.

One strategy to attract more customers to your business – or turn casual window shoppers into excited buyers – is to ask your customer to leave a review. Lately, people are depending more on the thoughts and experiences of previous customers when assessing the available options. While it may feel strange leaving your brand messaging in the hands of others, the advantages exceed any potential issues. Having numerous positive customer reviews can boost overall trust in your business, its products, and its services.

But a business doesn’t have to show only its rosy reviews to encourage people to purchase its items. Many studies show the probability of customers purchasing something between a 4.2 and a 4.5-star rating is higher than something with a 5-star rating. Perfect scores often appear too good to be true and leave customers feeling skeptical.

Some lower ratings or negative reviews can even be used to improve your business. Most customers who leave less-than-stellar ratings have no bad intentions. They are not out to “get the business,” despite how it seems. Rather, they hope to spare their comrades any poor products or service, and raise business standards with constructive remarks.

Asking a customer to leave a review accomplishes more than encouraging more sales – it cements your existing relationships. By inviting their honest feedback and criticism, you’re telling customers you care what they think and sincerely want them to have an ideal experience.

7 tips for effective customer reviews

Today, a business’s online reputation matters a lot to customers. With as much as 97% of people depending on reviews before making a purchase, reviews – positive or negative – are a valuable metric for your business.

While it’s easy for businesses to obsess over negative reviews, the best approach is to simply build up the extremely positive reviews. This means asking your satisfied customers to share their experiences with others. Here are some tactics that will help:

leave a review laptop

1. Make it easy for customers to compose reviews

You know the ins and outs of your website, but your customers may not. Help them find their way to the comment section to leave a review. That includes call-to-action buttons or links to the exact page or section, as well as any added incentives for customers to leave a review on your site.

2. Genuinely help customers with their concerns

If a customer can’t reach you directly for help or to share a concern, they will likely turn to third-party review sites to leave a negative review. By this point, it will be much more difficult to rectify the situation.

How do you prevent this from happening? Offer a few ways customers can get in touch with you, and be responsive. Openly reach out to check if there’s anything you can do. Let them know you are happy to do everything you can to improve their experience with your business. This will boost your customer’s experience – hopefully enough for them to tell others.

3. Request for customer reviews early

If a customer loves their purchase, they are likely telling others all about it. The sooner you can catch them at this moment of engagement and ask them to leave a review, the better. Consider the time it takes for customers to receive their order – order processing, shipping, etc. – and send them an email to check on how they are doing with their new product. If you’re offering a service, allow customers a few days before checking in. In the message, take the opportunity to also request for a review.

4. Encourage organic customer reviews

Some companies use incentives, such as discounts and upgrades, to get their customers to leave positive reviews. However, marketing specialists warn against influencing a customer’s review – this is often considered an unethical practice and the rest of your customers may act against it.

Do not try too hard or provide incentives for reviews. An excessive number of reviews procured within a short time frame can often look shady, which can lead to reviews or brands getting blocked and filtered out.

leave a review telling others

5. Share your customer reviews

Are there a few customer reviews that you’re especially proud of? Share them! You can set up a whole page devoted to your glowing tributes or create a category for customer reviews on the company blog. Adding feedback to your site shows you truly care about your customers, and will also encourage them to leave a reviews and possibly form a community with other customers.

6. Engaging customers on review sites

In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of online review sites encouraging customers to share the experiences they’ve had with different brands and businesses. Some of these sites also allow the businesses to communicate with the customers. This provides a direct opportunity to interact with customers, thanking them for their positive reviews and addressing any negative ones.

7. Ask for quality over quantity

The content of customer reviews matters more than how many you receive. If they leave a review that’s detailed and specific, your business will only need a few of them. On the other hand, if they are short and do not explain much, it’s probably best to ask for more.

Conclusion

The way your business treats its customers is a big factor in its success – and having these customers share their positive experiences is an excellent way to spread the word. Online reviews add to your marketing efforts by providing a unique opportunity to improve brand awareness and gain customers. Encourage your customers to rate and review your products, and see just how much it will benefit your business.

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