Many different factors influence a customer’s decision to actually make a purchase from your eCommerce store, but reputation and recommendations are absolutely paramount. Positive online reviews are a core component of managing your online reputation. In fact, ZenDesk found that 88% of customers have been influenced by an online customer review when making a buying decision!
What you say about your own brand only goes so far with customers. Consumers trust reviews from other real customers who are not afraid to reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of your products. Reviews put customers at ease, and products with many authentic reviews are perceived as far more trustworthy.
Product reviews and customer feedback are undeniably important, but how can you get them?
Ask for Feedback
The power of simply asking is a long-forgotten, yet very effective, method for producing a behavior. Asking for reviews is one of the easiest ways to get them. Send a follow-up email to customers after a purchase asking them for an honest review. Of course, you want to give them a bit of room to breathe and enjoy their purchase before asking for a review.
Pay attention to the wording you use as well. Focus on “inviting” them to provide “feedback” rather than demanding a review. Educate your customers on why you are asking for this as well, by reminding them that their experience will help future customers make a decision. Some ideal times to ask for feedback include:
- After they refer a customer
- Following a re-purchase or re-order
- After they tag your brand on social media
- When a visitor spends significant time browsing other products on your site
Make it Easy for Customers to Leave Reviews
Keep it simple. Make it very easy and intuitive for customers to leave a review. The more information you ask for, the less likely they will be to follow through. Do not require people to have or sign up for an account to leave a review. Simply allow them to enter their first name, email, and comments for your product.
Respond to Reviews
If you ask for feedback and make it easy to give, you will get more customer feedback. However, not all of this feedback will be great, even if your eCommerce store is. While negative reviews may seem like something you want to avoid like the plague, they are actually a great opportunity to resolve an issue and demonstrate your business values. Take the time to respond to negative reviews and address the customer’s concerns. You should also respond to positive reviews by thanking the person for feedback and including a couple of personal sentences that respond to what they wrote.
Incentivize Customers to Leave Feedback
Rewarding customers for leaving a review is a great way to get them to keep doing it. Choose an incentive that works for your business. For example, you could offer a voucher, small discount, points, or coupon for submitting a review. However, you do really want authentic awards. Some review sites may filter any reviews given based on an incentive.
Another great way to reward those who leave a review without impacting your visibility is by sharing their reviews. Post a great review on your website, email newsletter, or social media to give the customer recognition and share the information with your audience.
Make it Mobile
The review process should be optimized for mobile. Make sure your text and surveys accurately adapt to different size screens and are easy to complete from a mobile device. A user-friendly mobile interface will make it easier for customers to respond.
Keep an Active Social Media Presence
Stay active on the platforms your target audience is active on. For most businesses, these include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You can include positive reviews in your social content, but social media itself is also an avenue for feedback. In the heavily social digital era, many customers turn to social media instead of your website to share their thoughts. Monitor social media content posted about your brand or products, including any feedback. Follow the same practices for reviews left on your website, and be sure to always respond.
Execute Strategic Control
For every business, but especially eCommerce businesses, online reviews, and customer feedback are absolutely crucial. Curating reviews is an easy way to control your online reputation and make more sales.
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