Because the majority of shoppers nowadays use reviews to make purchasing decisions, it is vital for companies to pay attention to what their customers have to say. Considering that product reviews are now a part of the customers’ knowledge base, businesses need to invest in online review programs that would inform and educate both their future and potential clients with the experiences of those who have already purchased their products and services in the past.
However, the million-dollar question is, how exactly do we create a successful online review program?
Basically, there are only 5 things that you need to consider:
1. Make your review platform easy to navigate and understand
Create a program that’s automatically sent to your customer at a certain period (say, a month) after he or she purchases something from your company. Establish a process that is quick, easy, and user-friendly.
Ensure that your customers will be able to feel your utmost interest in getting honest feedback — that your goal of getting reviews is to make sure of their satisfaction, to understand their needs and preferences, and to develop your products and services in a way that would make them happy.
Moreover, make it short, sensible, and fun. Filling up review forms must never feel like a burden. You can opt for a quick survey or a poll on various websites to get to draw traffic to your business and get to know your customers better.
2. Keep your review program responsive
SOASTA, a site innovation business, conducted a survey and found out that 88% of Americans respond negatively to applications and websites that lag upon usage. 83% of them shared that to them, slow sites create a bad impression of the company.
In addition to that, 23% of the respondents mentioned that they proceed to a company that offers the same products and services whenever the first one takes so long to respond.
Hence, check your program’s speed. Keep it updated. Get a host that can pick up your bandwidth needs.
3. Know when to ask for customer reviews
Not all businesses realize this, but it is important to ask for customer reviews at the right time. You need to give them an ample amount of time to use your products and services and see the results. Asking them in the middle of their customer journey might not give you the best results.
You can ask for reviews whenever they purchase your products, when they post about it on social media, or if they refer another customer to you.
4. Give your customers a reason to leave reviews
You can get creative and give your customers a reason to leave reviews for you.
You can give incentives to your customers whenever they leave a review on your site. Go for trendy prizes like movie tickets, discount cards, coupon codes, gift cards, or even a few dollars.
However, before offering incentives like that, it is good to note that handing out something for free might influence the reviews that they write — even if that’s not what they actually intended to do.
Supposing that your reviewers are unprejudiced, your customers have the right to know which reviewers were handed free products for transparency reasons. But, of course, the decision to divulge such information is still up to you.
You also need to decide whether negative reviews will be given the same prizes.
In short, handing out incentives might persuade your customers to give reviews, which might affect the comments’ authenticity.
The good news is, should you decide to reveal sponsored reviewers, your company can always do it lowkey. Creating little disclosures with words like “sponsored by” on the lower side of the review can do the trick.
If you are confident with the quality of your products and services though, you can always rule out this option. Weigh legal and ethical guidelines and see where your business stands.
5. Show your customers that you care
Whether you receive positive or negative reviews, let your customers see that you care for whatever it is that they have to say.
Send a reply whenever someone sends you a review. If it’s a positive comment, obtain all the details that you need, and publish it. Share it on your social media channels.
However, when your customers encounter a problem with your products and services, reach out to them in public and talk about their negative experiences. Do whatever you can do to correct your mistake if ever there was one, or provide them with whatever you can — like another product that would fit their needs, or a solution that’s free-of-charge.
Carrying this out will exhibit your willingness to establish a good relationship with your customers, and that you are ready to make it right to them. This will help you create a personal connection with them, setting you apart from your competitors, hence, giving you an edge.
Plus, this would show your target market that you went the extra mile to remedy negative situations — that if your potential customers will ever encounter a problem in the future, then you would be there to help them.
Team up with the experts
When it comes to business, the word of mouth is always the best form of advertisement. With just a few clicks, people can now look for comments and experiences with regards to a certain brand, product, or service.
Your customers’ voice can make or break your business. This why creating a great impression of your company is vital to your success.
To achieve highly effective and responsive online review programs, team up with companies like TrustSpot, where e-platforms are made fast, seamless, and effective.
Utilize customer reviews in a strategical manner. Get your brand reputation on top and focus on the most important aspect of your success — your customers.