When it comes to running a business in an increasingly digitized world, the saying “if you build it, they will come” is no longer applicable. Even if your eCommerce website is set up perfectly, your social media pages are up and running, and your inventory is fully stocked with quality products, you likely won’t see much business unless you earn consumer trust. So how do you go about it?
One of the most efficient and effective ways to earn trust and boost consumer confidence is to share positive online reviews about your business and offerings.
Consumer reviews and client testimonials from real customers function as social proof. They allow businesses to demonstrate that they are trustworthy and reliable and that their products or services are worth the cost.
Consumers also greatly value other people’s opinions. Moreover, having an unbiased party with nothing to gain from praise for your business will lend credibility. In turn, this will increase your sales.
Read on to learn why feedback is important and what steps you can take to get more product reviews.
How Online Product Reviews and Customer Testimonials Help Increase Your Revenue
Previously, people relied on word-of-mouth and referrals to find businesses to purchase products or services. Modern consumers are the same, but they have access to a wealth of resources that they didn’t have before the Internet: product review websites. They’re also much more reliant on other people’s feedback, especially during the research stage of the buyer’s journey. Trustpilot says almost nine out of 10 consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.
A Medill Spiegel Research Center study found that product reviews increased the conversion rate for a lower-priced item by 190 percent. For higher-priced items, product reviews upped the conversion rate by an astounding 380 percent.
Needless to say, positive reviews are great for business, but what about negative reviews?
Should you get a less-than-stellar product review, don’t be tempted to hide it or ask the customer to delete it. Surprisingly, negative customer reviews might even help, not harm, consumer confidence and trust.
According to another Medill Spiegel Research Center study, consumers are more likely to purchase from companies with a few negative customer reviews. In fact, the likelihood of a consumer making a purchase peaks when the star rating of a product is between 4.2 and 4.5 stars. Interestingly, it drops if the star rating is 4.6 stars to 5. It may be because negative consumer reviews lend authenticity to a company.
Apart from helping boost your credibility and increase your sales, consumer reviews also:
- Increase your visibility.
- Improve your online reputation.
- Provide valuable insights into your customers.
- Give your customers a voice.
- Provide an avenue for engagement.
- Boost your rankings in local search.
Additionally, client testimonials are free user-generated content you can use in your digital marketing efforts. You can take some customer review examples and showcase them on your website and social media pages to demonstrate your credibility and the value of your product or service to potential customers. Just be sure to authenticate these customer review examples and ask for permission before repurposing them to avoid any issues.
Review Generation Strategy: What It Is and Why You Need It
Now that we’ve established the importance of feedback to the buyer journey, the next step is to determine how to get more reviews for your business.
Waiting for your customers to leave reviews on their own is too time-consuming, and there is no guarantee that they’ll give feedback even if they were delighted with their purchase. What’s more, people who are unsatisfied with your company are much more likely to write a review than happy customers. In a customer service survey by Zendesk, 95 percent of consumers share bad experiences with others, while only 87 percent share good experiences.
While you shouldn’t be worried about a few negative reviews, most of your feedback should be positive; otherwise, you risk putting off would-be customers. To tip the scales in your favor, you need to be proactive. You need to develop and implement a review generation strategy.
What Is Review Generation?
Generating customer reviews does not mean creating fake positive reviews to bump up your ratings on websites like Yelp, your Google Business Profile, or your social media pages. On the contrary, this approach can harm your reputation management efforts.
Modern consumers are savvy and can often detect whether a review is real or fake. What’s more, fraudulent reviews lower consumer confidence in your business. A study by Bazaarvoice found that 54 percent of consumers would not buy a product if they suspected it had fake reviews, and 34 percent would lose trust in a brand with fraudulent reviews.
A review generation strategy is a data-informed, systematic approach to drive reviews. Instead of waiting for customers to give feedback, businesses with a review generation strategy actively encourage them.
A review generation strategy encompasses a few basic steps, but remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you’ll need to tweak your strategy to consider your niche, your customers, their behavior and their preferences.
For instance, if you serve business-to-business (B2B) clients, you might want to request reviews via email using a professional template that’s straight to the point. You might also want to send your email a week to a month after their buyer journey has been completed. This is so their experience with your business is still fresh in their minds, but enough time has passed for them to have reaped the benefits of your product or service.
Why Is Review Generation Important?
Reviews are critical for businesses of any size and niche, but even more so for smaller companies. According to Rize Reviews’ Senior Reputation Manager Tim Clarke, “Reviews matter even more individually for low-volume businesses. They may only have five to 50 reviews, so one review has a big impact on the score. So, monitoring and requesting reviews is vital.”
Ideally, you should have a reputation management team on board to help you with your review generation efforts. Apart from helping you get more reviews, a reputation management firm will align your review generation strategy with your overarching digital marketing goals and help ensure that all of your efforts pay off.
Additionally, an online reputation management company can take on the task of review management. This process includes monitoring online reviews about your business on review platforms, social media pages, your own website and anywhere else they might appear. It’s an important part of online reputation management, as it also involves removing fake reviews, responding appropriately to feedback and resolving customer issues. These steps are all essential in ensuring your brand is perceived positively by your target audience.
To get more reviews, consider following these tips and incorporating them into your review generation strategy.
Determine the Right Moment To Request Reviews
When it comes to requesting reviews, timing is everything. Think back on the last time you purchased something, like a new phone to replace a slower, older one, perhaps. After the initial joy of making the purchase, did you feel buyer’s remorse? Did the feeling go away after a week or so of using your faster, feature-filled phone?
If you ask a customer for a review at the wrong moment in the post-purchase stage, you might get negative feedback. While you can ask customers to reevaluate their experience after some time has passed, this is ineffective and inefficient.
To save time and effort, ask for reviews when:
- They’re back on your website, looking at your other products and services.
- They mention your brand on their social media pages.
- They re-order from you.
- They send you a referral.
- You (or your product/service) provided a solution to a problem they were dealing with.
Generally, avoid sending your request too soon, such as immediately after purchase. Instead, give your customers time to try your product or service and benefit from it.
Also, if you plan on using email, increase your chances of getting your review request email read and engaged with by sending it during office hours. According to research by Campaign Monitor, 53 percent of emails are opened between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Meanwhile, Mailchimp found that emails sent between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. get the most number of opens.
Choose How To Send Your Requests
There are many methods of asking for reviews. You can do so by:
- Text message
- Asking in person
- Asking for a review in the call-to-action section of your blog posts
- Requesting it through social media posts
- Including review links on your website’s post-checkout thank-you pages
The key is consistency. You will always need reviews to help boost your brand’s digital presence and improve your online reputation. So, review generation should always be top of mind rather than an afterthought.
Also, consider your customers. If you have access to consumer insights via your online reputation management team, use them to your advantage to identify the best way to ask for reviews. For example, according to GoDaddy, 60 percent of Millennials prefer to hear from brands through email. Meanwhile, Gen Xers are typically too busy to check their emails regularly and value convenience. Therefore, incorporating review requests in post-checkout thank you pages and including review links in VIP or rewards programs emails are likely more effective at generating online product reviews from Gen Xers than an email blast.
Make It Easy
If you’re planning to have your customers fill out a review form, keep it simple. Don’t ask them to fill out countless fields; otherwise, they’ll bounce off your form immediately or quit halfway through. Instead, include essential fields such as:
- Email address (for authentication purposes only)
It’s also a great idea to provide the option to upload media, such as images and videos.Ensure that all devices can easily access the review form or page.
Implement Review Management
Once you’ve received reviews, you must be prepared for negative and positive feedback. Make sure you have an online product reviews management plan to address complaints, fake reviews and questions. You should also acknowledge good reviews by thanking the customer.
Online product reviews management can be done by your in-house marketing team if you have one. However, while this might seem easy on the surface, moderating and managing reviews on your website, social media pages and digital review platforms takes a lot of time. It also requires customer service savvy, as one wrong word can transform an unhappy customer into a furious one.
A review management company moderates and manages your reviews wherever they’re posted. They can address bad reviews on your behalf by offering solutions, directing them to your support channels and apologizing for mistakes your company may have made. Timely, sincere responses to feedback, whether negative or positive, significantly impact the public’s perception of your brand. What’s more, research published in the Harvard Business Review suggests that businesses that respond to reviews receive 12 percent more reviews and get higher star ratings.
Start Leveraging the Power of Customer Feedback With Rize Reviews
Modern consumers have the power to impact a business’ brand image through online customer testimonials. While a single negative review won’t damage your reputation, too many unaddressed complaints and unacknowledged concerns can adversely affect your company’s credibility and brand image.
For expert assistance in countering real and fraudulent negative feedback, reach out to Rize Reviews. We utilize a variety of advanced tools and techniques to generate reviews from real, verified customers, helping boost your online reputation while reassuring your customers that you care about their opinions.
Apart from review generation, we offer a full suite of solutions to help you leverage the power of reviews to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. These include:
- Review monitoring
- Custom review responses
- Online product reviews management
We work with businesses in all industries, tailoring our approach according to niche, target audience and other factors to get the best possible results. Contact us today to learn more about how Rize Reviews can improve your online reputation, boost consumer confidence, and increase your bottom line.