Why You Should Encourage Customer Reviews (And How to Do It)

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In today’s sharing economy, there is no doubt that online users love customer reviews. In keeping with one of the eCommerce trends for 2018, it’s essential you encourage customer reviews as part of your marketing approach adds a level of personalization to your online presence.

“While consumers have always had the ability to vote with their feet, or with their wallets, they now have more power to influence not only what they buy, but also what others buy. Consumers have been given a voice and expect it to be heard.” ~ The Deloitte Consumer Review

People tend to trust online reviews, especially when they are detailed and personalized. Encouraging customer reviews from those who have used your product or service is essentially an element of your marketing strategy – or at least it should be. In-depth reviews from real users can go further than any paid social media ad or catchy online slogan. In short, you should encourage customer reviews because it is good business practice. But how should you go about it?

We have you covered with five reasons you should encourage customer reviews and five ways you can encourage customer reviews for your ecommerce site or small business.

Reasons why you should encourage customer reviews

The reasons to encourage customer reviews may not be limitless, but there are plenty of them. At the end of the day, getting customers to review your company is about engagement and personalization – just like any good marketing strategy.

1. It is one of the major deciding factors for potential buyers

In the past, people have relied heavily on personal recommendations for purchases. With the personalized touch of today’s Internet, online reviews may be just as good. Forbes Magazine reports that nearly 90% of consumers trust online customer reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Not only that, but only 12% of buyers do not read online reviews before making a purchase. In other words, customer reviews have a huge impact on turning a lead into a customer.

2. Customer reviews can speak louder than sales language

Another trend, slowly built up over the past several years, is customers tiring of sales-like language in marketing materials and on websites. Focusing in on customer reviews for your website or business lets your customers talk for you. Blog posts, landing pages, conversion funnels – they all have an important part to play in a marketing strategy. But nothing can speak quite as loud as what essentially amounts to a personal recommendation.

3. Customer reviews increase your ranking on search results

SEO is a big part of good business practices these days, and customer reviews are not immune to factoring into search engine optimization. Having in-depth, quality customer reviews on your business website not only provides a more engaging experience for leads but can actually lead to more leads by increasing your local search result ranking.

4. Customer reviews build trust with potential buyers

Encouraging customer reviews is about more than just a marketing angle or part of a conversion funnel. It is a way to build trust with potential customers that otherwise may not have a personal connection with your eCommerce business. Just like photos speak a thousand words, featuring customer reviews on your site can do wonders for moving a lead from casual browser to dedicated customer.

5. Customer reviews provide engagement with current customers

Focusing on customer reviews isn’t all about potential customers – it can also be about current customers. Asking for positive customer reviews offers a chance to engage with the clients and customers that you currently have, especially if you incentivize the review. If you balance it right, you get the opportunity for free advertising and an opportunity to encourage your customers to be brand ambassadors.

According to Reevoo, reviews produce an average of 18% uplift in sales.

Ways to Encourage Customer Reviews

You get the why – but what about the how? For many eCommerce sites and small businesses, it can seem difficult to get the ball rolling on encouraging customer reviews as a means of driving sales. But thankfully, with online tools and software for reviews, it does not have to be.

1. Make sure you focus your attention on real reviews

Fake reviews are never worth it – period. They are less than engaging, and many online users have learned to spot fake reviews in no time at all. It is more time consuming to go the organic route, but it will pay off in the long run.

2. Start with a Social Media Campaign

If actually going through the steps to encourage customer reviews seems intimidating, start with something simple. Social media campaigns are relatively easy to get set up, and go a long way toward engaging customers (and getting reviews)!

3. Respond to positive (and negative) reviews

Taking the time to respond to reviews, both negative and positive ones, will help encourage other customers to leave reviews. Showing a personalized touch (and that you care enough to respond) can go further than any incentivization or gamification you may consider.

4. Make leaving a review user-friendly

This one is non-negotiable – you should make the process of leaving a review as easy as possible for your current customers. Even once a customer wants to leave a review, if they start the steps and find that it is too complicated or takes to much time, they are likely to give it up. Make the review process a few simple steps, allowing customers to be as detailed or as brief as they wish.

5. Use software to make the process easier
Software tools for customer reviews and CRM make this entire process much easier. If you can use software to edit photos and make them beautiful, why can’t you do the same for a beautiful customer review landing page? Taking the time to learn how to use a few user-friendly software tools in this area will certainly pay off in the long run.

Where do you go from here?

The best way to get started in encouraging customer reviews for your small business or eCommerce site is just that – to get started. As you can see from above, there are many different approaches to getting the customer reviews you are looking for. There is not necessarily a wrong approach as long as it’s getting results. So jump in with a few of these tips and find out what works for your company!

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Brooklin Nash

Author Bio

Brooklin Nash writes about the latest tools and small business trends for TrustRadius. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading YA dystopian fiction (with guilty pleasure) and cooking


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