Why include customer reviews in your website?

by autorepairsites on January 30, 2012

What customer reviews can do for you

The best way to attract new customers

The best way to get new customers is for a referral from a previous satisfied customer. The next best way is from a customer review provided by a previous, satisfied customer. This is a version of referral and works very well online.

ticked boxes

Finding out the truth

The best people to tell you how well your business is doing are your customers. Reviews, whilst they can be a frightening prospect, are vital information from your customers that tells you how well you are doing at the things that matter to them.

Pleasing your customers is the key to running a successful business. And while you might think you know what they want, there’s a good chance you don’t. Happy customers return. And tell others about you.

Search engine rankings

This is particularly true for local and product search, but reviews can positively affect your rankings. Ratings will also display in Google rankings through rich snippets, making your organic listings really stand out from those around them

Creating trust

Customer reviews help establish your credibility. New customers will take the time to read them, particularly those of a humanistic persona. They create a sense of trust and new customers will feel more at ease.

It doesn’t matter what your business is, customer reviews or testimonials can help you to attract new customers.

  1. Customer Reviews for ecommerce
  2. Customer reviews for Local Business Listing
  3. B2B
  4. B2C

Many customers even actively look for reviews prior to purchase. 78% of us trust consumer recommendations above any other form of advertising (Nielsen, 2007), making them an extremely powerful advertising tool. But they must be done correctly. Customers are very good at spotting when reviews are fakes and one fake looking review makes the rest of the reviews be treated with scepticism. So it’s important that your reviews are from real customers. But how do you go about getting them?

10 easy ways to get reviews from your customers.

1. Ask Them!

The most important thing – ask them! Not everyone will complete reviews, but you may be surprised by how many do. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

2. Make it easy

A simple star rating takes only moments to fill out. Provide text boxes for customers that want to say more, but don’t force them.

3. Offer an incentive

It is no longer thought a good idea to offer discounts off orders or free products when asking customers to complete reviews. They make other customers sceptical about their worth. Far better is to offer them a chance to win something, for example to be entered into a prize draw.

4. Appeal to their better nature

People like to feel good about helping other people, so let them know that their reviews will help others to make the right purchase and to help your company with your products.

5. Appeal to their vanity

People want their work to be recognised. Amazon’s ‘top 1000 reviewer’ status has driven many mor reviews as people strive to get into the top 1000.

6. Email follow ups

Once your customer has received their product, give them a few days to try it out and then send a follow up email asking them to post a review. If the product is particularly good (or bad!) they’ll be more inclined to do so. The amount of time before the follow up will depend on the product, so the only way to be sure is to test different lengths of time until you get it right.

7. Offer a survey after purchase

The important note here is after purchase. You shouldn’t let feedback get in the way of your conversion, but a simple, brief, optional survey from the success page can have a dramatic effect, particularly if the shopping experience has been a good one.

8. Include a comment card with your orders

When sending out an order, include a comment card in it. If you also have a bricks and mortar store, then have comment cards on display for customers to fill out.

9. Ask your staff

Your staff members probably spend a large part of their day speaking with customers. When a customer makes a suggestion, get them to record it. When a customer comments on your service, listen. And when they talk about products, ask them to place a product review.

10. Get started!

A blank review page can keep many potential reviews away. People are more likely to post reviews for a business or product that already has a number of reviews online. Ask existing customers with whom you have a relationship to post your first reviews.

Dos and don’t of online customer reviews.

Dos

  1. Thank your customer for taking the time to review
  2. Show the average score for product reviews
  3. Include a little bit of information about the customer posting the review. People are most likely to act on reviews where they see the review as like themselves.
  4. Listen and act on feedback and suggestions, even if it’s not what you want to hear
  5. Respond to negative feedback
  6. If you start to see the same complaint a few times – act on it!

Don’ts

  1. Write the reviews yourself, or pay someone to do it for you. People aren’t stupid and will see a fake review a mile away. This will then taint any other real reviews on your site.
  2. Remove negative reviews. Some negative reviews are important. You can’t please everyone all of the time and only having positive reviews can make people wary. On eBay, customers often read the one negative feedback among hundreds of positive to see how it was dealt with and whether it should trouble them.

Customer reviews and testimonials should be part of the toolkit of any website. They can attract new customers and can help you to discover both what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing well. They create trust and can even affect your website rankings. There are many ways to ensure that your customers fill out reviews, some of which are very simple to implement. So what are you waiting for?

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