As you are reading this article, certainly you already know something about reviews and their influence on the purchase decisions of a potential customer. Now it’s time to effectively obtain customer reviews and ratings. However, before you start sending out requests for reviews, you need to understand the behavior of both satisfied and dissatisfied customers.
Above all, reviews provide a source of knowledge for both consumers and the company. You probably also read reviews more than once before taking up an offer from a given company. Your customers do exactly the same. They want to be sure that their choice of your company is a good one. Some of them will not only read reviews, but also compare them with reviews of your competitors.
What do you gain from reviews? Knowledge about the expectations and needs of your target audience. It is your customers who will tell you what you should work on to increase their satisfaction. Customer recommendations are also the best advertising. You need to know that reviews rely on the principle of social proof. Therefore, the use of reviews on your website or social media can reassure the recipient of the right choice.
Most importantly, you first need to have company accounts on opinion sites. It can be a Google My Business profile, Facebook fanpage, company profile on Opineo, TripAdvisor etc. When choosing a portal, it is worth taking into account your industry and whether your customers actually spend time on a given site.
Some of your customers will write reviews or leave stars. However, most often they will be unsatisfied buyers of your products and services. The satisfied ones usually need to be encouraged. You can do it with an e-mail message, text message or even a pop-up on the order summary page. Many companies also conduct a customer loyalty survey (NPS), which is an indicator of satisfaction and likelihood to recommend your company, product or service.
For many customers efficient purchase process and later delivery or use of a product are obvious state, they do not consider it as something extraordinary enough to share an opinion. It also happens that in their excitement they even think about writing a positive opinion about the company, the service they used or the product they bought. If they do not do it right away, they will rather simply forget about it in the rush of other things, as soon as the enthusiasm starts to fade.
A satisfied customer often does not know that his opinion means anything at all to the company. A dissatisfied one, on the other hand, is on a mission to warn the world about your company. That’s why it’s a good idea to emphasize the importance of each opinion, and you’ll express it best by responding to customer feedback.
The fact is that a dissatisfied customer is willing to share his opinion even uninvited. What’s more, if his dissatisfaction is very high, he will not stop with the opinion on one site, he will be happy to share it on social media as well. In the era of the Internet, a negative review can quickly spread in the network, and then an image crisis is guaranteed.
This can be prevented by timely response to unflattering comments. What is more, very often the customer reports his dissatisfaction by contacting the company and only when such contact fails, he decides to share his opinion on the Internet. Unfortunately, in this situation the company contributes to the appearance of an unfavorable review, which in addition to unflattering comments on the product or service, will also include information about poor customer service, and even accusations of fraud.
The most common way to obtain reviews is through an e-mail. Despite appearances, creating a request for feedback is not at all that simple. Above all, you need to know who your customers are and adapt your message to them. The feedback message should be consistent with your company’s visual communication and narrative. Customers get a lot of invitations to give feedback from different companies, so your logo is one of its most important elements. But what can you do to make sure that customers don’t just leave 5 stars in the feedback form, but write a few words about your service or product in addition?
When creating an invitation, it is worth keeping in mind several issues that can significantly increase the effectiveness of obtaining ratings and opinions.
1. Subject of the e-mail – what happens next depends on it to the greatest extent.
The subject line should be intriguing, encourage readers to open it and make it stand out from other messages. It should not exceed 60 characters so that it is read in full by the recipient.
2. Personalization – shorten the distance between the brand and the customer.
Instead of addressing “dear customers” address Ms. Monika or Mr. Paweł directly.
3. Argumentation – why should the customer fulfill your request?
Explain that you are striving to improve your offer, and therefore you care about the customer’s opinion.
4. Visual aspect of the invitation – make sure the invitation is neat and does not overshadow the message.
Treat sending invitations with a request for feedback as the next step in building your brand image and awareness.
5. Responding to feedback – respond to all reviews.
Prepare a feedback response template as well. When responding to a neutral or negative review, remember to ask the customer to leave feedback, but without using negative words. This means that you should not ask the customer what they didn’t like, but ask them to tell you what you can improve. Always remember to thank them for their feedback, regardless of how it sounds.
In addition, you can encourage customers to give you feedback by informing them that they will receive, e.g., a discount on their next purchase after submitting the feedback. Note: never write that a positive review is a condition for receiving a prize. It can cause you many problems.
In the beginning, invite your customers to leave reviews on Google Maps, as this is where consumers are most likely to read reviews about businesses.
Remember that your customers get many similar requests, so adding reviews can’t take too long. Once you have collected feedback, be sure to show it off on your website. Product reviews will positively influence not only the purchase decision, but also the position in Google search results.