You’ve found two seemingly great products and seemingly prices. Each option seems so good, and you aren’t sure what to pick. What is the first think you do?
Most people check the reviews. And by most people, I do mean at least 90% of shoppers. If there aren’t any reviews for a site, then many people don’t trust the product or business at all.
Of the 90% of users that use reviews, 88% trust them just as much as they would trust a personal recommendation to tell them about the product, including its strengths and short comings. 72% of those who use online reviews build their trust in businesses by looking at reviews.
Finally, among the 90% of us who look at reviews, there is a 58% conversion rate. 58% of the people going through reviews are going to buy the product.
In the past, it was easy to just dismiss reviews as important, but not vital. Now, the statistics tell a different story. But what do you do if you have bad reviews? Or no reviews at all?
If you don’t have any reviews, then it’s likely that buyers won’t trust you. To them, it’s almost like you don’t exist. And just a small section of reviews left over a couple year period won’t work either. 85% of viewers don’t trust reviews that are 3 months old or older, and 40% of potential customers won’t even look at reviews that are older than two weeks.
There are plenty of ways to build up your review base and we will be going into detail about 10 of them below.
1. Ask for them!
Potential buyers are there for the product. The only people who walk in the door with the intention of leaving a review are usually only the people looking to start a fight (a verbal one of course). When they hit the checkout counter at a physical store, have a flyer there that is ready to ask for a review. Also have the cashiers ask if they would leave a review. Put it on their receipt too.
If they are an online shopper, put it next to the checkout button. Have it on the receipt that you email to them. Put it in the order process. Make sure that it’s there and they can see it.
2. Send them emails
If your shopper is online, this will be easy. Most shopper have to input their email in order to receive information about their order. Within an hour or two after the order was placed, ask for a review. Then send another request out the next day. Most experts recommend about three requests of this nature. If you send too little, then you aren’t going to get reviews. If you send too many, then people will become annoyed with your business and you may even lose a customer.
If your customer came into a store, it can be a little harder to get a list of emails since it isn’t required. Try offering a weekly newsletter or a rewards program to gain their email, then follow the rules above.
3. Add a link to your site
This is another one that contributes more to online things rather than in person. Add a review link to your website. Put in the header bar or have it on the front page where your customer can see it. If your customer is thinking of leaving a review, make it quick and easy.
You can’t exactly add a link to your store, but you can add a flyer with your website, asking for reviews. Another thing you might be able to do is add a kiosk. Put it in an area where it’s not in your customers way, but it is very visible. Your customer can use it as a shopping resource, and you can add an embedded review link.
4. Be careful with how you respond to bad reviews (but do respond)
4- and 5-star reviews are great, and they are what you want to shoot for. 3-star reviews are meh. Your customer was neither overjoyed nor displeased with their experience.
1- or 2-star reviews are what you need to worry about. Your customer was displeased, and potential future customer can see it. Keep a cool head. Respond within 24 hours. Make sure that your response is appropriate and ask how to fix the issue. Google does notice when businesses respond to reviews and so do customers.
If a bad review seems fake, let it be known but still assume the best. Let them know in your response that you couldn’t find their order and ask them for more information about it.
5. Have a call to action
Don’t just ask for reviews. Tell people you need them to review. Say it loud and clear and make it bright and bold. Some customers will respond to your emails, links, and little side boxes. Others need an even bigger push!
If you’re operating a physical store, but this somewhere in the transaction process. Put it on the card screen or have the cashier include a flyer in the bag.
If you’re online, you can easily have a huge screen pop up and ask the vital question. Just be sure to make the exit button somewhat easy to find so your customer doesn’t have to reload the page.
6. Add an incentive
Everyone likes getting prizes and things for free. When you build your review strategy, play to that.
One thing to offer would be coupon codes. Everyone loves saving money. Raffles are another idea. Small gift certificates or points added to a rewards account will also go a long way. Finally, you could even offer a small, cheap product for their review. Let them know that this is what you’re doing. If you want to add an extra incentive, put a time crunch on it to add motivation. Use all of your advertising strategies to let people know that this is happening and then see how it goes.
7. Respond to your reviews
This can be hard as you start to get more reviews flowing in, but especially at the beginning, be sure to respond to as many reviews as you can. We’ve already talked about responding to bad reviews and why that’s important.
Showing that you can be trusted to resolve the issue will go a long way, both in your relationship with the irate customer and the interactions you will have with future customers!
Also take the time to respond to the satisfied customers. Let them know you’re happy that they enjoyed their experience. If it applies, also try recommending other products or services that they might like.
As you get more reviews, don’t fret about not responding to every review you have. Chose an allotted chunk of time and use that as your response time to answer questions and respond to bad reviews.
Google can see all the activity listed above, and it acknowledges it in the form of showing the activity and ranking it higher in the search engine.
8. Use a review generation software
Review generation software’s help you localize your business and build up your reviews.
How it works is that once a team member of yours completes an order, they send the basic customer information to the review generation platform. This includes where the customer is from, and their phone and email information. It will take the phone and email information and use it to send them a request to leave a review, which they can do whenever it’s convenient for them. The location data can be used to designate a local search area and bring your business up on the search engine for that area.
9. Choose the right moment to ask
There is a right and wrong time to ask for a review. If your package is running late (and many are due to Covid delays) then asking them before it arrives is likely to get a negative response.
If there trying to place an order and you ask them to rate their experience on the site before they have finished, then you are likely going to annoy them. Keep these things in mind when you decide where the pop ups go and when the email comes. Give them a chance to finish their order. Let the get the product before you pester them for reviews.
10. Make it easy
No one wants to do extra work and leaving a review can feel as if that is what you are doing. Make sure your customers have it easy. Direct links that go right to your review page and emails and text messages that they can easily find are your best friend…and theirs.
Your business is great! You know it. Your team knows it. Now, everyone else needs to know it too. Reviews can help build your business up as long as you take the right steps to cultivate them.