The importance of customer reviews and how to ask for them

No matter where you shop online, nine times out of ten there will be an option to leave a review. Reviews began in the early days of the internet on sites like Ebay for sellers to gain feedback in order to build trust within the community of buyers. Since then, people have become more savvy when buying online and are now more choosy than ever. With so many websites competing for people's attention, reviews help to raise your business profile and establish credibility. Buyers care about the opinions of other buyers and an extraordinary 95% of customers will read reviews before making a purchase meaning reviews are more important than ever. However, we understand that they can be elusive if you don’t know how to go about asking for them, so we’re going to go through why they’re so important for your business and how you can ask for a review in a positive way.

Why are they so important? 1. Trustworthiness and social reputation Ever needed a product and asked a friend which one they have and what they think of it? You just asked for a review. Which is exactly what online reviews are there for. Reviews make customers 71% more comfortable purchasing a product. As social creatures, we like to know the thoughts of others, good or bad before making our own decisions. Plus, if we can see other people have received their product and it’s as advertised, we trust in the brand 100% more straight away. 2. Allowing customers to give feedback and builds loyalty

Opening your business for reviews allows your customers to feel heard by being able to leave feedback in a positive way. You will also find that customers will feel a level of loyalty by leaving a review as it creates a relationship with your business. 3. Free marketing provided by your customers

76% of consumers are more likely to trust content shared by their peers rather than content shared by brands. That content includes reviews. Reviews work over and over again because they provide a constant positive image to potential customers. This creates continuous brand awareness which benefits the business in the long term because ​​reputation makes up over 25% of a brand’s market value. 4. Reviews can increase your revenue When trust is established, consumers can relax a little and start becoming more impulsive in their buying decisions. Research shows that when a product gets five reviews, the likelihood of it being purchased increases by 270% and on average customers spend 31% more when a business has positive reviews. 5. Reviews generate reviews When you can see that a business already has reviews, you are more encouraged to leave your own and join in the conversation. The more reviews there are the more confident a customer will be when writing their own. More reviews means more of the awesome benefits we mentioned previously.

Asking for reviews

Did you know that 68% of consumers have left a review for a local business after being asked to do so. Which is a huge percentage you could be missing out on by not asking. So, let’s look at the ways in which you can ask for a review. 1. Email

Sending a follow up email post purchase is one of the best ways to ask your customers to review your business/product. Try something along the lines of ‘How did you enjoy your recent purchase?’ with a link to your review site of choice. You could send a personalised email to a certain customer list, for example your highest buyers or most frequent customers asking for a review.

2. Social media

Has someone tagged you in an image of a product they’ve bought from you? If they’re happy with their purchase, drop them a DM. Thank them for their custom and for sharing your product on social media and simply ask ‘would you be happy to leave us a review? It really helps us out’ and paste your review site link in. Simple.

3. Webchat

Have you just given some awesome customer service via webchat? Is your customer singing your praises for the help they’ve received? Now is the perfect time to ask for a review. Something along the lines of ‘I’m so glad to have been able to help you today, if you have a little time I’d be grateful if you could leave a review of the service you received’ and drop the link. People are often willing to sing your praises in a review after you’ve taken the time to help them.

4. Website

Do you have a dedicated page or space on your website for your reviews? If so, add a button on there with a call to action to leave a review. If it’s obvious and easy how to leave a review, your customers will be more likely to participate. You don’t want leaving a review to feel like work for your customers, so make it clear how they can do it and how much you’d appreciate it.

5. Receipts/Confirmation emails Often the final touch-point in the customer journey, there is still a chance to ask for a review. If you send email confirmations after a customer orders, add a small line about them leaving a review of their experience at the bottom. Or do you send paper invoices/receipts within their package? Great! Your link to review should be on all printed marketing materials as a small reminder to review their experience with you. One thing to remember when sending your deliveries is to make sure you’ve got insurance, like offcourse, to cover loss or damage, if one thing is going to cause someone to leave a bad review, it’s their delivery not being delivered!

Asking for reviews should come at organic touch points within the customer journey. You will probably be surprised at how responsive people really are when you simply ask. After all up to 80% of reviews originate from follow-up emails urging shoppers to review their purchases, it would be silly to not take a chance at the opportunity to boost your reviews.

Do you already ask your customers for reviews?

Which technique do you find most effective?

Let us know in the comments.

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