Even till a decade back, consumer decisions regarding any purchase were heavily influenced by how the sellers could persuade them. Only a handful of them could judge efficiently and make correct purchasing decisions.
Gradually, with changing times consumers nowadays actively participate in social media platforms and online forums to communicate with fellow buyers and experts alike to ensure themselves that they make the right decision while investing their hard earned money on anything they wish to. Whether you own a traditional brick and mortar outlet or an online store, your business is affected outright by customer reviews which are available online.
Feedbacks and reviews posted by other customers play a very important role for those consumers who cannot see, touch or test the product before buying, specifically in case of online shopping. These groups of consumers heavily rely on online reviews, and an honest feedback from an experienced buyer could well be a deciding factor regarding whether the intended product is finally purchased or not.
Even in service-oriented industries, where customer experience is of utmost importance like in case of hotels, airlines, travel, restaurants, entertainment, and hospitality in general, people like to express their positive or negative experiences. As far as online shopping is concerned, customers are more likely to purchase products from sites which contain reviews. In addition to brand values, products which have more positive reviews are considered as more reliable choices.
Researches have shown that 86% of buyers hesitate to go for a service or purchase products online from companies, having negative online reviews. Hence, it is clear, that setting up an online business isn’t enough; one has to build a positive online reputation of his products or services.
Irrespective of whether your business is online or otherwise, you simply cannot afford to neglect a proactive online presence where you can participate and engage users in product feedbacks to serve your customers better to have a competitive edge and stay ahead in the race. It is pretty evident that positive online reviews from satisfied customers will help you grow your customer base as well as your business in the long run.
Here’s a list of recommended ways that will help you persuade your customers to write online reviews in case they have something positive to share from your products or services.
1. Building Rapport With The Customer
A sales representative addressing customer queries for a fair amount of time can pitch for a review at the time of finalizing the deal. The representative is the ideal person to ask for the review if the customer has undoubtedly a positive experience to share.
2. Sending A Follow-Up Email For Feedback
Once the customer has been using a product for a week-long or so, he or she might have some important feedback to share regarding the user experience factor. Send a follow-up email to know about any complaints or compliments they have, and how could you serve them better. The email content should be personalized and should not resemble a mass mailer. There should be a call to action button or link to redirect the user to a page where they can publish their reviews.
3. Addressing Criticisms Positively And Proactively
Some of your customers might be a bit skeptical while using your products. Some may have some negative experiences to share as well. Many people choose to openly discuss their resentment on social media groups, communities, and other open forums.
They might criticize your products and services across social platforms, message boards, and various other online platforms. Be proactive and ask them what issues they faced and make your best attempt to resolve them. This could well turn a negative experience into a positive one and they would definitely appreciate the customer service, and hence a huge potential for a positive online review.
Below given is a list of popular sites where customers generally like to give reviews about their experience based on their use of your services or products.
List of Top Popular Consumer Review Websites for Your Business
|Review Site||Reviews For||Approx. Daily Visitors*||Alexa Traffic Rank*|
|Google My Business||All Business||756M||1
|Trip Advisor||Hotel, Restaurants, Flights, Holiday Rentals & Tourist Spots||4.60M||248
|Glassdoor||Companies By Employees||2.36M||401
|Trust Pilot||All Business||475K||855
|Four Square||All Business||573K||2,542
|Yellow Pages||All Business||464K||3,091
|Consumer Reports||Products Related||445K||3,306|
|BBB (Better Business Bureau)||All Business||334K||4,451|
|Home Advisor||Home Contractors & Service Providers||247K||5,813
|Angies List||Service Providers||183K||7,962|
|G2 Crowd||Software & Service||114K||11,064
|Super Pages||All Business||76.3K||19,091|
|Apartments Ratings||Apartment Rentals||56.2K||22,312|
|Reseller Ratings||Online Retailers||28.3K||43,621
|Trust Radius||B2B Software & Service||20.6K||66,755
|Merchant Circle||All Business||12.4K||75,480
|Home Stars||Home Contractors & Service Providers||14.7K||84,046
|Review Centre||Products & Service Related||5.84K||137,984
|Test Freaks||Products Related||1.10K||391,214|
|RankMyAgent||Real Estate Agents||259||1,943,187|
|RateMyAgent||Real Estate Agents||109||1,988,958|
4. Managing Online Followers And Fan Base
Create an online page on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin as per your business type. Be proactive and responsive on these platforms and engage your customers in regular discussions. Provide them regular updates on products, services, events and new launch concerning your business wherever applicable.
5. Make Reviewing User-Friendly
Publishing a review should be easy. Design a review page in such a manner that users can easily submit and publish their reviews. Users should easily be able to navigate to the review page. Ensure that users are able to rate the product or service on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10. Let your customers submit text and images and other rich media content.
6. Acknowledging All Reviews In An Unbiased Way
Publish both positive and negative reviews without any biases. Remember that a negative review is a great scope of improvement. Acknowledge all your reviewers and thank them for their time and effort. Customers will trust your business more if it contains a mixed bag of honest reviews, both positive and negative ones instead of fake five star reviews that only talk good about your products or services. They will be happy to know that you proactively address issues faced by others make sincere efforts to resolve them.
7. Making Testimonials Easily Accessible Online
Use your customer reviews as testimonials for your business. Make those testimonial pages search engine friendly so that they are frequently enlisted in search results and are easily accessible online. Any user searching for your products or services should easily be able to view your testimonials page and go through rave reviews published by a group of extremely satisfied customers. Truly a great way to convert sales and boost revenues.
You may also use customer testimonials as case studies regarding how you addressed their issues and resolved the problems faced by them. This kind of business transparency is always appreciated by customers.
8. Encouraging Reviews Through Incentives – But Not Bribing
Rewarding every user who submits a review is an unethical practice and can be unacceptable to many customers. However, incentives like giving away freebies and promotional items once a while is certainly not a bad idea. You may arrange a monthly lucky draw for all reviewers, where one lucky reviewer will be rewarded. It may also be as simple as a discount on the next purchase. You may also use these events for promotional activities concerning your business. A subtle step in this direction will surely encourage your customers to take the initiative to submit reviews.
The above-mentioned recommendations among many others, although are not exhaustive but will certainly help you fetch a lot of customer reviews and guide many others make positive purchase decisions and help you grow your business.
A few tech tools are out there to simplify the workload in managing a brand’s or company’s online reviews or presence, from monitoring social media profiles, ad campaigns, to blog postings and comments. Overall these tools help you to maintain your business’s online reputation.
19 Tools to Monitor and Manage Your Online Reputation
Try our tips and write about your customer experience in the comment box below. We’re glad to know how our strategies work for you.
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* Approx. Daily Visitors & Alexa Traffic Rank stats are sourced from EasyCounter.com & Alexa as of 26th May, 2018 data.
SEM Correspondent publishes latest news and updates from the world of Digital Marketing in behalf of Search Engine Mogul Team.