Building your business’s reputation and increasing its visibility isn’t simple, but customer reviews can help you with that. And if used right, they can considerably improve your marketing performance.
With 92% of people reading reviews and 80% of shoppers trusting customer feedback as much as personal recommendations, reviews have become essential as part of any eCommerce company’s business strategy.
Collecting online reviews might be the easiest way to grow your business’s online presence. By collecting fresh content every day in the form of reviews, you can achieve your long-term goals of improving your SEO, conversions, and sales, but it’s not always easy figuring out how to do it without bothering customers.
Asking for feedback can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but it’s important in order to develop your business, combat customer churn, and boost customer retention.
In this article, we’ll take you through all the ways you can get more online customer reviews in a smooth and easy process.
How to get more customer reviews
1. Don't be afraid to ask
Asking personally is the ideal way to get more reviews. If you happen to have an online and offline business, the person-to-person request is probably the most effective one, especially if the salesperson or advisor has spent a lot of time with the customer.
If a sales associate spends half an hour or more helping a customer pick the right product or service for them, they are building a bond, which then makes it easier for the employee to ask for a review at the end of the sale.
Build an omni-channel seamless experience: If you have an in-store presence, ask for feedback in person, or ask for customers emails via tablets so you can send them a review invitation post-purchase. You can personalise the messaging to increase their response rate. The easier it is for customers to write a review, the more likely they are to do it.
If you have an online-only presence, make sure you’re asking for a review as soon as a customer completes a transaction, either onsite or as part of a transactional email receipt.
Don’t be afraid to ask. If you want to boost customer retention, use the insights from the feedback you received to improve the areas of the business that got the most criticism.
2. Collect feedback at the source
Why not integrate your feedback collection directly onto your products?
Trustpilot now offers Feedback Stickers to all customers, helping all businesses collect more reviews, and proving that these companies care about their customers, and want to know whether or not they met their customers' expectations by collecting feedback at the source - as soon as they receive their orders.
Ted Paff, CEO of CustomerLobby, agrees reviews should be collected shortly after the service/product was received:
Think outside the box. Add feedback collection to your products, parcels, packaging, flyers. Add inserts to packages, or gamify the process of leaving a review to increase response rates.
Make it easy for customers to leave a review: QR codes, links, even easy-to-send text message options (‘text 1 for one star, ‘5’ for five stars) can boost response rates.
Optimise your response rate. Choose the moment when your customers are most engaged to increase the rate of response. This is usually after they’ve received their service or product.
3. Send email or SMS invitations
If you’re an online company, asking for feedback via email or SMS may be your only option.
We recommend being as candid and open as possible when contacting your customers by email. It’s important to remind them how much their opinion matters to your business, how much you care, and why you’re asking for feedback. It’s about making them happy and improving your business so all customers can have a better experience.
But when’s the best time to ask a customer to leave a review?
Send an invitation once the customer has received their order.
Be careful, don't wait too long to email shoppers! A Gartner study has revealed that feedback collected immediately after an event is on average 40% more accurate than feedback collected 24 hours later.
Ask every customer for feedback. Avoid cherry-picking.
Send the email from a real person’s email address to make it feel like a personal interaction.
Write an informal email. Present the request as an open conversation from person to person. The more the email looks robotic, the less the customer will engage!
Optimise invitations like you with would any customer-facing interaction. Test messaging, subject lines, channels, and placements.
Don’t forget your CTA needs to be clear, easy to find, and easy to fill out!
Example of Trustpilot email invitation
4. Send reminders
Don’t be afraid of sending reminder emails!
Following up can improve your review response rates, if it is done properly.
You should send a reminder to customers who haven’t responded, three or four days after the first email or longer if their purchase was a big ticket item or won’t be replaced for a long time. For example, be sure to send a reminder email within days or weeks for any food purchases but you can wait a few months if you want a customer to review a washer/dryer unit.
Don’t forget to include clear CTAs and links to leave a review on the channel of your choice.
Always send a reminder to customers who didn’t leave a review after your first invitation email.
Don’t forget to include a quick, explanatory sentence. Here’s an example - “We’re hoping you leave a review - it’s good for us, and great for other customers!”
If the shopper doesn’t leave a customer review after your second email, leave it until their next purchase or integrate it as part of your marketing strategy.
5. Use third-party review platforms like Trustpilot
Ever heard of review platforms? We hope so!
Trustpilot is one of them. Third-party review sites like Trustpilot can help your business collect customer feedback about your company, your products, and your services.
They allow businesses to automate their review collection, learn from their reviews, and offer widgets to display them on-site, whilst enabling social sharing.
Trustpilot’s SEO widgets provide optimised data to Google, helping your company's web pages display stars and ratings directly on search engines, providing insight into your company’s reputation and potentially increasing click-through rates on your search results.
SEMRush, a competitive intelligence tool used by SEO experts, notes that businesses do benefit from an SEO standpoint by using a third-party review site to get more customer reviews.
Third-party review platforms also make sending invitations and collecting customer reviews automated, easier, and quicker.
Use an automated service to send email invitations and get more online customer reviews, quicker!
Pick an open and trustworthy third-review platform: cherry-picking is not recommended.
Opt for a Google-friendly platform - Trustpilot can help you get more visibility with Google Seller Ratings and Review Snippets.
There are many different ways to get more customer reviews, but these are by far our favorites! If you’d like to learn more about third-review platforms and how they can make collecting reviews easier for you, why not book a demo with one of our Trustpilot experts sometime this week?