Did you know that 90% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase? Buyers are more informed about your product or service than ever before and their information is largely fueled by other people’s experiences. That’s why it’s important to encourage customers to leave their feedback online.
But how do you get that feedback? And where do you collect it? Your website is a good place to start, especially if you have an e-commerce site, because 76% of consumers consult reviews in an online store before making a purchase. Other sources for online reviews include third-party sites like Yelp or Google, followed by social networks, like Facebook.
If you’re not asking your customers to leave online reviews, you should – and here are five ways how.
1. Make It As Simple As Possible
Customers don’t normally go out of their way to leave a review, so ask them to do as little as possible. Include a link on the homepage of your website that’s easily found. Anytime you ask for a review via email or on social media, include a link to the exact spot where customers leave feedback.
2. Be Active on Social Media
There are many places to generate online reviews, but you can’t take advantage of them if you’re not there. Being active on social networking sites like Facebook provides a free and accessible way for people to leave reviews and it allows you to thank or reply to the person’s feedback. This goes for similar sites like Yelp and Google, too.
3. Use Email or SMS Marketing
Aside from asking for feedback face to face, email and text messaging are two of the most direct ways to secure a review. You can send a short, simple ask after a customer’s recent purchase and include a link that directs right to your review site. After all, up to 80% of all reviews originate from a follow-up email!
4. Offer an Incentive
One of the best ways to ensure customers leave reviews is to offer an incentive. But don’t get that confused with asking customers to leave good reviews, which is an unethical practice. You simply encourage them to their honest feedback. The incentive doesn’t have to be much – a $5 gift card or 15% off their next purchase at your store would suffice.
5. Respond to All Reviews
Let’s face it. Bad reviews are bound to happen. Responding to a negative review and offering a resolution to the unhappy customer shows that your company is engaged and committed to being responsive. This can encourage other customers to leave their feedback, especially if their experience was different than that of the disgruntled reviewer. Reply to the positive feedback, too, because you want all customers to know that their opinion matters.