Online reviews are much more influential than you might think. Any online business, not just ecommerce, should leverage customer reviews. In addition to helping you with your lead generation efforts and boosting the sales of your ecommerce website, online reviews are important for SEO performance.
No one can better advocate for your brand than your customers. Their advocacy does more than just sell – your customers become your loyal brand fans for years to come.
If you’re wondering whether brand evangelism should be on top of your list, know that 69% percent of B2C marketers and 57% of B2B marketers are focused on evangelism. This is a top goal for 86% of the most effective B2C marketers.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 74% of shoppers say it’s important to be able to read reviews of products from other customers before purchasing. In addition, 85% percent will check reviews when buying something for the first time. These reviews have helped nearly half of shoppers feel comfortable about their purchases.
Simply put, user reviews are proven to remove doubts that a prospect might have about a product, thereby increasing conversions and customer acquisition rates.
Social media platforms nowadays have the potential of boosting your brand’s online reputation. A lot of growing businesses realize that having an online presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter can get them good review ratings.
Strategies to get more reviews from your online community
The opinions of online consumers have never been more important. Customers are now taking the lead of spreading messages about the products they use.
A definite example of an American retailer that has benefited from featuring online reviews on their website is ModCloth. ModCloth’s CMO has mentioned that 60% of reviews on the brand include customer photos with body measurements. This has helped potential customers feel a personal connection with the brand.
Here’s how to get more customer reviews to grow your online community and achieve your goals.
1. Make it easy and simple with prominent CTAs.
The most important step to growing your online reviews is to enable customers to leave them on your site. Having a call-to-action tells your users to follow a desired method which will help you meet your objectives.
Your CTA should be clear and able to communicate value. It should be placed in a strategic location where customers are likely to see them – on every product page.
Before your call-to-action goes live, test it to maximize its conversion performance.
2. Ask them!
Go ahead and ask your customers to leave their reviews. You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask in the first place. Plain and simple.
When asking for a review, remember that timing matters. The best time to ask for a review is after a customer has interacted with you or after you’ve fulfilled an order. During this time, your customer is more ready to leave a feedback about your service.
You can’t be asking for feedback long after the interaction has happened. Make it easier for your customers to recall details so he can provide an honest review.
One thing to remember is that not all customers provide a review on your first attempt. Perhaps your email wasn’t opened or forgotten. If this happens, don’t hesitate to ask again. You can re-use the previous one you sent and simply reword the subject line.
3. Make it easy on mobile.
More than half of reviews come from mobile. Your customers are willing to leave reviews about your brand so there’s no sense in making the process hard for them. Remember that people online don’t have the time to figure out how they can provide feedback.
Lead your customers to your links. Immediately provide them with the form. And since people have gone mobile, your request for a review should be mobile-friendly. Know that half of online reviews are made via mobile devices.
4. Continuing the conversation
After you’ve grown your reviews, you need to continue the conversation. Your hard work doesn’t end yet.
If you fail to respond to a review, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunity to build customer engagement and trust. You can respond by expressing your gratitude for the helpful review. This is a sign of good manners and shows customers that you value their personal opinions.
Seize the opportunity to let your customers know that you are open to any suggestions that would help you deliver your product or service better.
You can also introduce other add-ons or product upgrades. Make an upsell. However, be careful not to seem aggressive or pushy. If you do an upsell, the product should be relevant to your initial offer.
5. Benefit from negative online reviews
Negative online reviews are hard to control. You can’t please everyone, even if you’ve delivered to the best of your abilities. After all, customers are entitled to express their opinions.
The truth is that your brand can use negative reviews to its advantage. These reviews present you the opportunity to redeem yourself and make things better for your customer.
Politely respond to the review. Offer a sincere apology for any inconvenience that has been caused. Remember that ignoring a customer complaint puts you at a disadvantage. Be the kind of brand people would love to deal with.
Perhaps there are still more reviews written about you on other places. Track your brand mentions in real-time so you can immediately respond to customers. Negative feedback can spread like wildfire.
To monitor your online reputation and spark conversations with people who leave reviews, you need the right tools.
How to manage the conversation and nurture your community
An easy and convenient strategy to monitor online reviews from different at once is to use an all-in-one social media dashboard.
Offering you tons of possibilities to track conversations about your brand, you’ll be able to use its impression types widget. You’ll can see brand mentions, posts on your wall by your customers, and more.
The same dashboard can also be used to track your online competition. Track your competitors’ backlinks, content and email strategies, reputation, and more.
If you want to work with key community influencers, you can access the influencers widget to discover who your influencers are on Twitter.
Online customer reviews are important for brands, not just e-tailers. Bringing in new opportunities for your business, reviews increase your conversions and build up customer’s trust. Moreover, they enable you to grow your community of loyal brand ambassadors.
When gathering reviews, always use a systematic approach. Your efforts should continue after you’ve collected reviews. Keep on nurturing your customers online by addressing their concerns – especially negative feedback.
Stay on top of your game using a social media dashboard that keeps you up-to-date with all the important information about your brand. You can use the data you gather to develop new goals and methods to further boost your reputation.
How have you used reviews to build up your marketing efforts? What was your best tactic? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.