70% of users read and consult an online review before making a purchase. Reviews have become a validator for users to actually consider to buy the product and then finally convert. But not every user would write a review once they buy a product. Read on to know how you can encourage users to leave a review to influence others to make a purchase.
“Mushy online reviews are a breach of faith: add more, get more”
Social influence is a psychological phenomenon. Let’s see how.
It comes to no surprise that social proof is a simple yet effective marketing strategy. A Search Engine Land report found out that 83% of marketers believe that managing online reviews deliver good ROI.
Simply authenticating your products, services, and company on crowd-sourcing sites can influence purchase behaviors of consumers. It draws potential customers by showing dominance on your end.
“Your Review is your first impression”
As per the recent statistics, 90% of patrons used to read online reviews of which 88% trust them before considering a business.
It’s a fact! Social perception doesn’t give you complete control over the content. On the other hand, when you write content for advertisement or an email campaign, you are like to have 100% control over the content.
With social proof, it’s nothing else, but a slight change in viewpoint - as customer ratings might root out the frauds, and reflects a semblance of trust to other users. No doubt! The concept is simple yet a lot of business are unable to achieve it.
Here’s How It Works-
Studies show that around 62% of customers are more loyal to brands that directly engage with them on social media.
An experience that customers have on your e-commerce store is what drives your business perceptions. Follow up with your customers to make sure they are satisfied with your product. As per the reports of Invesp, raising customer retention by 5 percent may lead to increase in revenue of business - 25 to 95 percent.
Including your business traffic and conversion, customer retention plays a major role in the success of your e-commerce store. Higher-customer retention rate will lead to following advantages:
- Increase your business ranking on search engine
- Influence more customers to follow you
- Get customer attention and easily turn users into paying customers
- Helps you optimize strategies for future customers
Good customer experience is essential because satisfied customers will leave better online reviews.Sometimes, even if your customers are happy, you still might not have a large volume of online reviews online.
But don't worry, I've got lots of ideas for you.
Here is the list of simple yet effective tips that guarantee convince your customers to create online reviews of your products and services available on the Internet.
Multiple Options on Different Platforms
Give your customers different options to choose from. Expanding customer’s options will increase the likelihood of them leaving online reviews. The variety of choice makes your potential customers land on your website.
Customers can review your products on some other websites as well. Hence, make sure to your products are available on other platforms that people use on a daily basis. As an alternative, let them review your company on social media platform like – Facebook!
There are around 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 66% remain active on a daily basis. If you are active on Facebook, it is likely that your Facebook customers will land on your website.
Facebook reviews enable businesses to boost exposure and increase awareness. Facebook’s metrics allow your company’s online reviews to appear on the news feed of the reviewer’s friends.
This mainly benefits you in two ways:
- Users will be able to see your Facebook reviews.
- It encourages prospective customers to view your profile.
Half of your battle is completed when you get potential consumers to your page. With little efforts and almost no cost, things will turn into your favor. However, driving traffic to your Facebook page helps you to generate more traffic on your website as well. In the end, this increases your chances of converting users.
Directly Approach Customer for Writing Online Reviews
You might have overlooked that, but this is essential - Ask your customers to review your products. It’s simple. Most of the times, it works.
As per the analysis, 30% of consumers believe that online reviews are fake if there are no negative comments.
In order to make a verified online review that proves the legitimacy of their purchase and opinion, give your customers a timeline. You can ask them directly in your retail location to provide you with feedback and encourage them to write online reviews for your business. This can be an effective strategy especially for small business owners and restaurants.
Once the transaction is completed, you could directly ask “Can you please leave a review for us on Yelp? We’d love to hear your feedback!”
The Process of Leaving Online Reviews
Happy customers are likely to go out there and leave online reviews. Whereas, unhappy customers share their negative opinions. In fact, unhappy customers are two to three times more likely leave a negative online review.
So how do you get customers who have had good experiences to share their opinions? By making the process as easy as possible. Include a link to your website that brings customers directly to a review platform. Keep it simple. Just like this example-
The higher your open rate, the better is the chance your customers will click the review link. This increases the chances of the customer leaving a review.
Offer Incentives for Writing Online Reviews
Let’s get this clear, you are not bribing customers to leave good reviews. That’s no good. Instead, you can simply offer them an incentive to leave a review.
Read that again. ‘A’ review. Well, you hope that they’ll leave a good review. Specify that if they leave a review, they will receive an incentive. Here’s an example.
“Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated”
A polite thank you – reflects appreciation. This goes a long way and contributes towards the success of your company. I’ve said it before, that amazing customer service can help double your revenue. Apply the same concept to your online reviews.
Thanking reviewers can boost your SEO efforts. Show appreciation to customers directly, especially where people are leaving a feedback. It also offers a chance to include keywords about your business that prospective customers may be searching for.
Look at the image to understand better.
Make Sure Your Employees Know How Important Customer Reviews Are
Employees must know the importance of customer reviews. Most importantly, they should know how to do deal with them.
- Encourage users to leave online reviews
- Show appreciation
- Remind customers of the different review platforms
This also holds your employees more accountable for their actions. If your staff is doing a bad job, they could risk getting blasted online by a disgruntled customer.
What do these analyses mean?
Consumers are likely to turn towards their friend’s recommendation if they find online reviews to be unauthentic. Therefore, your employees should understand this. Online reviews are just as important to your staff as they are to you. If negative online reviews hurt your business, it could put your employees out of job.
Regular conversations with your staff about the goals and mission of your company will keep your employees engaged.
Use Surveys to Get Customer Responses
Sometimes customers are too lazy to leave a review. There could be any reason: Maybe they're poor at typing, or they don’t know what exactly they have to write.
“Create customers who help you create customers”
In such a scenario, there are some alternatives to involve with your customers and find out - how you’re doing. You can incorporate these results on your website or social media platforms. You can design shorter surveys as well.
Some of the popular options to create a survey online:
Those who have never built a survey online, these websites are great to start. These options are user-friendly and make it easier to integrate the links with your email campaigns or social media marketing strategies.
A survey is a great technique to attain customer feedback in general. From here, you can easily analyze where you are doing well and what parts of your business needs some improvement.
Generate social proof with the help of survey, it acts as an added bonus.
Image Help Validate Social Proof
Pictures provide assurance to customers that the online reviews are given from real people. For example, Yelp allows customers to include their name and a photograph for their profile.
Look at the example shared below - A photo to validate who she is. Her picture even shows her eating food at a restaurant. Images like this resonate more with consumers. They can also see that Chelsea has made over 300 online reviews on Yelp. She’s a legitimate source of information. That’s another reason why social media pages, like Facebook, are great sources for online reviews. People use their full names and profile pictures to back up their statements. Consumers aren’t hearing from an anonymous user – they know exactly who is offering an opinion about a particular business, product, or service. You can do this on your website, as well.
If customers are willing to give your company a testimonial, ask them if you can include a high-quality photo. Make sure to include professional pictures on your website, like the image above.
Storytelling Increase Customers
“Show Value, create an experience and exceeds customers expectations”
You can use storytelling to increase your conversions. Online reviews that tell a story can have the same impact. It helps the reader connect with another customer’s experience. So, how do you get your customers to tell a story?
Beautifully explained in the example:
Bonnie reviewed a local pizzeria in Seattle. Notice how her post wasn’t just a vague review. It was a personal story about her specific experience. Why was she there? It was her daughter’s birthday. What type of music was playing? Lots of Bob Marley. When did she visit? Sunday afternoon. How was the service? Service was amazing. All of these points are highlighted in the review. Prospective customers can really get a glimpse of what to expect if they visit this restaurant, all based on the review above. Stories create a connection and generate a social proof.
Tools to Gain Online Reviews
Keeping track of users who have made a purchase and manually requesting each one of them to leave a review is a tedious task. Automation plays an important role to ensure that you never miss out on an opportunity to promptly remind users every time they transact. Check out the tools you can use to encourage your users to write a review.
Review apps for Shopify stores
Extensions to increase online reviews on Magento stores
This is a guest post by Rahul Thakur of Reputation Planners.
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