We know online reviews are important to your brand. 95% of consumers turn to them before committing to a purchase, and they can increase conversion rates by around 270%. To leverage their full potential and increase the number, quality and influence of customer reviews, you need to have the right processes in place.

With that in mind, here’s how to avoid some common downfalls and ensure your review strategy is one of real benefit to your business.

1. Ask for Reviews via More Than One Channel

Too many brands limit themselves to a single method of collection. It may be convenient, but to increase your review count you need to think outside the box and use a variety of techniques.

Take product reviews for example. In most cases these are requested through a post purchase email. It’s an effective method, but emails can be missed or lost in a crowded inbox. You could add another channel to your strategy and request reviews via SMS. These have a 3x higher conversion rate than email. They’re also effective for photo and video reviews, since the whole process can be completed through a single device.

Then there’s company reviews. How many times a day does your customer service team chat with people in a position to comment on your brand? Every query answered or complaint resolved is an opportunity to encourage your customers to leave a review, and they’re more likely to do so after a positive interaction.  

2. Send Your Review Requests at the Ideal Moment

Just as important as how you ask for reviews is when you ask for them. A review request should never interfere or distract from a purchase decision, but should be sent when the customer has had enough time to experience the product or service and never before they recieve their goods.

Timing is critical so consider it carefully. Catch customers when they’re likely to be most engaged with your brand and you’ll see much higher conversion rates with your review requests.  

3. Be Transparent and Precise

However you send them, your review requests should be straightforward and clear. Let the customer know exactly what you want them to do, how they should do it, and where their review will end up.

If your requests include additional questions to help you improve your business, be specific. For example, an ‘Any Comments?’ section is vague, whereas ‘What Can We Do To Improve’ is straight to the point and far easier for the customer to address.

The same goes for how you handle feedback. Be sure to respond with a detailed, informative reply rather than a blunt comment. This shows consideration and a commitment to good customer service.

4. Make It Personal

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to adopt a generic strategy. Customers are far more likely to leave a review - and then continue to engage with your brand - if they feel like you’re addressing them specifically. So make it personal for everyone.

Use names in your review requests and refer to their particular purchase. The more personal you make your correspondence, the stronger the bond you’re creating between brand and consumer.

5. Show How Much You Value Their Feedback

Customers are taking time out of their day to leave you a review, so it goes without saying that you should find a way to show how much you appreciate it. Try explaining what it means to your brand and how you utilise reviews, either with a thank you email or by detailing this in your review invitations.  

Proving you value customer feedback is one of  the best ways to build brand loyalty and win repeat business.

6. Focus On The Content of Reviews

It’s easy to get hung up on your review count, but 10,000 reviews mean nothing if you’ve not taken the time to understand them and what they mean to your business. If a customer leaves you 4 stars, that’s a great result, but what was it that made it 4 and not 5? How can you fix that issue, however minor?

Customer feedback is your insight to business performance, and whilst focusing on volume is OK, focusing on value is far more beneficial.

7. Try to Avoid Anonymous Reviews

To make your strategy worthwhile, you need to understand what consumers look for in reviews. A major part of this is authenticity. They want to know what they’re reading is genuine, and anonymity can lead to mistrust.On the other hand, 15% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a verified review, so make sure those you showcase are attributed to a real person that’s had a real experience with your brand.

Encouraging customers to leave photo or video reviews can further increase trust, since other shoppers can see your products in a real world context, giving the review content even more credibility.

8. Show Both Positive and Negative Reviews

Transparency is key to a good review strategy. You need to publish both the good and the bad to generate complete trust in your brand. Consumers are smart, and they know no business can satisfy every single customer on every single occasion. If they don’t see any negative reviews, they’ll assume you have something to hide.

9. Respond to Your Reviews

53% of consumers expect a response to an online review within seven days, and if you respond to positive and negative reviews, you add another touchpoint between you and the customer that further encourages loyalty.

This is paramount for negative reviews, as other consumers will look at these to see how you respond to complaints. They’re looking at how effectively you resolve issues, and how they can expect to be treated should they encounter a problem of their own.

10. Leverage Your Reviews on all Marketing Channels

Customer reviews are a valuable asset, so once you have them, you should share them widely. Your website, social media, Google, promotional emails - every marketing channel you use is a place for you to build engagement and trust.

You could also use them in your Ad campaigns. We know retargeted ads increase click through rates, and display ads are 70% more likely to convert browsers into paying customers. When those ads include social proof by way of reviews, they become even greater drivers of sales and revenue.

Why it is Important to have a Strong Review Strategy?

A strong review strategy focuses on collection, management and publication. By using the tips above to avoid the most commonly made mistakes, you’ll cover all three of these bases in the most effective way, resulting in greater brand awareness, engagement and trust - as well as better business performance and a stronger bottom line.

To sum it up, reviews get you seen, give you credibility and boost your bottom line. For more information contact our support team via live chat or start collecting reviews today.

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