Nowadays we all need more than high-quality services and excellent products. Our expectations grow, and we are looking for a deeper connection with brands. Customers create relationships with brands, follow their philosophy, and need trust. One of the essential ways to get more trust is collecting customer reviews!

While shopping online, our potential customers cannot physically interact with our products and brand. However, they can read the verified reviews and get complete information about our businesses. Social proof in the form of reviews is one of the most powerful tools to gain new customers’ trust.

Importance of Customer Reviews for Brands

According to stats, 88% of customers trust online reviews when choosing the brand. They consider reviews at the same level of trust as personal recommendations.

These numbers tell us a lot. With genuine customer reviews, we can cover many crucial marketing tasks and grow our brand positive power.

Build Trust Between Brand and Customer

Potential customers often feel uncertain regarding the online business they have never interacted with. This is why we should invest our efforts into building customer’s trust, and genuine customer reviews help. When people come online and see positive reviews about a brand, it increases their credibility, and the potential customers feel much more confident. Once there’s trust, then getting customers becomes easier.

Get Honest Feedback for Growth

Analyzing how well people love and patronize your brand encourages your business growth. When you get honest answers from your customers about your products or services, no matter positive or negative, it helps. When customers give honest feedback, it’s a great chance to evaluate your brand efforts and see the areas for your growth. Always pay attention to the feedback about the things you need to improve. This is a big help that customers even not loyal can do for us. Remember, if we want somebody to grow, we show what needs improvement. If we are indifferent and don’t want to help somebody – we keep silent and pass through. The feedback is a valuable resource.

 

Predict Customer Loyalty

Customers that leave you reviews are often loyal ones. Other customers could make purchases and leave. Some of them don’t give feedback, and it’s hard to predict their reaction. If so, try to ask about their experience using various communication channels before leaving the online review. You can personally ask about their opinion: by phone, in the personalized email newsletter, or via messengers. When you hear lots of points that need improvements – it’s valuable information for the plan and helps predict how likely it’s the right moment for asking about the review.

If we deal with an eCommerce review, we deal with a more complicated system and a larger number of customers. This is a tip: you can set up an automated email that asks to evaluate your company’s experience. If the customer gives you a good mark, the automated script can show them the suggestion or link to the online review page. If the mark is bad, you know that and make conclusions. But the automated system doesn’t ask the customer about the full online review right away. We often met such examples in Apple App Store apps.

Grow With a Word of Mouth

What people say online about a particular business is what others use for making their purchase decisions. A brand with multiple positive reviews will more likely get more trust and more purchases than competitors. At the same time, negative reviews can stop customers from making the purchase. But! No one is perfect – people understand this. If you reply to negative reviews sincerely and consistently, it can increase the trust even more.

Social proof represented by customer reviews helps your business be trustworthy and stay ahead among even the strongest competitors. Genuine and verified customer reviews are the long-run investment into the brand growth and awareness.

How to Ask for Customer Reviews

Sometimes it becomes a bit challenging to ask the customer for a review. First, we feel uncertain; second, we need a plan to do that with many customers, scale it for the whole business, and last: people tend to spend time on their priorities. The review is a priority for us, but often not for the customer. That’s why our customers will more likely leave a review in two cases: if they are emotionally impressed, feel happy, and want to share their experience, or if they can get some bonus for their allocated time. Some useful points will help you to prepare and make this process more simple after you do them.

Define the Purpose

We already know the importance of customer reviews. However, we also need to know what we need the reviews for. Is it to improve our services or to get a positive online review? If you need to find the growth points, motivate your customers for honest feedback! Ask about the things they think you need to improve, how likely they will recommend your brand, etc. By doing this, the aspect of your business that needs improvement will be known to you. On the other hand, if you decide to increase positive online reviews quickly, use a different approach. Evaluate customer loyalty first, and start with the most loyal and potentially-loyal customers. Try strategies that help you predict the opinions and grow customer satisfaction. Work on the growth points to show that you hear your customers and become better for them.

Choose Your Approach

To get the desired outcomes, you must engage in proper timing to ask for customer reviews. If you ask customers for reviews at the wrong time, they may drop negative reviews for you. So, look for clever ways to ask for reviews from your customers and at the right time. At what point should you then ask customers for reviews?

These are some indicators of the right moment for the online review:

  • repeat purchase and order;
  • some time left after the first purchase, and creation of a new wishlist;
  • spending much time on your website specific product category;
  • sharing a coupon code with a friend;
  • referring your brand to friends;
  • purchase and delivery.

Now you know when it’s a right time to ask for reviews. Then you need to get prepared to test and scale.

Make Up Your Model and Script

Prepare emails, messages, and request scripts to ask for customer reviews.

Draft a plan which conveys information about the following important parts:

  • tools you’ll use to ask for the review;
  • platforms for collecting reviews;
  • who at your team is responsible for this part of work;
  • the right time and context for the review;
  • how much time is needed to leave a review;
  • a clear and short step-by-step guide for the customer;
  • what benefits the customer gets for their effort;
  • what to write in your request message;
  • how to work with objections;
  • what to do in case of negative review, how to respond;
  • how to thank the customer and add value

Prepare all this point beforehand and be ready for any cases. You should also include the means of communication to be used, whether by email, telephone, or social media. After you think out your plan, it’s time to combine it into a powerful script and take action.

Guide on collecting customer reviews

Pro Tip: We found this online book very useful and helpful to prepare and effective plan and start collecting reviews, and recommend it to you:

Ultimate guide to Customer Reviews by Craig Stoss, Sarah Chambers, Yaakov Karda

 

 

Encourage Giving Positive Reviews

Leaving a review must be simple and valuable for both sides. If it’s not, make everything you can do to help your customers and make it easy for them. Explain how simple it is to drop reviews for you and don’t forget to give incentives. Make it clear enough in the emails you send: give discounts, gifts, or bonuses for every review customers drop for your business. This way, you will motivate them towards leaving reviews for you, and grow loyalty to your brand.

Test on a Customer Focus Group

Running a test of your plan on a small group of customers will help to show how effective it actually is. The results gotten from this test running shows you areas that need improvement in your plan before testing it on a larger number of customers.

Automate the Process

The next stage after test running your plan is setting up people who will execute the plan. Asides from using people for this, you could automate the process. This will include the use of different tools that helps you to send emails and messages automatically. Tools such as Magento, Shopify, or review platforms such as Trustpilot.

Respond to Both: Positive & Negative

Treat every feedback you get from customers as valuable information. Negative feedback could influence your feelings, but it could be a true pointer to areas that need to be improved. Learn how to answer them quickly, thoughtfully, appropriately, and respectfully. Then, for happy customer review quotes you receive, give a quick response to them, and appreciate the reviewer concisely. Encourage them to refer people to your brand, sign up for a re-purchase, or find you on social media.

Sometimes Giveaway

This tip is not the typical one regarding the review. However, sometimes we should give more to get more. Make some unique touches and give personal presents to your loyal customers. Try to evoke their positive feelings. This way, one day, they will come by themselves and tell the world about your brand, and how genuinely kind and useful it is.

Be Responsible. Think Big

It is also not directly about reviews. But that counts for a lot. Nowadays, people, fortunately, stand for a responsible attitude to nature and resources, people and environment. As a brand, you should respect their values and share these values as well. Shared values and beliefs are keys to sympathy, trust, and a deep connection. As a result – you’ll get a lot of positive reviews organically.

Where to Collect Customer Reviews

On Google

Google allows you to collect reviews and helps promote local companies on Google Maps. All you need to do is to inform your clients about how easy it is to drop reviews. You could also request reviews using a short URL specific to your brand. Your reviews will be seen right near your listings in Maps and search helping your brand gain trust and stand out on search results.

For whom:

Local businesses and anyone who wants to grow brand awareness online and offline.

Pros:

  • Allows genuine reviews to be posted;
  • Adds visual rating on Google search results;
  • It is a trustworthy platform;
  • You can always respond to the review and also flag if necessary.

Cons:

  • You can’t moderate or delete a review on your own. Be careful with unfair competitors, spammers, and highly unsatisfied customers.

Look at the example of London’ brand The Hummingbird Bakery. They have an offline store and a website, collecting reviews on Google:

The Hummingbird Bakery customer reviews on Google

On Amazon

Amazon is another giant platform for Amazon eCommerce merchants.

Collecting reviews on Amazon

For whom:

eCommerce businesses that sell on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Aggregates all of your product reviews in a central place for ease of viewing;
  • Monitors review systematically and this way, you can quickly spot negative reviews;
  • Helps you to identify the reviewer to sort out concerns related to negative reviews.

Cons

  • You can’t moderate or delete reviews (the same thing as with Google).

On Shopify

Shopify is the most popular eCommerce platform in the world, the choice of numerous eCommerce brands. It provides a number of cool marketing features for business, including collection of customer reviews.

For whom:

eCommerce brands on the Shopify platform only.

Pros:

  • The Product Review app for Shopify is free;
  • Has many automated tools and features that can be integrated with other review platforms;
  • You can delete, manage, and reply to product reviews from the Shopify admin panel.

Cons

  • Reviews are manageable and this may evoke some concerns about their fairness.

Look how Package Free does this at its Shopify-based online store:

or

Package Free reviews on Shopify store

On Review Platforms & Social Networks

For whom:

Any type of business relevant to the focus of the particular review platform.

Pros:

  • Platforms are famous and trustworthy;
  • Additional promotion and lead-generation channel;
  • Most platforms allow integration with eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Magento;
  • Your brand stands out among the other brands collecting reviews on the same platform;
  • Platforms carry out high-level verification process to detect spam or purchased reviews;
  • Social media platforms request account login to leave a review;
  • Other customers can see the personality of the reviewer and even turn to their personal recommendation by connecting with them.

Cons:

  • In most cases, you can’t moderate and delete reviews.

List of The Best Platforms to Collect Review

You can use all these platforms or better focus the efforts on the one that has more trust of your target audience and aligns better with your marketing strategy.

Trustpilot

Trustpilot is a famous world review platform helping businesses proactively collect reviews from customers. It enables the user to send out emails to customers inviting them to send their reviews about the business. They also allow the customer to keep the reviews third-party verified by writing both the product and seller reviews.

Trustpilot platform

TestFreaks

This platform also helps businesses to collect customer reviews and help to complement this by writing seller reviews for them.

TestFreaks platform

Feefo

Feefo is one more great platform for your business. Their team values integrity and is dedicated to connecting great businesses with their customers.

Feefo platform

Reviews.io

Pay attention to one more great platform designed for the eCommerce businesses and their customers who can share their reviews and experiences.

Reviews.io platform

Instagram

Yes, our well-known and loved Instagram. It’s really a super-creative platform, especially for the eCommerce businesses. Besides being super-powerful in terms of product presentation, it also can be used to collect emotional and genuine customer reviews. What’s cool is that you can moderate them, create posts with them, collections of stories, and ask clients to tag you!
Look how this works for Swedish fashion giants, Tretorn:

Collecting customer reviews on Instagram

How you can do this:

  • check your DM’s for messages sent by their customers which could be reviews;
  • track responses from customers to their brand’s Instagram stories;
  • keep an eye on your comment section;
  • keep track of how many users share their experiences with other followers especially when the brand is tagged/ mentioned in the comment;
  • keep an eye on the Instagram page of their followers as some of them could express their views about your brand on their personal pages.

The only con is that your customers must use Instagram. But it’s hard to imagine people who now don’t use Instagram at least just for researching, inspiration, and shopping online. 🙂

Also, YouTube and TikTok are great platforms to get additional audience and video-reviews.

Pro Tip: Google your competitors to find out the platforms they use and pick the ones that work best for your business.

Summary

Putting into consideration the current trend these days, it appears that most businesses are transitioning from just being negotiated in the physical to electronic platforms. The world is fast becoming a fully digital one and businesses adjust. eCommerce business brands have quite a lot on their sleeves in regard to getting customers, making them stay with their brands, and even recommending them to other customers. Reviews are one of the most valuable brand resources, and they indicate customer trust, attitude, and awareness. The final though we came to is just stay genuine, respect your customers, and they will show you their attitude with great pleasure.
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