5 Ways to Encourage Customers to Leave Product Reviews
Customers have always been king, but now they have more of a voice than ever when it comes to your brand’s success. That’s because they can influence the opinions of other shoppers worldwide with just a few simple words — a product review. According to a Zendesk-sponsored survey, 9 out of 10 people they questioned said positive reviews online shaped their choice to buy, while 86 percent said negative reviews had the same effect. Add to this the inherent bias that negative reviewers are more likely to follow through without encouragement, and you’re looking at a real need to get honest, authentic positive feedback to balance the scales. If you’re unsure how to encourage customers to leave product reviews, try one of these five techniques.
Ask: If You Never Ask, the Answer Is Always No
First and foremost, you must ask for feedback. In-person requests are often the most successful for small businesses and chains alike. If you run an online store, though, still make the ask.
Add Review Reminders to Your Normal Communications
Newsletters, invoices, product packaging, follow-up emails after contact — you communicate with your customers more often than you realize. Each time you do, include a call to action to rate a product they’ve purchased or provide general feedback. Make reviewing easy to do. Remove barriers such as logins, and optimize all rating systems so they work equally well on mobile and computer devices. Consider a fast scoring setup with a space for comments so feedback is uniform and easy to provide. Product reviews on Amazon and customer reviews on eBay are both prime examples of how to simplify the review process.
Focus on Timing and Wording to Get Customer Reviews
When you’re sending requests specifically to solicit reviews, timing matters. Studies show asking between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the client’s time zone gets customer reviews more consistently than asking any other time of day. Also, choose language that matters to your industry and carefully word the subject line. Studies show subject lines with a question mark rather than an exclamation point have drastically different effects depending on your industry, while companies across the board succeeded when mentioning incentives. Here’s a summary from Yotpo.
Connect Reviews to a Loyalty Program
If your company runs a points program or offers other loyalty rewards, give members extra points for each review they provide. Remember, the point is to get a bunch of reviews, not necessarily all excellent ones. If you have only positive reviews, customers will think you’re either working for the best company in the world or aren’t allowing honest feedback. Most will lean toward the latter.
Offer Small Incentives for Reviews
Even if you don’t have a loyalty program, you still can incentivize your customers to provide reviews. A regular giveaway on your site or social media page is an easy way to get product reviews without the shadiness of appearing to pay for them. Provide a coupon for a future purchase in exchange for feedback, and up the ante with additional coupons for social media sharing. The key is to be up front about the fact that you’ve asked for reviews and that ratings have no bearing on the likelihood of winning.
Soliciting reviews for your products is equal parts art and science, and it starts with being willing to request what you need. Ask regularly at the right time, use the appropriate wording, and add a little incentive to encourage customers to leave product reviews. Feedback from your customers is what you need to help you make the right business decisions.