Testimonials from satisfied consumers are among the best ways to convince new customers to try your business’s products and services, but if you haven’t already set up a way to collect reviews, it can seem like an overwhelming process to start.
All of us have experienced the dread of being asked to complete a survey on the street, so how do you overcome that hurdle and get meaningful feedback from your customers?
According to market research, having customer testimonials increases revenue from each customer by 62%, so this is something you want to get right.
Decide Where You Want to Customer Reviews to Be Shown
Before you plan how and when you’ll ask customers for reviews, you need to decide exactly how you want to use these reviews to draw in more customers.
Ask yourself a few key questions:
- Do you want to quote testimonials on your website or products?
- What kinds of reviews are potential customers most likely to trust?
- Where are new consumers more likely to discover your business through these reviews?
- Do you have a specific budget for review collection?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start to narrow down what kinds of review collections methods will work best for your business. If you want to take the economical route, sending your customers to public review sites will be your best bet.
However, if you want to use testimonials in advertising, you’ll need written permission from your customers. Also, you may decide that getting reviews from verified customers to promote trustworthiness and prevent review spamming is a priority. In those cases, using, paid services for review collection will suit your needs better.
Make Writing and Finding Reviews Easy for Current and New Customers
Whatever review collection method that you choose, you need to make sure that the platform makes writing and reading reviews a seamless process. Any poor usability on the review platform will reflect badly on your business, especially if you’re directly sending your customers there to write reviews.
However, ease of use for your customers shouldn’t be the only consideration when choosing your review platform. You also need to choose a site that makes sense for the type of business that you run.
For a consumer product business, you’ll want to take a look at these sites and consider having your customers fill out reviews on them:
2. G2 Crowd (for software reviews)
3. TrustRadius (for software reviews)
If you run a service-based business, consider sending your customers to these review sites:
1. Angie’s List
For business in hospitality, consider encouraging customers to review your business on these sites:
4. Facebook Ratings & Reviews
You can also have reviews posted directly to your website, in which case you’ll want to use review templates when requesting them via email or a simple tool directly underneath products that customers can visit themselves.
Maximize Customer Responses by Optimizing When and How to Ask for Reviews
If you’re not using a full-service review collection service, you also need to decide at what point in the business-customer interaction you’ll ask for reviews. Once you’ve planned where you want your customer reviews to be collected, you need to strategize the best way to ask for customers to provide reviews via that platform so that you accumulate enough to promote your business to its best advantage.
One of the most simple and effective ways to ask for a review is by sending a follow-up email after a purchase, a method that accounts for around 70% of online reviews. This works whether you’re sending customers to a free, public review site, hosting reviews on your website, or if you’re utilizing a paid review collection service.
This method has the benefit of not putting someone on the spot during an in-person transaction. Many businesses choose to go the route of the “receipt survey,” which generally incentivizes reviews with promises of discounts or sweepstakes entries.
However, while this strategy may work for large corporations like Walmart, which have enough customers that even a 0.1% success rate will yield thousands of responses, it’s most likely not the most effective tactic for small or medium-sized businesses.
Consider Paid and Verified Review Platforms for the Biggest Impact
If you have the budget to invest in higher-quality reviews, including ones that are from verified customers, investing in a package from a review collection company can be a great way to boost interest in your business. By having a third-party manage the collection of reviews from your customers, you can assure potential customers that the review they’re reading is real and reliable.
Also, depending on the offerings of each service, these companies can directly integrate reviews into your business’s website and/or social media presence. Having a company manage the review collection process can also increase the percentage of customers that complete reviews as they already have the infrastructure to contact and analyze response rates from customers so that they can adjust their strategies accordingly.
Here a few review collection companies that you should consider using for your business:
Just like with public review platforms, you’ll find that different services lend well to different industries and types of business models. Trustpilot, arguably the most well-known among these options, will work for any type of business, while companies like TestFreaks, Shopper Approved, and Reseller Ratings gear more towards consumer product-based businesses.
At the end of the day, there’s a review collections strategy for every size and type of business and every type of marketing budget. Whether you go with the public review route or decide to use a paid review collection service, the important thing is to provide enough reviews that people reading the reviews get a good glimpse into your products.
To make sure that happens, you need to also be on top of your customer service, as nothing will incentivize a customer to write a glowing or negative review as a memorable experience with your business, whether good or bad.