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Customer reviews are social proof of your products. They function in much the same way that testimonials are used to create trust with businesses and services. Its something everyone wants to see and can really effect an increase in sales.
Sadly, customers are quick to give negative reviews and it can be an uphill struggle to grow positive reviews with your client base.
Below I have outlined three of the more successful customer review campaigns I have seen implemented by ecommerce businesses.
If you don’t ask you don’t get. A very old phrase but one many still don’t implement, even when they know the truth of it. If your customer has purchased from you, they have given their contact details during the checkout process. So take action to follow up every sale (or better still automate it and have pre-written emails follow up on your behalf).
If you are willing to talk to your customers, your only remaining challenge is to overcome their objection to leaving you a customer review on your website or review service. In other words, you need to incentivise your customer to leave a positive review for your service, or to give you feedback on what they didn’t like about it which is still useful.
One successful method of rewarding clients is to submit them into an attractive competition, perhaps they win money against the cost of their good, or a free upgrade. You will not need to give away a large amount, make it affordable and use it elsewhere, for example, your social media and blog are the perfect places to write about the giveaway. That gives you some positive marketing while driving up more reviews for your products.
Key Focus: Never be scared to communicate with your customer. Some believe that they are annoying the customer by asking for reviews or feedback. This is a standard email most people won’t give it a moment’s notice, especially if you phrase it in terms of you wishing to improve your company, products, experience and incentivise it for your customers.
Most companies watch for their brand key terms and website address being mentioned across Twitter and other social media. All positive reviews help you, but if someone feels really satisfied with your product or service they can be steered towards leaving a review in places that will benefit you more.
This is why you see a big drive to get reviews on trip advisor from businesses that depend on footfall, there is a Central Station Tour here in Glasgow and that’s exactly how they have become the number one tourist tour, by asking every tourist to help get the word out and leave a 5 star trip advisor review.
Now you will also receive negative reviews, things do go wrong, that’s just business. However, you can build strong support and show that you really care about your customers by forking the results. Anything negative you show you are taking it on board and what changes you will be making to avoid that issue going forward. With the positive, you move it towards the promotional elements of your business, social, reviews, comments etc.
The good news is if you have moderation setup on your website for reviewing the customer feedback you receive you can filter the really bad or damaging stuff out, but rather than just bin the review and ignore it, you put it into your ticketing or support system and take action to show that client how you’re going to fix the experience for them. You can then follow that up by asking if this resolved their issue. Potentially turning a negative into a positive.
Key Focus: Search and discover positive comments about your products online, open communication with the customer on that platform. Thank them for their kind words and ask if they would be willing to copy paste it into the review box. Better still offer to do it for them.
Follow up with a survey/questionnaire
Surveys are short, structured ways of not only getting feedback but getting meaningful feedback. You can ask a mix of questions about things you can improve on about your product or customer experience, as well as what was good about it.
You inform the user you would like to use their comments as a review. Get the code to chain the positive questions together, then show the user that the negatives will be fed back into your customer support team and will be seriously looked at.
This again serves multiple purposes from the one exercise. The customer experience that is negative can damage your brand very quickly. Giving your customer somewhere to vent that is not public will give them the satisfaction of getting it off their chest, while putting it in a place you can deal with it, without other customers feeling put off your business.
There are also ways to set your social media accounts to make it look like the user’s comment is on your main page, but in fact, other users do not see this. These small tweaks protect your business from getting tore down anytime you make an honest mistake, things get lost in the post, damaged in transit, mistakes do get made, in every business. In today’s world, this can fuel a hate frenzy if it’s not properly respected and considered in how you communicate with your customers.
Key Focus: Create a questionnaire that gathers positive and negative feedback, use the positive as your review, use the negative to strengthen your company and make a better experience for your customers.