Every business is elated to have a growing list of customers. As businesses grow, their product lines often grow as well. Yet whether the product is new or a classic, potential customers need to feel confident in buying from your business. The best way to achieve this is the next best thing to word-of-mouth advertising – the customer product review.
The problem for businesses is how to encourage customers to take the time and write a product review. One study showed that if a customer was dissatisfied with a product or service they were 9 times more likely to write a negative review or complain compared to only 1 out of 10 people who took the time to write a positive review. The problem for business owners is obvious.
Here are some ways you can get happy customers to put their satisfaction down in writing.
- Follow up a sale by sending the customer an email letting them know how important they are to your business – and how important their voice is to the company.
- Incentivize product reviews – Part 1. This is a subtle way of saying give away a product in exchange for an objective product review. The purpose of this is to have several reviews already present on your website so your customers will see that others are engaging in the review process.
- Incentivize product reviews – Part 2. This part is where you offer a customer a small discount on their next purchase or some small reward for participating in the review process. It cannot be stressed enough that you do not want to pay customers for product reviews because it will destroy the objectivity of the process.
- Make the review process simple. Rating is not writing. Rating star systems are simple and quick, but do not tell potential new customers anything meaningful. Create a text box that is smallish so the customer does not feel compelled to write a lot. In fact, readers of review generally prefer a short, meaningful review.
- Be selective about what products you are trying to get reviews on. One online survey showed that people were more likely to review items that were more expensive. The reasons are unclear, but part of it may be that there is a social reward connected to being the owner of a high priced item.
Do not just take the suggestions and use them willy-nilly. Create a plan that is consistent and stick to it. A customer may ignore the first request or two for a product review, then decide that spending a couple of minutes is not a big deal now. That is the key word. Most customers put writing product reviews at the bottom of their “To-Do” list, and that is where consistency pays off. Your request can arrive at just the right moment when writing a short product review is just the break from the tedium they need.
While you should not expect every customer to act on these suggestions, you can make a consistent effort to not only encourage feedback, but demonstrating you appreciate their loyalty and continued business. For the customer it is a way to get personally recognized, and for the business it increases the potential for additional revenue.
Remember that product reviews are the next best thing to word-of-mouth advertising.