Reviews can help you generate more sales, more buzz around your brand, customer loyalty, and more. 87% of shoppers read them before hitting the “Buy” button, so saying that reviews matter would be an understatement. If you want to leverage all the benefits they bring to the table, it’s crucial that you pay extra attention to how you collect and use reviews.
In an ideal world, every customer would leave a review as soon as their product arrives and they’ve had a chance to test it. Better yet, they would leave detailed feedback about the product itself and about the shipping and the customer service process.
However, that rarely happens. Not everyone leaves reviews without a gentle nudge. Sadly, unhappy customers are more prone to leave reviews than happy ones.
So it’s up to you to collect and use reviews in a way that:
- Entices existing customers to leave detailed reviews.
- Helps other potential customers make easier decisions.
While most eCommerce shop owners are aware of the importance of reviews, very few of them invest time and energy in perfecting a reviews collection and usage process that is seamless and, more importantly, that can pad their bottom line.
Thus, this process is typically flawed. This means that you collect far fewer reviews than you could and that you don’t use them to the fullest.
Let’s take a look at the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when they collect and use reviews and how to avoid them.
7 Mistakes You Should Avoid When You Collect and Use Reviews
You Let “Nature” Follow Its Course
You assume, just like most eCommerce owners, that shoppers will leave reviews if they want to. But here’s the thing: people are busy. When you’re busy, it’s easy to lose track of things that don’t seem important.
Most of your shoppers probably don’t work in eCommerce. So they don’t really know how important reviews are to you.
Luckily, 70% of customers leave reviews when asked. See where I’m going with this?
What to do instead
Tell people how important reviews are to you. They will be happy to help you out, especially if they loved the experience they’ve had with your brand. The pandemic has made us all acutely aware of the fact that our favorite businesses may not be here tomorrow, so we shouldn’t take them for granted. Tell your customers that their review can help you survive and thrive and they will take the time to leave feedback.
Image via CoSchedule
Don’t forget to remind them that when you collect and use reviews, you don’t just do it for yourself. Their review is also important for other shoppers, to help them make informed decisions.
This means that your customers have the chance to become influencers and help their community at the same time. Who wouldn’t want in on that?
And if they don’t, then you can always sweeten the deal (see below).
Does it seem like a hassle to collect and use reviews? We get it! It can be a time-consuming task. This is why we created Wiremo: with our solution, you can send automated emails to your shoppers and remind them to leave a review. All you have to do is choose the ideal timing and wait for new reviews to start pouring in!
You Don’t Offer Incentives for the Customers Who Leave Reviews
Remember what we said above about people being very busy? While some of these busy people will respond to simply asking them nicely, others might respond only if they have something to gain from leaving a review about your shop.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you collect and use reviews is to assume that you can’t do anything to motivate your customers to leave feedback. You can do a lot of things.
First, a caveat: some platforms (like Google) don’t allow offering incentives in exchange for reviews, so make sure you read the fine print before asking for one. However, on most platforms (and especially on your own website), you’re good to go.
We recommend offering incentives in exchange for reviews especially if your business is at its early stages and you didn’t get to collect too many reviews thus far. Incentives can help you get the ball rolling and establish yourself as a trustworthy brand quickly.
Image via CoSchedule
Here’s what you can offer:
- A small discount for the next purchase.
- A free item or a free gift with the next purchase.
- Automatic membership on your VIP list when leaving a review.
The sky's the limit here. Depending on your budget and the type of products you sell, you have countless options to get customers to leave reviews.
You Leave Customers to Do All the Work When They Leave Reviews
At Wiremo, we help all our subscribers with proven templates that can help collect reviews from shoppers. But a convincing email needs a bit of your own input too.
Again: your customers are busy. So make things easier for them if you want them to help you collect and use reviews for your shop.
Your email template shouldn’t be a simple pitch to get them to leave a review. Add some relevant links in there as well. Link to all the platforms you have a profile on, starting with your website. But make sure to mention that they don’t have to spend ages leaving reviews everywhere.
One or two platforms are enough because you can take it from there. This brings us to the next point:
You Don’t Collect and Use Reviews Across Platforms
Most likely, your customers don’t use a single platform to get information about the products they need. So why should you?
It’s great that you collect and use reviews on your website -- it helps shoppers get information and it helps you rank higher in SERPs. But most people would like to see reviews on a third-party independent platform, like Facebook, Yelp, or Google.
So use the tips above to get your customers to leave reviews on more than one platform. But don’t stop there. You can always cross-post your best reviews everywhere:
- Use the Wiremo Manual Review Request tool to collect reviews on your own website and on external platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and others.
- Screenshot website, Yelp, or Google reviews and post them on Facebook and/or Twitter with a link to the original platform.
- Post links to your profile on review platforms for people who want to check out your reputation easily.
- Creating an email campaign about one of your star products? Add a screenshot of a review and a link to it in your email.
- Add screenshots of your reviews on your product pages.
These are just a few examples of how you can reuse and repurpose reviews. Of course, there are plenty more combinations, depending on the platforms you are active on.
Pro tip: dig deep into your buyer persona’s buying and browsing habits to see where they spend most of their online time. Those are the platforms you should invest time and energy into and strive to collect and use reviews.
Every time you get an excellent review, ask yourself this: how can I leverage it to the fullest? Where can I repost it?
You Don’t Respond to Reviews
I know, it can be tedious to respond to every single review. And even frustrating when it comes to negative reviews. But here’s the thing: the more you respond to the reviews you get, the better your reputation and your sales.
People love brands that engage with their audience. So don’t forget to say thank you to those who took their time to write a positive review. And, more importantly, don’t forget to respond to every negative review, too!
Whether the writer of the negative review is right or not, it’s important for the readers to see that you take every little bit of feedback seriously and that you constantly try to improve your services. The key to responding to bad reviews is to make sure that you don’t antagonize the writer even further and that you do your best to appease the situation and maybe even get the unhappy customer to change their opinion.
And yes, all of this can be done. Check out our article on how to respond to positive and negative online reviews -- you’ll even find some ready-to-use templates that you can add to your online reputation strategy.
Did you get a bad review that’s completely unfounded? It happens! Did you know you can get it removed? Learn how to remove bad reviews from Google, Yelp, or Facebook.
Review management is not an easy task. But Wiremo is here to assist you and put review responses on auto-pilot. Save hours every week by automating review answering with Wiremo! Plus, you can reward your brand ambassadors and keep track of your online reputation in a single dashboard. Try it out!
You Don’t Customize Your Review Responses
We said that responding to reviews is extremely important. But how you do it also matters. It’s just like washing your hands (we’ve all become experts on this recently, right?) -- you should wash your hands frequently, but you should also wash them the right way, with extra care for every nook and crease.
When it comes to responding to reviews, one trick is far more useful than others: personalizing your answers. I know, canned responses are much easier to just set and forget.
But people can spot those a million miles away. And, as you might know, everyone (your customers, too!) want to feel special. No less than 80% of shoppers demand personalized experiences from retailers.
This means that your reply should, at the very least include their name. For bonus points: refer directly to the product they bought or to the service you offered them. Want to win even more points? Dig deeper into your CRM to find out if that customer is a repeat one. If so, make your review response even more personalized, and don’t forget to thank them for their repeat business.
When you take the time to create such review responses, it’s not just that one customer who reads your answer. It’s everyone else who stumbles upon that page. And it doesn’t hurt for everyone to see that you have loyal customers, does it?
You Don’t Use Reviews to Improve Your Products and Services
Yes, reviews are great for your online reputation, your sales, your SEO, and more. But while you work hard to collect and use reviews, you might forget their original purpose: to gauge your customers’ feedback about your products and your services.
No one likes to be told that they’re not doing a good job. Or that what they’re selling isn’t up to par. However, these things happen. Sometimes we make mistakes -- all of us. And the first ones to notice those mistakes are those who are primarily affected by them, the customers.
So make sure that you take every review seriously. From four stars to one, your customers might have something to say that’s worth listening and implementing. Reviews are the best way to learn how you can improve your business, so don’t use them only as a PR stunt.
Businesses revolve around the people they serve. This is why their feedback is so important: when your rating starts to drop, it’s clearly a sign that something needs to change.
If you were to leave this page with a single actionable item, make it this one: treat every review as if it were an honest conversation with a friend. How would you answer their concerns? How would you treat their delight in your services? Treat your customers and their feedback just as you would treat your friends and family. This is how you get them to come back and to become your brand ambassadors.
Need a little help to collect and use reviews? We’ve got your back! Sign up for Wiremo to test our review management solution -- it’s completely free to try it out, so what have you got to lose?