Are there reviews online? This the first question many shoppers ask when looking to find the best products and deals. In fact, 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, so adding a well-considered review and feedback strategy to your arsenal of customer service tools is paramount.
Collecting reviews doesn’t have to be complicated, and there are powerful benefits. Here are five tips to implement an effective feedback strategy that will help you hear the voices of your customers, harness that data, and add value to your business.
Give your customers the power of feedback
Have a process for users to share their opinions, feedback and reviews. User feedback contains a wealth of information: product success, staff performance, customer preference trends. It’s rich data which can identify strong areas in your business, and highlight areas in need of attention. Enabling user feedback on your website and in your stores — then sharing these authentic opinions online — increases sales conversions due to more traffic and more trust. Your customers are wanting to read and leave feedback; is your feedback strategy making the most of what they have to say? Also think about how your users may want to leave feedback: A ratings system? Text reviews? Video reviews?
Resist the urge to moderate
When reviews start to come in, it’s tempting to sift out the negatives and sweep them under the rug. But there’s no need to fear the occasional one-star. In fact, shoppers suspect censorship if they don’t see any negatives at all, and spend more time reading reviews when there is a balance of different opinions. Furthermore, negative reviews are the perfect opportunity for your business to respond personally and publicly – demonstrating your real-world commitment to problem resolution and awesome customer service.
NEVER be tempted to fake it
Fake reviews are in the headlines. Make sure your business doesn’t get negative coverage by subscribing to transparent practices. Fake reviews damage a business reputation and ruin consumer confidence. Ask yourself: do you want your customers to be lied to? What are the values of your business?
Understand closed vs. open review platforms
Review platforms generally come in two varieties: open or closed. Open means anybody can leave a review, whether they’ve bought the product or used the service or not. In comparison, a closed platform invites only genuine, purchase-verified customers to leave feedback via a personal request. Open platforms generally yield more volume of feedback, as anybody can have their say, but this system’s credibility can get dicey. While feedback from closed platforms may have a smaller volume, it can be fully trusted, as only genuinely verified customers leave reviews.
Make a list of what you want from a reviews platform
There are many review companies that will collect feedback for your business, so spend time thinking about what you want so you can be an informed buyer. When choosing the right platform, consider:
- Is the platform a Google Licensed Partner so your reviews contribute to Seller Ratings?
- Does the platform give you the method and scope you need to effectively respond to customer feedback and reviews?
- Do you need analytic and reporting features to better track overall trends?
- Can reviews be integrated with your website and social media channels?
- Will reviews direct traffic to your website and boost your sales conversions?
For many business owners, ‘putting themselves out there,’ can seem daunting. But customer feedback gives valuable insight and opportunity for improvement, engagement and visibility.
Jeff Fox is Vice-President at Feefo