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Customer reviews are very influential. In fact, they can boost your sales more than paid advertising. However, they don’t just happen without some effort. While some customers may put a positive review without being nudged, most won’t.

Giving them that nudge is definitely worth it. Customer reviews can help you convert casual site visitors into eager buyers. In fact, a recent study shows that online reviews influence 90% of consumers’ buying decisions.

So, how can you encourage your customers to leave reviews of your products and services?

Here are five techniques to encourage your customers to leave those valuable reviews. The great news is 70% of customers will leave a review if you ask them to!

Tip #1: Make It Easier to Review Your Products or Services

Customers will be more likely to give you a review if it’s an easy process. Add a system for reviews on your business website. Think about using a star-rating system on your site because many consumers feel this is an important measure.

Amazon’s customer review system can give you inspiration for your own. Amazon has a star-rating system alongside written reviews, and it has a search functionality which allows buyers to read different reviews. They also have easy-to-find “write a review” buttons.

In addition, try adding personalized calls-to-action on your product pages, within your confirmation pages and emails, or on invoices or receipts. Put the buttons and links to leave reviews in easy-to-find places that your customer will already see and make the places where customers can read the reviews in an easy place such as on the actual product page. For services, you can have a testimonial page but also have reviews near where the description of the services are so prospects can make the easy comparison.

Remember to make a follow-up, because customers are likely to leave reviews weeks or months after their initial purchase. Build automation within your point-of-sale-system or email marketing tools so customers who have made a purchase can receive emails after the product delivery that invites them to share their experience. Waiting too long or not doing this at all is missing a huge opportunity for future sales.

Tip #2: Focus on What’s In It for Your Customers

Motivate customers to write reviews by rewarding them for doing so. Rewarding customers for writing reviews makes sense, and it’s fair. It takes time and effort to write a review. So, receiving a reward for writing a review adds to the overall experience they had with your brand.

For instance, you can offer discounts or coupons to motivate customers to share their experiences. Also, you can host periodic giveaways and choose a winner from those who submitted reviews in a certain timeframe.

Incentivizing customers for leaving reviews is an acceptable practice. That’s different than buying a review. Reward the customers for writing the review, no matter what it says. Don’t reward for only positive rewards.

Tip #3: Ask for the Review Online and on Social Media

Apart from your website, there are many other places customers can leave reviews. So, work to make it easier for happy customers to leave reviews whenever they have a positive experience with your brand.

Set your business up on third-party sites that host customer reviews. Start with the following places:

  • Facebook
  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and Opera

Also, leverage industry-specific directories which apply to your brand. These may include directories such as CitySearch, Trustpilot, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List.

Tip #4: Connect with Your Customers Where They Are

You can motivate customers further to leave reviews by making it easy for them to write those reviews on mobile devices. So, make sure the reviews you want align with what’s realistic for thumb-based typing.

Also, be more creative and don’t focus solely on gathering reviews. Work to get more data points from surveys. This will enable you to create valuable web copy that you can set up alongside customer reviews, all while making it easier for customers to leave their feedback on mobile devices.

For instance, you can send out these three questions with yes-or-no answers:

  • Are you satisfied with the product?
  • Would you recommend this product to your family, friends, or colleagues?
  • Would you buy this product again?

Then, tally the responses and include that data on your product’s sales page. Here’s an example from Naked Wines for how this work.

Naked Wines customer reviews | Shopify Retail blog

While this isn’t a written review, it’ll supplement longer-form feedback given by customers. Also, include a field to ask for comments, which you can publish as customer reviews.

Tip #5Remember to Make the Ask

Remember how 70% of customers will leave a review only if they’re asked? Don’t assume customers will automatically leave reviews. Even the most loyal customers need a nudge to write leave a review.

Therefore, find unique and polite ways to ask customers to write reviews for the products they’ve bought. Don’t just ask in a general way. An actual ask must be personalized and friendly; it should reflect your brand’s voice.

For example, you can use the following phrases:

  • Leave your feedback.
  • Share your thoughts.
  • Tell us about your experience.
  • How did you like your product?

Using your point-of-sale system, you can track individual customers and their purchases to create customized follow-up email campaigns asking about their experience.

Remember, the best time to ask for reviews is after customers have interacted with your brand. A well-integrated point-of-sale software can help you track certain activities to personalize your request for reviews. Also, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and make the ask or send a personal email.  This personal customer service approach will make your company shine even brighter.

Following these five tips will help you generate instant online visibility with customer reviews. As a result, the customer reviews will validate your brand and boost your bottom line.

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