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There are plenty of ways to drive up product review volume and increase your star ratings. Whether you’re a single-person shop selling hand-knit clothing on Etsy or a nationwide chain of camping supply stores, here are 8 ways to increase reviews of your products.
Anyone familiar with the way that business works nowadays knows that online reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. And while all kinds of businesses have to focus on their location reviews on sites like Google and Yelp, if you’re running a business that focuses on creating new products for consumers, you also have individual product reviews to worry about. But never fear! There are plenty of ways to drive up product review volume and increase your star ratings. Whether you’re a single-person shop selling hand-knit clothing on Etsy or a nationwide chain of camping supply stores, here are 8 ways to increase reviews of your products.
Look, asking for feedback is awkward, whether you’re trying out an experimental new scone recipe on your best friend or you’re launching a brand-new product. But research shows that a simple request pays off: 76% of customers who are asked to leave an online review actually do it. Many businesses ask for reviews over email or while ringing customers up in the store, but leading-edge business are contacting customers via text. With open rates around 98%, this direct form of communication is direct and convenient, resulting in better engagement.
Time it right
If you’re going to ask customers to leave a review, make sure you do it when your product is most likely to be fresh in their minds. For example, if your business sells vacuums, you wouldn’t want to send a customer a request over email before they’ve even gotten home and had a chance to use the product. If you sell hand-pressed juices, you wouldn’t want to ask a customer to review your new flavor a month after they’ve tried it.
Similarly, if you’re asking for reviews over text message or email, make sure to hit send at a time when your customers are more likely to have a moment to spare. Studies show that people are 143% more likely to respond to a request sent over the weekend than one sent during the work week. Take some time to figure out when your customers are happiest with your products (and most willing to take a few minutes to tell you about it), and make sure to ask for reviews then.
Keep your staff in the loop
However you decide to go about requesting reviews, make sure to train your staff to do it regularly. Whether that means putting a link in everyone’s email signature or asking at the front desk, consistency is key here.
Make it easy
Nobody - not even the happiest customer in the world - wants to click through a bunch of links to leave a review of a product. Many review sites can provide you with a link that will direct customers to leave a review on your profile. For example, on your Google My Business dashboard, look for “Get more reviews”, which will provide you with a link you can send to your customers.
Target loyal customers
You know who’s going to have great things to say about your product? The person who comes into your store to buy the same moisturizer every month. Or the person who orders the new model headphones every time they drop on your site. Or the person who comes in at lunchtime once a week to try a new flavor of salad bowl. Your loyal customers obviously keep coming back for a reason - and they’re probably just bursting to tell everyone why they love your products.
Sometimes, someone asks you what you liked about that restaurant you ordered takeout from on Tuesday, and your mind goes blank. We’ve all been there. If you don’t want your customers to panic and decide to skip the review this time, include some open-ended questions in your request, such as “Would you recommend this product to a friend?” or “Would you purchase this item again?”
Post positive reviews on social media
Screenshot a funny five-star review and tweet it, create a slideshow of quotes from happy customers on Instagram, repost positive feedback on your business’s Facebook page - no matter how you share, you’ll draw in new customers and show your current ones that you value their feedback. (And maybe convince a few to write a well-worded rave for a shot at their fifteen seconds of fame!)
Respond to every review
Yes, even the negative ones. Study after study has shown that customers are 71% more likely to buy from businesses that respond to their online reviews - it shows that your company is committed to customer service, and responding to every review increases your star rating over time. Whether you train your team to respond consistently, or use a third-party review management service like Widewail - just do it!
I joined Widewail last year as a Review Response Specialist, blog contributor, and the team’s resident native New Yorker, meaning I spend my days responding, writing, and derailing staff meetings with my strong opinions about pizza. I cut my teeth in the publishing industry, so client relations and content creation are second nature to me, and I received my BA in History from Smith College. In my off hours you can find me reading, baking from my worryingly large collection of cookbooks, and building my snow-shoveling muscles in this thing you guys call a “driveway.”
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