A positive consumer experience is directly linked to a brand’s credibility – so when is it okay to ask your customers for reviews, and how do you go about it?
The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear – Socrates
While many of us are quick to fire off negative feedback after a poor experience with a brand or business, very few of us are willing to take the time to share a positive interaction. These so called “silent advocates” may very well love your product or service, but have mostly kept their opinion to themselves. A recent survey conducted by Podium indicates that a whopping 93% of consumers feel that online reviews do influence their decision to purchase – so as we are spending more time online than ever before, it’s important that your brand’s image is a favourable one.
Where Do Consumers Leave Feedback
So where exactly do consumers post and source reviews online? Excluding word of mouth (which is equally as important, but a whole other kettle of fish), common platforms where you can find customer feedback include:
- Website testimonials
- Third party providers (Amazon, eBay, Etsy)
- Industry specific platforms (TripAdvisor for tourism and hospitality)
The good news is that on average, 77% of shoppers are actually willing to leave a review for a brand or business, IF ASKED. So are you asking? When requesting feedback from your customers, make sure that you give them options in terms of which platform they can use.
When and How To Ask For Reviews
Now that you know how important a positive brand reputation is, how do you go about cementing one? Thankfully, there are many platforms that can help you to automate the process and are commonly referred to as reputation management software or customer relationship management. Even EDM (electronic direct mail) marketing via email services can provide templates for brands to communicate with their database and help to take the manual legwork out of the process. Many e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce have their own built in email marketing systems, so be sure to double check the services that you may already have access to. Common services and platforms used to source customer reviews include:
- SMS marketing
- Live chat prompts
- Widget-style web plugins
- “Thank You” pages after a website purchase
However, when it comes to customer feedback, timing is crucial when trying to maximising your success. If you provide a product-based service, ensure that your customer has actually received their item or order before sending a review request – especially considering the postage delays linked to Covid-19. If you have supplied a service – perhaps a class, a tradesmen or even gyms – aim for a seven to thirty day waiting period before you shoot off a feedback request. Give your client some time to actually enjoy the service you have provided and let them experience the results for themselves. It goes without saying that it’s also important to read the room. If your client has faced even the most minor of issues – shipping delays, price negotiations, or anything that could adversely affect their experience with your business – then don’t send a review request until it’s resolved.
The Bottom Line
A positive consumer experience – with the evidence to back it up – will contribute to your brand’s authority and position as a leader within your industry or field. It really is as simple as “know, like, trust”. Eric Rea, CEO of interaction software titans Podium, says that the data shows just how much consumers actually do value each other’s opinion.
In essence, happy customers do your best marketing – and they do it for free. Yet, many businesses don’t take advantage of the golden opportunity to engage with their brand’s best advocates and help them share their experiences online. There’s tremendous potential to amplify customer voices online, for businesses of all sizes.
Now that you are armed with the knowledge of how and when to ask for reviews from your customers, the important part yet to come is the how – the way you word your request can make quite a big difference. Thankfully, producing great content and bodies of text used for marketing is exact what we do here at Content Hive. If you don’t have the time, energy or resources to optimise your marketing efforts, please get in touch today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.