Online reviews can make or break a customer’s decisions – Here are the 5 strategies to encourage customers to share their feedback

Testimonials and customer reviews can be one of your powerful sales tools. It is good for your overall online presence. So never miss an opportunity from your customer, make sure your business pages are properly claimed and ready for reviews and then respond to them, strategically.

Today’s world of e-commerce is fully crowded and ultra-competitive; there’s one thing that everyone agrees with and helps you to stand out – your customer reviews. According to the survey, almost 97%  of people who shop online said that their buying decisions depend on the customer reviews and 73% shoppers they find written reviews are more useful to them than star and number ratings. In other words, other than good reviews you just need detailed reviews that are helpful for your customers.

Imagine that there are no shortcuts for glowing reviews page on Google, Amazon, or any other e-commerce platforms. Your customer will find it difficult to find the products and proceed further for purchasing a product. Any service/site that promises big, instant increases in reviews is probably the best and trusted site for the new or existing customers. There are simple steps where you can gradually increase the presence of reviews for your brand that will improve your SEO presence. Let’s get started with the top 5 tips you can improve customer reviews:

1. Make sure your business pages are ready for reviews:

In order to get more reviews, the first step is to make sure that it is as easy as possible for the customers to leave their review. Make sure that you have easy to find pages on Google, Facebook, and other major review platforms, and that is something you must be doing. Ensure that your profile is easily found on your pages, if your profile is not easily found by your customer, they will almost never leave a review. So establish all the best practices to claim your business listings and ensure that you have got easily accessible pages on Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp.

2. Ask your customers for reviews:

Sometimes it is necessary to reach your customers and ask them for reviews. And it should not be painful or forcing your customer, ask them at right moments to get a better response. Give a better reason for your customer to review you. This is one area where it is easy to get customer attention and an excellent way to get a valuable review on your page.

One of the common ways of doing this is to follow up emails for a review. The customers usually receive these emails after their purchase and offer a direct link to the page where customer can review a product or service. On the other hand, you can add a thank you page asking for a review once they have completed their purchase.

3. Focus on the platforms your customers mostly use:

Having positive reviews on any platforms is a boon to your business. It has been the golden rule of e-commerce SEO to focus on the platforms your customers are more likely with. While customer goods companies’ focus on Amazon and other retail stores, restaurants and other venues want to keep good Yelp ratings as they will provide professional services like plumbers, accountants etc.., In the meanwhile, Facebook and Google are very important and broadly applicable for many types of products and services.

4. Respond to every review you get:

Responding to every customer review on your page is a great way to show your customers that their feedback and opinions are genuinely valuable for you. Customers love if their reviews are being listened to, so if they leave a comment they are interested in listening back from you, this is a way to encourage your customer for posting on your page and delivers value for their review.

It is better to have someone with social media and PR expertise to handle this as if you fail to go through a review carefully it can easily get into the way of a wrong thing in a review response. But if you do it for yourself, follow some basic principles in review responses. Especially when responding to negative reviews, focus on the customer’s complaint and take responsibility and be polite on addressing that particular issue. If a review is something unavoidable or something, that of customer’s mistake, try to settle your response with all the information available and try to solve the problem. When you get a positive review, make sure to thank your customer and invite them back, use the opportunity to talk about your products mentioned in the review.

5. Invest in legitimate paid review programs:

The term ‘paid reviews’ can make you think of shady practices, like getting fake reviews but there is an interesting new legitimate service that can allow an Amazon run a program like Amazon vine that allows some vendors to send free products in exchange of honest reviews with the reviewers. Note that, Amazon vine does not guarantee for any positive reviews and vendors will not have any contact with the customers, so make sure that you send all products at your very best. For this, you should be a member of Amazon’s high-level vendor central platform.

The other issue with Amazon vine is – it is not at all cheap. But it’s worth finding numbers to decide whether it is right for you or not. You will hopefully see more services in the future among e-commerce merchants and the best way to get more product reviews. It is better to go for the authorized process of reviewing through Amazon vine, in spite of getting caught by unauthorized programs and this can cause you serious consequences, and you may be penalized by the review platform and even fined by the government.

To build trust from your customers, reviews are the essential component of building customer relationships and should be a part of any comprehensive e-commerce SEO strategy. Getting a full page of positive reviews isn’t easy and fast – but building a level of credibility along with a pre-planned strategy can be a surprise factor and can add a ‘wow’ experience for your business.

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