If you want to sell more parts, collect reviews and testimonials from your customers. You’re probably thinking “DUH!”, but the trick is in the doing.
Here’s a rundown of tools and methods an etailer can use to collect reviews and testimonials from customers.
One of the smartest things any business can do is encourage customers to share feedback during the sales process. This is because:
- An easy method for leaving feedback helps to “defuse” angry customers who might leave negative reviews online
- Asking for feedback makes it easier for customers to complain, giving you an opportunity to address their concern and keep their business
- Whenever a customer is happy, asking for feedback can generate a great testimonial
Some of the tactics that etailers use to encourage feedback include:
- A simple ‘feedback’ link or button that’s plainly visible anywhere on the website
- A chat invitation that encourages users to ask questions or send a message
- Links and verbiage in email correspondence (order confirmation, shipping notification, etc.) that encourage customers to share
At the very least, make sure your website has a “Contact Us” link in the main menu. The contact page should encourage customers to send an email and voice their concerns.
Automated Surveys and Follow-Up
Automated follow-up is another “trick” many etailers use. Companies like Shopper Approved, Bizrate, Reseller Ratings, etc. use software to encourage customer reviews. These systems invite a review immediately after the customer sees the ‘thank you’ page, or via email after the sale, or both.
What’s more, these services will collect reviews for your business and syndicate them to Google AdWords. This means that your PPC ads on Google.com may show a star rating (see example). We’ve found these ratings have a big impact on conversion rates.
Track Mentions and Reviews On 3rd Party Websites
Another great way to find reviews and testimonials is to track mentions of your brand name. If someone mentions your product or brand on a forum, for example, Google Alerts will help you find it. If the mention was positive, quote it on your “testimonials” page. Just be sure to cite the original URL when you quote the review.
The same goes for reviews about your company or products left on 3rd party websites. If you find a great Amazon.com review, quote it and put it on your company’s “testimonials” page. Same goes for a Yelp.com review, review from a blogger or journalist, etc. As always, make sure that you clearly indicate the source of the review and link to it.
Pay For Reviews
Last but not least, you can hire people to review your products or your company. Websites like SnagShout and ILoveToReview will facilitate product reviews on Amazon.com. Most major publishers (and many bloggers) have ‘sponsored content’ advertising that guarantees a quality review for a set price. You can also email your previous customers and offer them a gift card (or other valuable item) if they leave you a review.
However, the key to paying for reviews is to make sure everyone understands that reviews do not have to be positive. Emphasize that you want honest feedback, and steer clear of any review system that guarantees positive reviews.
But What If We Get A Bad Review?
No one likes bad reviews, but very often a bad review is a good thing.
Imagine the following scenario: You’re trying to find a moving company to help you with a local move, and you’re down to two movers:
- Company “A”, which has 25 5-star reviews and a perfect 5-star rating. All of the reviews are glowing and perfect.
- Company “B”, which has the same number of reviews, but their rating is only 4.5 stars. Most of the reviews are glowing, but a couple are not.
Who do you hire? Since most of us have learned to be suspicious of a perfect 5-star score, most of us go with company “B”. There’s a great article on MIT’s Technology Review that dives into some numbers, but the long and short of it is this: A few bad reviews make your good reviews look more authentic. As long as your reviews are generally positive (4 stars or better), a few bad reviews are no big deal.