Consulting customer reviews is often the first action you take on the internet to choose a restaurant or book a hotel. Indeed, who wants to spend an evening in an establishment accumulating bad ratings and negative comments?
Customer reviews allow you to take care of your e-reputation, increase your sales, bring more value-added content to your customers and better meet their needs…
Strategies that works for any Business
Strategy 1: segment your customer portfolio
Before asking your customers to leave opinions on your brand, product or service, it is still necessary to determine the objective of this process.
Would you like to gain notoriety? Get positive ratings? If so, on which products / services? With which clients?
Once your goals have been defined, the challenge is to segment your customers in order to determine those who are most likely to leave a review.
A customer segmentation list can be formalized as follows:
- Customers who have just purchased a product/service;
- Customers who have purchased your products or services multiple times and have already left customer reviews;
- Customers who have already purchased products/services and never left customer reviews;
- Customers who have a positive experience with your product and are likely to leave a positive review;
- Customers whose purchase amounts made on your website are greater than the average basket;
- This strategy allows you to maximize your chances of obtaining customer reviews (in fact, the chances that a customer who has bought products several times for an amount of € 2000 will leave you a review are greater than a customer who has purchased once a product costs € 15) and create an appropriate communication.
Strategy 2: send emails asking your customers to leave a review
One of the most effective ways to get customer feedback is to simply ask your customers for it. If at first glance, it seems obvious, this step is not so easy to implement!
In fact, first of all, ask yourself about the means you are going to use to ask your customers to leave you a comment.
Are you going to send a dedicated email, include a CTA (Call-To-Action) in your monthly newsletter or invite them to rate you on social networks?
There is no right or wrong strategy in this matter, because it all depends on your web marketing strategy and your objectives (and yes, we insist a lot on this aspect😊).
In this article, we will imagine that you decide to send a dedicated email to your customers to invite them to leave you a customer review. First, it is important (not to say essential) to personalize your message by:
- Including the first and/or last name of your client;
- Recalling the product and/or service purchased and the date of purchase;
- Integrating a clear and explicit CTA, for example, “give your opinion” which redirects the customer to the page where to leave a comment or to a satisfaction questionnaire;
On the other hand, we recommend that you focus on the text and keep it short (this is definitely not the time to drown your customers in a ton of information).
In addition, images are less important in this type of e-mailing.
Depending on your editorial line, do not hesitate to vary the tone of your communications.
Indeed, some brands deliberately use a more humorous tone or show themselves closer to their customers or include smileys.
It’s up to you to test this with your customers. A good way would be to use A / B Testing to test multiple versions of texts in order to keep the one that gives you the most customer feedback.
Once your emails are written and sent to your customers, don’t forget to analyze the performance of your campaigns by taking into account certain performance indicators such as email open rate, click-through rate, and obviously to determine the number of customer comments generated.
These elements will allow you to adjust your strategy as you go. Of course, this involves using e-mailing software to measure the performance of your campaigns.
Avoid releasing your customers too much: a personal anecdote
Finally, the last important point: the number of reminders sent to your customers. Sending an e-mail 4 or 5 times “inviting” your customer to leave a customer comment will have little impact and will even tend to scare them away!
We advise you to revive your customers once at most, even if it means having fewer customer comments!
Let me tell you a little personal anecdote: after buying sports pants from an English brand (which I am very satisfied with), two days later I received an email inviting me to leave a comment.
After the second follow-up, I tried to answer the satisfaction questionnaire (supposed to last less than 5 minutes, but 10 minutes later, I was still doing it).
I finally decided to drop the quiz and 2 days later got another email again and then a 3 rd and a 4 th until I decided to completely unsubscribe from their lists broadcast!
So don’t be like this brand and think about the fact that your customers receive several dozen emails every day.
Strategy 3: simplify the notification system
Today, most e-commerce sites have set up an automated system allowing Internet users to leave customer reviews. The star rating system is the easiest to use for Internet users who can rate your product or service in seconds.
Depending on your budget, it is possible to use solutions that allow you to manage and analyze customer reviews and verify them.
However, it can be expensive. In addition, you can add widgets directly to your website to entice customers to leave a customer review (eg: Guest Suite).
However, there are free solutions:
- On your website by creating a page gathering all the testimonials and customer reviews;
- On Google My Business: creation is free and Google My Business listings are well referenced on the internet;
- On social networks: by activating customer reviews on Facebook and comments on Instagram.
- Online directories: by investing in general directories (eg yellow pages) or depending on your industry (Trip Advisor or Yelp)
Strategy 4: find the right timing
When should you send your emails to encourage your customers to leave a review? It is clear that this communication must always take place after the act of purchase.
The benefits of hot return are numerous: the customer still remembers their experience and will be better able to respond to your e-mail.
This will therefore allow you to maximize your responses.
The “right timing” will also depend on what you ask your customers to evaluate: is it a product or a service.
Can the latter be consumed immediately after purchase or does it take several months? Concretely, a customer who buys Nespresso pods will very quickly use the product which is not the case if he buys the complete Harry Potter series.
You must therefore adapt communication according to these elements and know precisely the time required for the customer to experience a product and thus be able to rate it.
Finally, if you have set up precise statistics for your e-mailing campaigns, you will be better able to know the behavior of your customers and know when they are most likely to respond. This element may even vary depending on the type of clientele.
Therefore, the best time to communicate is when you get the most customer reviews.
Strategy 5: offer rewards by exchanging customer reviews
Should we offer gifts in exchange for customer comments? This is a thorny question that not all web marketers agree on. Indeed, should you offer a reward to your customers in exchange for a comment? Some, rightly or wrongly, might well consider this to be a dishonest or even unscrupulous practice. So how do we position ourselves in this debate?
The problem is therefore not so much to reward your loyal customers, but the expected rewards. Indeed, we can only encourage you to reward your customers (without waiting for them to leave you customer reviews) and to put in place a real customer loyalty strategy.
As such, we would like to cite the example of one of our clients, a leader in ERP in the vocational training sector.
This software publisher has not hesitated to send cookies to its most loyal customers (annual subscription and more than 6 months of software subscriptions).
Let us also add that the rewards are not necessarily material and let us quote as an example the brand which decided to thank its customers who gave it 5 stars by distributing a publication on social networks.
Finally, pay attention to the places where you ask them to leave a review. Indeed, some websites such as Trip Adivsor prohibit customer rewards in exchange for comments and do not hesitate to sanction or ban any establishment that uses any type of practice.
Our latest recommendations
We will never stop repeating how essential and essential customer reviews are both for your notoriety, but also for the sustainability of your activity. Among our final recommendations, we can only advise you to avoid writing your customer reviews yourself.
It can be tempting and easy to implement, especially when you’ve just launched your brand, but it could damage your brand awareness and especially your credibility. It is better to invest in an e-mailing solution and ask your “real” customers to rate you.
Play the game and respond to all feedback whether negative or positive, it will show that you are responsive and caring and keen to improve your products or services.
Finally, test and refine your strategy based on the results obtained!
Getting your customers to leave reviews isn’t an exact science, so don’t get stuck in old ineffective practices.
And you, what techniques do you use to collect customer feedback?