Breaking Through The Review-Request Noise
When we buy something online we can get up to four requests for reviews: an email regarding the product, platform, seller, and courier is not unusual when purchasing from an online marketplace that offers products from different sellers. Sometimes your email inbox gets stuffed full of emails regarding a single transaction (especially with updates from a courier) and this leads to transaction fatigue. We end up feeling bombarded by all the auxiliary information and all the requests for reviews and often don't feel like leaving a positive review even when we are happy with the final product.
As a business owner, this transaction fatigue works against you when you're trying to build an online reputation (or even recover from a bad review) so what can be done to cut through the review-request noise?
If you deal with customers face-to-face, ask for a review in person and show them clearly where to leave the review online (printing this on a receipt or having flyers printed up provides a reminder to the customer).If someone has been personally helped by the business owners they'll feel much more inclined to leave a review (and it'll be a positive one!) because of the mini-relationship that is formed when a salesperson interacts well with a customer.
If you're an e-commerce business then email is one of the two ways you can request reviews, but it does take a lot to cut through all the other email requests for the same. Consider including a printed review request flyer with the product you send, or printing a message on the invoice asking for a review. It's the same idea as the in person requests, just without actually being in front of the customer in real life.
If email is the only, or best option for requesting reviews there are some strategies that help net reviews. First, know your product and your market. If you're selling a product that is clearly going to be a gift then asking for a review a day after the product arrived can fall flat. The end recipient probably hasn't opened it yet, so there's nothing to review at that point in time. Leaving it too long before asking for a review can also backfire, so it pays to understand what the product is going to be used for, and when it might be used.
If you're selling sports equipment, wait until the weekend or a Monday to ask for a review. This gives the customer a good chance to have used the product and have something to say. Word the email in such a way that it makes the customer feel understood – “did you have a good game of X this weekend with your new equipment?” is a nice way to get into the customer's good books and elicit a good review.
Another good idea for soliciting email reviews is to pre-screen the requests, so rather than automate these request emails, take the time to flag unhappy customers so they're not contacted for a review. It's bad business sense to court a negative review, so wait until the issue has been resolved before asking for feedback. Why would you ask for a review of a resolved problem? Well, potential customers reading reviews are impressed by those that mention a well resolved problem as it gives them confidence in your customer service abilities. Sometimes these reviews are more persuasive than glowing product testimonials.
Getting customer reviews is so important these days, as so many of us check out reviews before making even a small purchase. It can be hard to break through the review-request noise, but with these tips you'll make your voice heard, and amplify the voices of your happy customers too.
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