A few months ago, we wrote a blog post that examines how online reviews and customer testimonials can affect your local SEO rankings. Did you know that they can also significantly affect your sales?
Customer reviews are a powerful and persuasive way of convincing other people to buy your products or try your services. Psychologists call this “social proof,” and it states that when someone is unsure as to what to do, they often look to see what others are doing—in an attempt to replicate their happiness or success.
An excellent example of social proof is when someone on Facebook posts a picture of a new pair of shoes that they bought. They might write about how comfortable or affordable they are. Their friends will see that post—and at the very least—check out the website where they are being sold.
How Can Online Reviews Affect Your Business?
Reviews and testimonials are a way of saying to your potential customers: “We like to think that we’re an amazing business—but don’t take our word for it. Here’s what other people just like you have to say about our products or services.”
Many online studies have been performed that found some interesting facts about online reviews:
- Compared to other types of marketing, customer reviews have an 89% effectiveness rating.
- 97% of shoppers reported that they trust online reviews more so than any other type of marketing content.
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a recommendation from a close friend.
- 90% of people reported that online reviews and testimonials have significantly influenced their buying decisions.
Look no further than any given four or 5-star product on Amazon.com. They’re filled with reviews, images, and videos that answer many questions the product listing does not. Many people will read these reviews to get an idea of whether or not they should purchase the product.
What Makes for a Great Customer Review?
There are five elements that comprise a compelling and persuasive customer review or testimonial:
By far, this is the most essential element of a trustworthy online review. That little voice inside the heads of most people can sniff out an honest review versus a fake one. It’s also highly illegal to write your own reviews or have others write bogus reviews for you. Make sure that the reviews you post on your website are 100% truthful and come from actual customers.
Nobody is going to read a 1,000-word online review. It’s just too much information to digest. Ask your customers to keep the review, short, but sweet.
A great online review should contain lots of details. Ask your customers to include specific information or examples. This makes it much easier for the reader to relate to the person who’s writing the review.
Tone of Voice
Encourage your customers to write the review in a natural tone of voice. If the language comes off too, “corporate-speak,” it might turn some people away as they think the company wrote the review instead of an actual customer.
Images and Videos
Some of the highest-ranking user reviews on any given Amazon product page have included pictures and even videos of them unboxing or using the product. Images and videos are a powerful way to help make the review more persuasive as it provides a wealth of information for the user to digest.
How to Get Online Reviews?
The best way to get an online review is to simply ask your customers for one. There are several ways to go about this:
Email Requests – Several third-party companies will take your customer list and send out a customer satisfaction email survey. These are usually sent out a week or two after the customer has received the product.
Popup Website Boxes – You can have a popup box created for returning customers to appear on the home page of your website. Something as simple as a 5 or 10 question survey can help you gain many new reviews to post on your website.
Printed Cards – If the majority of the business you conduct is in-person, have your local printers create a few aesthetically-pleasing review cards. Place them near your cash register and tell your cashiers to pass one out to every customer.
You can even create self-addressed and stamped cards that will allow the person to take the card home, fill it out, and then drop it in the mailbox without having to add a stamp.
Social Media – Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are another great way to gather up reviews. You can ask your audience to offer any feedback in the comment section or create a survey on your Facebook page itself.
Repuationg Marketing Help
If you’re struggling to gain reviews for your business, or you would like to hear more unique ideas, give us a call at (512) 993-9993. At Adapting Online, we’ve helped countless businesses with their reviews and online reputation management. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your online testimonials and drive new traffic to your business!