Requesting Reviews: Why To, How To

Are Reviews Really Important?

Reviews are one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Whether your business is big or small, selling handmade or manufactured items, a single 5-star review can boost your sales significantly. Likewise, a single 1-star review can crush your sales. So why risk the possibility of a negative review?

The truth can hurt, and sometimes negative reviews aren’t even based on facts. This can hurt your business, but they can also provide invaluable information. Every negative review gives you an opportunity to improve your product, or learn what products just aren’t working for your store. Your instinct might be to bury the negative reviews, but leaving justifiable negative reviews up allows your customers to see the honest opinion of others who have purchased the item(s) their interested in and decide for themselves if they are still interested.

For example, a negative review on a t-shirt might be that the fit was too small for them. Another customer reading that review will know they should then order a size up. Now instead of getting two negative comments, you’ve gotten one negative and saved the next customer from also having a negative experience.

The other side of this is that positive reviews reinforce the value and quality of your products. When customers see positive reviews from previous buyers, they see a product which is of good quality and value, and it makes them more likely to purchase the item from you.

How Should You Ask For A Review?

We’ve all been in a store, we bought our items, and the cashier is handing you your receipt when she suddenly says “If you’d like to take a moment to fill out the survey at the bottom of your receipt to let us know how we did today, you’ll receive 10% off your next purchase!”

I don’t know about you, but if it’s a store I frequent, I fill that survey out every time. Usually the coupon only works for a single-item, but it’s still a little something to save at a store I frequently shop from. When you’re an online retailer, you don’t have the face-to-face interaction that bridges the divide and allows you to easily ask for the review. So how do you go about asking?

Image Source: Bruce Mars

E-mail Campaigns

E-mail campaigns are your best utility in this instance, and applications like ReviewCaddy for Shopify simplify the process. ReviewCaddy allows you to choose from pre-built e-mail templates, or customize one to fit your store. When you’re customizing your e-mails, think about the message you want to get across. Do you want to offer an incentive to review, such as a 10% discount on their next purchase? ReviewCaddy allows you to add incentives such as coupon codes into the e-mails.

Incentivize the Reviews

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Once you have decided whether to offer an incentive or not, think about when you want the e-mail to be sent. ReviewCaddy e-mail campaigns can be scheduled to automatically send after a specified time. If you know it usually takes a week for your products to arrive to your customer, you may want to wait a week for that e-mail to be sent. If your items are instant downloads, sending the e-mail right after purchase is a good idea.

Keep it Simple

The e-mail should reflect your store, both in theme and also language. It shouldn’t be bogged down with pleas for feedback, and it shouldn’t be a lengthy e-mail. It should be inviting, thanking them for their purchase while asking for their honest feedback.Something brief, to the point, with a very simple way for them to leave the review. Customers won’t jump through hoops to tell you your product was great – so don’t make them. An example of a good, brief call for review could be as follows:

“Thank you for your purchase from GreatestOnlineRetailer. We value your business and appreciate your feedback. Tell us about your experience and receive 10% off your next purchase!”

Don’t Focus on the Negative

If you’re concerned about negative reviews, you can implement a moderator tool with ReviewCaddy, allowing you to read the reviews before deciding if you want it to be posted. If the review holds no relevant information, or includes language you don’t want to be used, you can reject the review so that it never posts. Just don’t do this with every negative review you have – remember that even negative reviews can help serve your customers, and give you the opportunity to respond.

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Ultimately, integrating a review system into your webstore will not only reward customers, but also build trust and help you better serve future customers.

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