Are reviews really important? and do they make a difference in getting customers to convert? A client asked me this recently. Simply put YES, they make a big difference.
87% of consumers read online reviews according to BrightLocal (from a study in 2020). Consumers focus on; the star rating, how legitimate reviews are, the recency, the sentiment and number of reviews a company has.
We’re going to look what reviews are, the importance of them, how you can start to build reviews and examples of how you can use reviews in your marketing activity to get more business and convert customers quicker.
What is a review?
A review is a testimonial from a person or company that helps to validate your business. Ultimately you are looking to build trust and convert leads into customers. Examples include:
- A quote taken from a customer based on their experience of dealing with your business. This could be as a video or in written form.
- A case study which talks about work carried out for a customer – this helps to reinforce the type of work or services you provide. This is particularly useful if you are a service-based business. Case studies can help prospective companies see the impact you have made and your approach. Plus, it helps to articulate how you could help them when they see an example of what you have done for other companies.
- An award from a recognised body or company which adds credibility to your business – this shows that you are recognised for having a quality product or service within your industry. Whilst this could be overlooked, an award can be seen as a review from an independent body which reinforces trust.
- Employee quotes or feedback on what it’s like working for your company – it can be important to know how a business operates by how it treats its employees.
Today we’re focusing on a quote or testimonial and how you can use that in your marketing to convert customers quicker.
Why are reviews important?
Before working with a company or buying its product or service, knowing more about how the company operates can affect a potential customer’s decision to purchase. Most people will be looking for a company which is credible and can be trusted. Edelman did a study in 2019 on why consumers trust brands. No.1 was a quality service
or product and second was good reviews and ratings at 57%.
Trust can mean different things to different people and potential customers could be looking at one or many different things to determine trust. It could be customer service, the quality of product or service supplied, the types of customers your business has or how you treat employees.
Good and bad reviews help build up a picture of your business and allow a potential customer to know your business better. It helps them in their buying journey to decide whether they want to purchase, find out more about your business or go elsewhere. According to PWC 32% of consumers purchasing will be influenced by positive reviews from social media.
How to get reviews
It doesn’t have to be difficult to ask for reviews. Here are some examples of when you can ask for reviews:
- The obvious one is to ask customers for feedback after they have purchased your product or used your services.
- You can also ask after a customer service call to get feedback on the service provided.
- If you have longer term projects, think about asking at key milestones in the project.
You can request reviews through lots of different ways; at point of purchase in your ecommerce journey or store, when an invoice has been paid, over the phone or in-person during a conversation and by email.
Timing is key, if you don’t ask for a review straight away, then the likelihood is reduced that someone will leave feedback, and you’ve lost that opportunity. To prevent lost opportunities put in place an automated process to get reviews.
Where should you collect your reviews?
You can post reviews on your website but reviews have got a bit of a bad reputation with fake and doctored reviews taking place. To combat this, you can:
- Use independent review sites such as Trustpilot/Reevoo which can help with legitimacy.
- And think about only allowing verified customers who have purchased a product or service to leave a review.
The top sites to collect general reviews are:
- Trustpilot – With over 500,000 business on the site if you have a global base this is a good choice and they are suitable if you are a B2B or B2C company and they also have a free plan.
- Reevoo – is great for products or if you have an online store.
- Feefo – is a good solution if you are a UK based B2B large business. You can also track your Net Promoter Score.
- Google My Business – really helps with SEO as it shows up in google above organic searches. It is also really important if you have a physical shop.
- Facebook – If this is where your target audience is then it can help enhance your presence on that platform
- For employee reviews, look at review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.
Depending on the type of business you are will help to determine which one is right for you.
Top tips when asking for a review
1. Give an outline of what you want your customers to talk about in the review they provide.
If you want to get a review which will really help you convert customers quicker and can be used for marketing. You’ll want the review to show how your business has helped your customer and the potential of what you can do for future customers. In the review they provide, you can ask customers to talk about:
- How they were feeling before you started working with them
- The challenge or problem they were facing before they bought your service or product
- Why they decided to work with you or buy your product
- What has changed after they have purchased your service or product
- Any wins or impact that it is had on them or their business
2. Automate the review process to ensure you get the review
You can automate the review process; this doesn’t have to be an impersonal message. You can personalise this to look like it’s an email written from you rather than an automated email.
By automating your reviews, it allows you to send a series of emails as people are often busy and won’t necessarily reply from the first one. When you request a review manually, you can forget to remind customers, this is often why reviews aren’t captured.
We use Keap as our marketing automation system to send out three emails over a month, if any of the emails are clicked on to leave a review, they won’t get any further emails. It takes just two seconds to start the request for a review. And if someone is purchasing an online service or product you can automatically send the review request email series.
3. Allow customers to give positive and negative feedback.
People can have different experiences and even negative reviews help customers get a sense of your business. Sometimes if you only see positive reviews you might worry about the legitimacy of the reviews. What’s important is to follow-up with feedback or provide a remedy if they’ve left a negative review. Also allow customers to share feedback anonymously if you want to get a true idea of what your customers think about your product or service.
How to use reviews in your marketing to help you grow your business
- If you use an independent site like Trustpilot/Reevoo – Use the rating on your website and in your sales and marketing material
- At point of purchase in your ecommerce store use reviews to help reinforce trust/credibility
- Email signatures can also be used for reviews, to show your star rating and to showcase awards. These help to show your credibility.
- As part of the sales process you can also refer customers to your reviews or testimonials
- Create videos of a selection of reviews to use within your sales process to help close deals faster.
We can help
Want the copy we use to request reviews? And the exact process we use? Book in a discovery call and we’ll share it with you.
Helping you work smarter not harder using marketing CRM systems.
Disclaimer: BKS Consultancy is providing this information in an advisory capacity and is providing independent advice based on experience. BKS Consultancy cannot be held responsible for any decisions made based on the advice above without expert guidance.
Affiliate Disclaimer: We sometimes use affiliate links, where we may get a small commission if you sign up to a service, note there is no additional charge to you and we only recommend tools and services we use or would use within our own business.