All too often I’m speaking with new (and experienced) entrepreneurs about how to implement and use a review process for their products or services. This guest post will give you some insight on how to maximize the real value of user reviews.
One way you can differentiate between a reliable and poor quality service is based on how they put those customer reviews to good use. While there are numerous examples of businesses that ask clients for feedback and not use that data, successful companies are well aware of the importance of collecting reviews and utilizing them properly. Granted, using this feedback to your advantage on the revenues can be rather difficult, particularly because you are not the author of the content and hence, you have limited control over it.
However, don’t forget that you decide what tools they can use and the way their feedback should be presented for other customers on your site. Therefore, let’s summarize the methods you could employ in order to get the best out of your customer reviews.
Use the proper icons
As a rule of thumb, when implementing a user review platform for your products or services, make sure that you keep the format similar to what the users are familiar with. Essentially, the most common icons for ratings on the internet are the stars. Even though it is advisable to respect the star format icon, that does not mean you cannot customize its design to represent your brand.
The user wants to know other people’s opinion, not read a 20-page essay!
While you find might it interesting to read detailed 1,000 words reviews on your product, very few of your customers have the time or are in the mood to go through such a lengthy text. In order to make everyone happy, creating a system that groups reviews based on their dimensions is highly recommended. This type of system ensures that the reviews are emphasizing on the important aspects of the product, the users can easily read and/or write and they have an overview of what others think of your product. But more on that later on!
Make the review platform customizable
If you are trying to shake off the image of “faceless corporation” by introducing yourself and your employees, then you should let your customers do the same. What this means is that you need to develop a platform that integrates more customization options than the standard text formatting. In addition, you’ll create a long lasting relationship with your clients by encouraging them to upload their favorite photos or even pictures of themselves.
Choosing the best location of the user reviews
When it comes to selecting the ideal location of the reviews platform, it is necessary to mention that it varies from industry to industry and from page to page. A good solution in this case – one that is neither too aggressive nor barely visible – could comprise of adding a small snapshot of the review and a “continue reading” button, which allows customers to decide whether or not they want to read more.
An overview of the user reviews is always a good idea
As previously mentioned not everyone is interested in reading lengthy reviews on your product, while some users find it utterly boring to read about the personal experience of a certain customer after unpacking/mounting/installing your product. Consequentially, for this type of visitors it is best to implement a summary review box, which enables them to get an impression of your products from the first glance. If the ratings are high or at least above average, rest assured that they will be interested in reading more.
Always respect your users’ privacy
Since the online environment is all about anonymity and privacy, you should respect these standards if you want encourage customers to review your products. But won’t anonymous feedback give the impression of fake reviews? In most cases, it can. However, it can be corrected if, for example, you ask the reviewers to provide general information about themselves, such as the age bracket, frequency of shopping, location or gender.
Find alternatives if you simply can’t get a review
Even though getting genuine reviews from real customers is a difficult task, there is no justification for leaving the products pages blank. In case you have a hard time obtaining reviews on your products, then you could ask for an expert reviewer or some form of feedback from an authority in your niche. If that does not work either, then you should consider another form of interaction such as the standard “like-want-own” system.
Tom Koh is an Internet marketing expert and has been working in the field of SEO for many years now. He is of the opinion that in order to improve the performance level of an online business it is important to design sales copies that convert.