Marketing May 23, 2011 Last updated May 23rd, 2011 1,494 Reads share

Reviews: The Value Of Letting Customers Have Their Say

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I recently visited an online store and for some reason, I was hesitant about placing an order, unsure about the security on the site. Looking around for a “Testimonials” page, I was unable to find one. I wanted reassurance from other customers that they had achieved customer satisfaction from this site and I didn’t see it so I left.

Many websites will have a Testimonials page which offers reassurance to customers. However, they tend to be limited in number and the recency of the testimonial is often not available to see.  Can a review feedback service offer more than a “Testimonials” page? I think it can. Having recently installed Louder Voice on my site, I thought I would share with you for reasons for doing so and the advantages I have found so far.

Why use a review feedback service?

  • It offers feedback – negative and positive. In the case of negative feedback, you have the opportunity to communicate with the customer and redress the situation, as well as improving your customer service and/or products into the bargain.
  • Positive feedback will increase confidence in your brand and should increase sales. It has been shown to improve sales conversions by up to 40%
  • It will improve the SEO of the site.  Reviewers often name the product in the review too which also helps your SEO.
  • It provides up to date fresh content (which of course Google likes) but also reassures customers when they see recent reviews.
  • They are written by genuine customers and as not all reviews will be perfect, I believe that as long as customers can see that any problems will be addressed, it comes across as genuine.  (by the way, you do see every comment before you publish it)
  • If a customer is unhappy, it is better that they tell you about it and give you a chance to resolve the problem, rather than they telling many others without you knowing.
  • Do have a strategy in place to deal with any negative reviews so you are prepared should one happen. I once noticed an angry customer post a very disgruntled update on an online store’s Facebook page. The company eventually reacted (they didn’t notice it for 2 days) by writing some pretty obvious false ‘positive’ reviews which enraged the disgruntled customer even further and she wrote yet another inflamed review. Most reviews will be positive but be prepared to act to assuage the customer who isn’t.

I had long admired the way Puddleducks have their most recent reviews on their front page,  very visible, thereby offering reassurance and confidence in its service and products.

Reviews from the Puddleducks website

 

At Garrendenny Lane, we have an excerpt of the review appearing in the right side bar of the front page and they alternate in turn.  They are not the main focus of the page, being quite subtle but are still very visible. When the plus symbol is clicked, the customer can see a selection of reviews.

Reviews are also posted on the product page.  There is a score star system so if a score of 4 out of 5 is awarded, for example, 4 stars light up. The comments are also available to see. I have found this particularly useful in reiterating the quality of our products, particularly with items such as soft furnishings where shoppers often like to feel the quality as well as see the product.

It is also possible to have the reviews posted to our Facebook Reviews page in the same click as it publishes the reviews on the website, thus spreading the good news. As you can see in the image below, it is a separate tab on the business page. Tthe reviews page provides links to the products, provides the score and review per product and gives the overall score of all the reviews too.

Approximately 10% of customers asked to review, will do so.
We email the customer about a week after despatching it with a polite request for their review.  LinkedIn offers a wonderful opportunity for businesses and person to ask for and include reviews on their profiles and it has long since been seen as a valuable tool.  No matter what you are selling, letting potential customers see what their peers thought about your products and services will provide potential new visitors to your site and confidence for users to go ahead and purchase. Please leave your comments below.

Lorna Sixsmith

Lorna Sixsmith

Lorna Sixsmith is a social media trainer at Write on Track, providing mentoring, training and content creation services to SMEs. Particularly passionate about blogging and Pinterest, Lorna also teaches these courses online at We Teach Social. Married to a dairy farmer in SE Ireland, Lorna recently self published her first book 'Would You Marry A Farmer?', a humourous look at life married to an Irish farmer.

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