How To Get Customer Reviews

(Our Complete Guide For 2019)

How do you get customer reviews? 

Why do customer reviews matter?

 

How can online customer reviews increase my business? 

These are all questions that many business owners like you are asking themselves. In this blog post we will explain what customer reviews are, why they are important, and some things to think about when making your customer review strategy.

Why Are Customer Reviews So Important?

We’ve all been to a site before and been scared away because there wasn’t a single testimonial or website review in sight that led you to believe that someone else had a positive shopping experience with that company. Sometimes online shopping can feel risky for a buyer, and the best way to ensure your customer that they are in safe hands is to provide proof that others have ordered the same product from you and been completely satisfied.

According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Having customer reviews on your site will not only establish credibility in the mind of your customer, but can also boost your company’s organic search rankings in search engines. In a recent article, Forbes explains“Each new review written about a product on your site increases the amount of unique content your site offers on that product, meaning you’ll be seen as having higher authority, more relevance, and, as such, a higher chance of getting those pages ranked.” 

Different Kinds Of Customer Reviews

Now that we know how important reviews can be to your consumer, it’s important to understand the different kinds of customer reviews. There are product reviews, website reviews, and general business testimonials. Each of these is a tool that you can use to your advantage in ensuring your customers that you can deliver not only the product they are searching for, but also a positive experience, and quality service that will give them the overall best online shopping experience. 

Product Reviews

Product reviews are the reviews a customer can leave on an individual product that they have purchased and used. These reviews can be tricky, but also incredibly helpful. These reviews serve to show potential customers what other buyers experienced with a specific product, but they also serve to show you as the merchant how your products are performing. A well-placed positive product review can be the different between a sale, or a missed opportunity. 

A great way to generate product reviews is to implement in-site reviews on individual products. A great resource for in-site product reviews is TrustSpot. TrustSpot can help promote brand awareness, create consumer trust, and enhance revenue and business growth by fully utilizing customer reviews and publishing them in online channels, where potential customers can see and read them. Overall, don’t make your customer jump through too many hoops to leave a review. Make it easy on them, otherwise they will lose their interest before they review the item. Even ONE review can have a positive effect on your business and generate more sales.

Website Reviews

While product reviews are specific to an individual product and how it performed, a website review is like a report card of a buyer’s entire buying experience. In a website review, customers can review the general quality of your product or service, your customer service, your shipping time, your return policy, and any other interaction they have with your brand. Website reviews can be the most helpful tool an eCommerce merchant has, because they not only analyze your product, but also the overall user shopping experience. It can help you identify areas that your company needs to grow, or ways your website can improve for better SEO. Some of the most popular platforms for site reviews are websites like Yelp, or tools such as Google Customer Reviews. You can find more information for navigating Google Customer Reviews below. 

So how do you get website reviews? Simply put, you have to ask. A product review strategy could be to add a postcard reminder in the package when it’s shipped. Another strategy could be to implement an email re-marketing tool. After your customer has purchased your item, and had time to use it, try sending out a simple review request email after a certain amount of days. You can use resources like our very own EpicBloom re-marketing tool, to set up an automated service that will take care of these emails for you. Regardless of how you do it, your customer probably won’t remember to give you a review unless you remind them. Figure out a customer review strategy that works best for you, and take the time and energy to implement it. Don’t forget, even ONE review can make the difference between your customer clicking “Checkout Now” or hitting the “X” on their browser.

Business Testimonials

Business testimonials are the most personal type of review. These are reviews you can curate to share some of your best work or experiences with previous clients. Testimonials are usually collected from people who have a great relationship with your business, and will say something positive. You, as a business owner, have the ability to cherry pick great customers or fans of your business, and highlight the best things about their experience with your company. 

The best part about business testimonials is that you have complete control. When you’re thinking over your customer review strategy, make sure you think of a few great customers that you know will showcase the best parts of your company, and display their testimonials in a prominent place on your site. Nothing says great, trustworthy company, like a previous customer who has a continued positive relationship with your brand.

So, let’s talk about the eCommerce elephant in the room… Google. Google is one of the most trusted names in eCommerce, and it’s where the dominating portion of shoppers go when looking for potential shopping solutions. If your site is going to be present in the eCommerce world, it needs to be present on Google. There are a number of ways to get ranked on Google, but Google Customer Reviews is one of the biggest ranking factors. So let’s talk about Google Customer Reviews.

Google Customer Reviews

Backstory

It’s been a little over a year since Google announced that they were doing away with the Trusted Stores program in favor of Google Customer Reviews. Google Trusted Stores (launched in 2011) was a certification program, backed by Google, that gave customers up to $1,000 in purchase protection. The idea was to give consumers greater confidence when ordering products online. 

This certification program was convenient and encouraging for buyers, but created some work for merchants hoping to be certified. They were required to apply for the certification, as well as provide a range of data for Google to analyze. Certification requirements were met by having good track records for shipping time and reliable customer service.

In April of 2017, Google posted a blog sharing that with Google Customer Reviews, “merchants now have more ways to customize the Google badge and opt-in on your site, better account management tools to save your time, and new insights into your seller rating.” They explained that with Google Customer Reviews, you can collect valuable reviews about your business, and customers would be allowed to take an email survey to rate their buying experience. Overall, Google Customer Reviews will place new emphasis on shopper’s overall feedback, not just shipping time and order cancellation rates. 

Why Are Google Customer Reviews

Better?

When Google was certifying businesses with their Trusted Stores program, you may have a better conversion rate from your current site visitors, but it did little to generate new traffic. With new Google Customer Reviews, you will have to earn approval from your customers, which will, over time, organically increase the amount of website traffic. It also allows you more real-life feedback from people shopping on your site. This data can be incredibly helpful for creating a more positive shopper experience, which proven to be crucial in increasing your conversion rate

How Do You Set Up Customer Reviews?

Ok, so you’ve heard about the benefits of Google Customer Reviews. Now how do you get started? The steps are incredibly simple.

1. Sign Up For Merchant Center Account 
Google Merchant Center is a platform that can help you manage your online business and your online appearance. As BigCommerce puts it, the primary goal of the Google Merchant Center is to allow businesses to upload and maintain product information, including pictures and pricing, to be displayed in relevant Google Shopping searches. It allows you oversight and control of all Google-based marketing and ecommerce. You will first need access to this platform in order to access and get Google Customer Reviews. 
2. Select “Merchant Center Programs” from the dropdown in the upper right-hand corner.
3. Click “Get Started” in the Google Customer Reviews card and accept the Program Agreement.
4. Add the survey opt-in code to your website.
5.  [Optional] Add the badge code to your site wherever you want. This will make the badge appear on your site, allowing you to display your seller rating and show customers that you’re integrated with Google Customer Reviews.

For some tips on managing your Google Customer Reviews, watch this quick video!

There you have it!

Our complete and comprehensive guide for 2019 on what are customer reviews, why are customer reviews important, and how to get customer reviews. Stay tuned for more Epic posts and content.