Word of mouth has been a quintessential tool for carrying mythologies and folklore from one generation to another. It’s no wonder why marketers saw it as a way to spread awareness about their business. Word of mouth marketing (WoM) has been the pillar of success for many businesses.
Today, businesses rely heavily on customer reviews – a modern form of WoM. Reviews have become one of the more important tools for businesses to acquire and retain customers. In fact, consumer approach a brand only after they have gone through the opinions of other customers. With 92% of consumers reading online reviews, no business can expect to survive without getting customers to review their product.
As marketers, you need to make sure that customers give you their opinions on your product. It’s more difficult than it sounds since there are enough and more distractions for customers. With every business asking for a review, you need to find ways to clear the clutter and encourage consumers to provide you a product review.
To get your product the attention it deserves, here are seven ways to ensure that your customer reviews your product:
1. Send a ‘Hi’
Sometimes the most complex problems have the easiest solutions. Marketers have a tendency to take themselves too seriously, it’s what makes them choose the harder road than the easier one. Yes, ensuring a customer review for your product is a difficult task, but the easier solution – send them a ‘Hi’.
If you want a review, just ask. After customers have used your product for a long duration, send them an email and ask them about their experience. It’s old-school, many times overused, but it’s simple and effective.
2. Integrate social validations with other channels
Why are testimonials only limited to a product’s website? As a marketer, you should see them as a free tool that can get you more customer reviews. Integrate your testimonials to other branches of your marketing – social media, email, PPC, to name a few.
Having said that, do not get carried away and start posting fake testimonials, it’s a really bad idea. If you are caught, that will be the end of your company. Do not look for shortcuts, if you don’t have a testimonial, create a strategy to get one. You cannot build trust based on fake testimonials – it’s ironic.
Have a mix of different testimonials which highlight product features and user experience. It’s when these two elements combine, there is a higher chance of getting a customer review.
3. Get your customer support right
Every business wants a good review, but there are days when you will make a mistake and you will see yourself at the end of customer’s fury. It is a challenge, but with a great customer support system, you can make it an opportunity for getting rave customer reviews.
When dealing with angry customers, make sure that your response and speed is impeccable. The faster you resolve a query, the better is your brand perception. In such tough situations, a good impression is all you need to make a difference.
The halo effect – customers forgive you for your mistakes because of their new found liking for you. This is one of the more impressive ways of converting a bad experience into a positive customer review.
4. Write an underdog story
Everyone loves a good old underdog story. Looking at ordinary beings overcoming extraordinary obstacles. This goes for people and brands as well. But, what is it about underdog tales that makes us wanna cheer for them?
The underdog effect, a mental stimulus that allows our brain to favor the one who has a lesser chance of winning. As a marketer, you should use this psychological hack as part of ensuring customer reviews. Studies show, when given the choice, consumers would always favor an underdog brand over a well established one.
Write a customer success story of how your product went through all the odds to provide the ultimate customer satisfaction. Remember, the highlight of the story needs to be your product’s will to deliver. It allows users to favor you more than others, which manifests into a customer review.
5. Make it worth their time
Even if a customer likes your product, you need to give them a good reason why they should take out their precious time to review your product. To make it worth their time – incentivize customers who give their opinions on your product.
Use local search directories to share coupons on their site, special offers for ones who give a review through Facebook, Twitter or any other social media channel. Grand prizes to those who regularly provide reviews. By rewarding customers, you are able to provide valuable reasons on why customers should review your product.
Having said that, some companies get greedy and see monetizing for customer review as a golden opportunity for their growth.
A car shipping company which was caught charging an extra $50 for those customers who did not provide reviews. That’s outrageous, but sadly, it’s the temptation of gaining more customer reviews that push companies like these to exploit the process.
6. Treat ’em like a superstar
Service isn’t all; sometimes, it’s the recognition that customer desires for. Give them the attention they want and they will give you the customer review your product deserves.
Take, for example, ASOS, the British fashion retailer, makes sure that every visitor on their website, whether they are looking to buy or just passing through, gets a superstar treatment. It uses its live chat feature to help address queries, but with a little twist. It has professional stylist standing by, who provide their expert recommendations on fittings, sizes, and colors.
The stylist can ask for a quick feedback, by encouraging customers to upvote or downvote. After having provided such a personalized experience, customers are bound to vote – psychology of reciprocity.
7. The right effort for the right audience
To avoid being all over the place, consolidate your efforts by targeting the right audience. If you have a wide range of demographic using your product, you might want to carry out segmentation and choose the group that matters to you the most.
Firstly, your message becomes much more specific and relevant when you target a subset of your audience. Secondly, your efforts for ensuring customer reviews will be within a set budget. And lastly, when you direct your campaign to particular groups, you have a clear idea about the objectives and the deliverables.
For example, if you have two sets of demographics using your product – Millennials (25- 40 years old) and Baby Boomers (45 – 60 years old), you have to choose one of them to ensure you get your customer reviews. After researching, you pick Millennials as the target audience for your campaign.
Since Millennials review products more than any other demographic, your chances of getting a customer opinion are higher. Create content that speaks in the language and tone that your target audience can relate to. This gives you clarity on how to execute a strategy and increases your chances of achieving the desired results.
Use the above tips to ensure that your customer reviews your product, but a word of caution – do not fall to the dark side. Play within the rules, you cannot outsmart the internet. Black hat practices will put your product and your business in jeopardy. There are more legit ways to get a review, all you need is a bit of creativity and intelligence.
If you noticed in all the above points, one thing remained same. The idea that your business cares about the customer. It’s this notion that you have to express in full glory if you ever expect to get any credible customer reviews for your product.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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