Why You Want Them
Yes, obviously reviews are important for your website! But it’s like one of those words you know the meaning of but need a little help actually describing. In a nutshell, reviews are vital for your products because it builds confidence in your potential customers and leads them to choose your product over others. Because there are different places that you have your products, you should have reviews on as many as possible, from your website to the amazon listings. It’s beneficial to have these everywhere because it makes people feel secure when buying your product, if it has a good amount of reviews.
There is also different levels or types of reviews. You can have a testimonial or quotes on your website, in fact, a lot of people like to do that, but the truth about these types of reviews is that most of the world is wise to this. It doesn’t hurt you to put a quote on your site, but most people know that you can get anyone to give you a good review, and therefore don’t take it as seriously as more honest reviews.
That brings me to a huge point about honesty in reviews in general. If you have a thousand reviews and they’re all 5 stars most people will think it’s fake consciously or unconsciously, and it will not add completely to their trust in your product. It’s okay to have some negative reviews, actually you want to make sure you have some negative reviews. These will build your credibility with customers, especially if it’s something innocuous, such as “hey, the package came to me damaged.” The potential customers know something like that isn’t your fault. On a lot of platforms that include reviews, you can respond directly to the comment, which will also add to the confidence of the customers to know that you will take care of them if something goes wrong. We will get more into negative reviews later.
Don’t Buy Them
Customers are smarter than you might think so NEVER buy reviews. People will see them as spam, and in the end these purchased reviews could hurt you. Let’s say you work for a local service company that sells granite countertops only in New Jersey. You decide to purchase reviews to build up the reputation of the company in the New Jersey area. But these reviews end up coming from users located in other states and all of the sudden people think “Why are there reviews from people in Montana for granite countertops in New Jersey?” They’ll know that obviously you paid someone to write fake reviews, and this hurts your credibility hugely. Because, again, reviews must always be honest. If people from around the world or the country are writing reviews for you without doing the research of the product and just saying something random, it’s not going to be good for you or anyone that purchases the product based on the fake review. Plus, if Google finds out about this too, it’ll hurt you too. You could get a penalty that will drop your organic rankings. When it comes to your brand/product, you want to do things the right and honest way; be white hat not black hat.
Remember, this is your brand and products, you do not want to mess with it! It is not worth it! In this day and age too, if your customers find out you’re faking anything, they’ll post it everywhere and you could be done for. You don’t want to have a bad name. You need reviews to be authentic and real, just like the products and services you’re selling.
How to Get Them
There a few different ways to get reviews. There are websites like Captera or G2 for tech products. People can go there and write reviews and you can compare, and if you’re selling a product just on amazon store or your website then the reviews can be there.
Sometimes getting reviews can be a challenge. If you just put an app on your shopify store, people might not see it or not feel like writing reviews. In these cases, you will have to ask them to give reviews. It is frowned upon to give incentives for reviews, like we talked about with buying fake reviews, giving incentives is a little too close to doing that. So while you shouldn’t be giving out incentives, you can be active about it. You can send out emails a few days or a week after purchase or receipt of product to see how things are going, if they liked the product, if they’d like to leave a review, give a star rating. This is pretty simple and easy, especially because you can automate these messages with mailchimp or Constant Contact, whatever email software you use. That’s the better way to do it, and without incentives, they will be honest and fair reviews given with the willingness and desire of the customer.
Another thing you can do to be active in getting reviews is going to your support team. Say you have 70,000 clients, you might go to customer support or client management team and ask if they have any clients that really like your product. Likely they’ll have some names and you can call or email them and ask for a review. For technology products in particular, you want high quality reviews and some websites will validate reviews too so people really trust them.
If you really want to buy something to help the customer confidence in your product, there are two options. You can pay for influencers to show the product on their social media platforms, which is getting someone to promote it, even if it’s not influencers but people posting videos on YouTube to promote it. YouTube is actually the second largest search engine after Google, so don’t discount this form of promotion. Sometimes people will search for videos of products, so make sure you’re using YouTube if you’re creating videos. It could be beneficial to have videos of your product if you haven’t made any yet, because people might find you and feel more secure seeing more of the reality of your product in a video. About the influencers though, this might help a little to get your name out there, but overall users know that it’s a paid partnership and therefore any addition to consumer trust is not going to be as large as the honest reviews from random people.
You can also tell your friends, family, or people that you work with (of course not at the company that is selling the same product), if they mind giving you a review if you send them a free product. With this though, you’d have to really emphasize that the review needs to be an honest one.
Reviews can be part of your website’s Scheme of Markup or Structured Data for Google too. If you have an online store, say Shopify or Wix or Magento, and any website you’re selling on, you can actually have those reviews show up in the search pages. You can pull data from the website and show it on there so that in theory it’ll make people want to click on your product more than someone else’s. If your size 2 skinny blue jeans has one thousand reviews and 4.8 stars, someone will click on that more than someone with a skinny blue jean in the same size with 2 reviews and 5 stars.
Tip: If people can post images and videos of your product too, that’s a big plus!
What to do with Negative Reviews
We’re coming back to negative reviews because it’s important that these do not discourage you. You’ll have to accept that you’ll have some negative reviews, and that these are not necessarily a bad thing. You should just answer them on the website they’re on, and it’s also always good to reach out with personal email to make good on it. Then you’ll have a relationship with the person, fix whatever the problems are, and if it’s a one off you don’t have to worry too much about it. Just make sure they’re happy and then suggest that they give you another review or update the negative review. Maybe this time they’ll be able to say that your customer service is great, that you gave them a credit or a new product if the other arrived damaged or defective, and finally that they would buy again. Everyone knows that mistakes are going to happen, but it’s the reaction to the mistakes that matters the most, in business and in life! If customers can see that your company will take care of them, that’ll do a lot to increase trust and therefore everyone will want to order from you. You want everyone to have a good experience with your company, even if that means losing a couple extra dollars or sending a few extra emails. It’s important to remember that if you’re getting a lot of negative reviews, then something with your product might actually need re-evaluating and improving.
Ultimately, if someone doesn’t know your site, they might not feel confident enough in your product to purchase just yet. They’ll then search for reviews so if you have them there already, more reviews the better, they’ll feel more confident and go to the cart! There are a lot of reasons to get honest reviews, so if you can utilize it you should. If you only have 2 or 3 reviews then you need to be active about getting them and reach out to your customers.
Need to build consumer confidence in your products? Reach out to us, we can help with that.