Customer reviews are considered one of the most important factors in marketing today. They are now crucial for SEO and your site rankings, but it’s not just the technicalities of search engines that make them important, around 54 percent of online buyers read online reviews before they make a purchase. Reviews are the human connection in an automated, online world. We trust the voices of real people as much as we trust our friends’ recommendations.
Broadly speaking there are two kinds of customers reviews:
- Organic reviews are the customer reviews you have collected yourself, either by using emails, surveys, competitions, etc.
- Syndicate reviews are customer reviews about your product or site that have been collated by another company.
Ideally, you want lots of positive reviews across both. So, how do you get customers to take time out of their busy schedules to provide quality feedback that will help you boost sales?
A slice of PIE
No, we’re not asking you to bake a pie for your customers. PIE stands for Post-Interaction Email in marketing jargon. You can make this as delicious as you like for your customers, and it’s one of the most failsafe ways of getting a good response to improve customer relationships and build positive reviews. It, quite simply, is an email asking for feedback once a customer has made (or received) their purchase.
Keep it simple
The key to a great ‘slice of PIE’ is to keep it straightforward and to the point. Resist the urge to throw in any marketing for other products or messy messaging that detracts from the main purpose of the email. Its purpose is to get feedback, so make that clear. Use a clear and easy to follow call to action, such as:
- ‘Tell us what you think’
- ‘Give feedback’
- ‘Write a review’
Keep the email has focused and clean as you can. A friendly tone, in-keeping with your brand, helps keep these emails warm and maintain a personal connection with your audience.
Some retailers also use incentives in Post-Interaction Emails to encourage customers to give relevant feedback. You could enter them into a prize draw, offer a discount code for their next purchase or provide a free gift.
Remember to write for your readers. A sense of urgency or deadline doesn’t work for reviews. Take a softly, softly approach, and phrase your subject as a question:
- How did your rate [Company name]?
- How good was your delivery service?
- How happy are you with [Company name]?
Automate your PIEs
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you sit down and individually craft an email to every customer, after every purchase. You can automate your email sequences to release a series of PIE emails after purchase. Three emails are probably the maximum you can send to get their attention without harassing them – after all, you want a positive review and the chances are that (after three prompts) if they haven’t written one, they probably won’t. So, for example, you may want to send one out as soon as your systems record that their parcel has been delivered. Then another one a few days later if they haven’t yet completed a review. And, finally, the last prompt a few weeks after purchase.
The ease with which you can do this in Shopify is one of the reasons many are migrating from Magento to Shopify. Automated Email is just one of the many apps you can utilize in Shopify to take a load off your shoulders. It’s affordable and will make sending out your PIEs a breeze.
Another way of making it super simple for your customers to leave a review is to include them on your site. With a product listing, display reviews and stars from other buyers, to build trust and include a clear call to action button to leave a review. The trick to get lots of quality reviews is to make it easy for your customers to complete. Again, if you are thinking about migrating from Magento to Shopify, this is another benefit it has covered. Shopify Product Reviews is a free app that you can quickly and simply add to your Shopify store.
Not all bad reviews are bad
Don’t be afraid of getting a less than perfect review. Customers are wary of brands that only have five-star reviews, and often they want to see how you handle a difficult situation or a negative response. That said, you must respond openly to any negative feedback or ‘points for improvement’. This shows, firstly, that you’re open and honest (and, let’s face it, we like to know that people are human) and it also shows that you are willing to have open communication with your customers. In short, it opens the conversation, and shows a sense of community and responsibility around your brand.
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that enables you to make reviews easy to complete and stand out, and you have easy access to respond fast. Many are taking the leap and migrating from Magento to Shopify. Ease of reviews, when it’s such an important part of our eCommerce world, maybe a powerful reason why.
There’s no getting away from the power of customer reviews. If this is an area lacking in your eCommerce site, it’s worth taking the time now to build a reputable base of reviews. Your existing customers will appreciate the chance to feedback, and you may be surprised at how fast it a strong review base can convert new buyers.