Day 23: Start Collecting Customer Reviews

As we’ve mentioned throughout this guide, it’s important to keep in mind that today’s buyers are entirely self-directed. They’re constantly researching products and constantly consulting peer networks to make the best decisions possible.

If you operate an online business, you need to feature customer reviews. No exception. From consulting agencies to e-commerce storefronts, you need to let customers review you.

For Consultants

At any given time, you’re probably working with a handful of clients. It doesn’t make sense to collect product reviews on your website. BUT, you do need to feature reviews of what people think about your work. Props to blogger Kristi Hines for having rockstar reviews of her services:

For Online Stores

Expect that users will be scrutinizing your product. Be transparent, and don’t make buyers leave your website to get the information they need.

  1. Provide a tool for users to rate your product

  2. Let users leave customer reviews

Be fully transparent. Don’t push good reviews to the top, and make it as easy as possible for buyers to get the information they need to make a decision:

  1. Summarize the reviews for them

  2. Give buyers the ability to filter through good and bad reviews

And if somebody leaves a bad review?

Don’t worry about it. Consumers are used to it. A few bad reviews won’t hurt your brand — especially if most of the reviews on your website are overwhelmingly positive. A bad review can be a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s great customer service:

Women’s clothing retailer ModCloth does a great job checking in with reviewers and making sure that they’re 100% happy:

Why Reviews Matter

Don’t trust our word. Consult the data instead. Here’s a study from Visual Website Optimizerthat explains how a customer review widget increased one retailer’s sales by 58.29%.

Express Watches is an authorized Seiko watch dealer that ships to more than 23 countries. The watch dealer has been in business for more than two decades.

In the last 4-5 years, fakes have entered the watch industry. Customers are skeptical of watch dealers and worried that they’ll accidentally get scammed.

Express Watches ran a study with Qualaroo and confirmed that their own website browsers were feeling this way. Here is what the company learned from administering a simple survey:

  • Customers were wondering whether they were getting the best price.

  • Customers were worried about getting a replica instead of the real thing.

  • Customers wanted confirmation that Express Watches was a great company with great service — and safe online payment methods

The company needed to step in and emphasize their credibility.

In addition to placing a “Seiko Authorized Dealer” badge and a small “Trust Pilot” badge on product pages, the company decided to feature customer reviews more prominently on product pages.

Express Watches ran a two-month test across thousands of visitors. The 58.39% sales improvement was assessed at a 99% confidence interval.

Today’s Homework

  1. If you’re running a consulting or service-based business — get your customer reviews up on your website. You should have collected these earlier in the month. Get this information organized and make sure it’s up on your website (if you haven’t done so already).

  2. If you’re running an e-commerce or product-based organization — work with your dev team to get a customer reviews widget up and running (prominently) on your product pages. Work with your dev team, and put them in charge of finding the right solution and customizing it for your website’s UX, look, and feel.

Emily Anderson