Getting great reviews on third party websites such as Yelp and Google Maps can be a huge advantage for your ecommerce website. It offers proof to potential customers that your company indeed is better than all the rest—and that your customers are so satisfied they want to share it with the world. Further, Google Maps and other search engine/review sites have made your ranking an important part of your search engine ranking in local search.
Obviously it is important to get feedback, but this is easier said than done. However, there are things you can do to ensure that your ecommerce gets the best reviews possible and also to encourage customers to be more forthcoming with their praise.
- Spread the love. When you get a testimonial in one format (your email, for example), feel free to spread the love. Add the testimonial to your website and your email marketing, even to your social networking. Ask the customer if they would kindly put their testimonial up on their favorite review website.
- Encourage good reviews. In the above situation, it is very appropriate to offer the customer a discount or other “prize” for speaking so highly of you. This will make them even happier and also encourage them to continue their enthusiastic support of your company.
- Keep track of references. Many large potential customers want to talk to a former customer before they hire you for a huge job. You can ask repeat customers if they would provide this reference. This will get them in the mood to talk positively about your organization. If they give a good reference, perhaps you can gently prompt them for a positive review.
- Teach customers how to review you. Many customers would love to leave a review, but they don’t know how. More important, they don’t have the time or the inclination to spend a few hours figuring it out for themselves. Don’t let this stop you from getting great reviews; teach them how to give reviews on your preferred websites by putting a tutorial on your ecommerce website. Be sure all employees also know the process and can guide your customers through it.
- Give reviews. Review other ecommerce website owners that you know, using your real name. Make sure these are not direct competitors! Many ecommerce business owners will be happy to return the favor, helping your to build your numbers of good reviews.
- Consider a review party. Invite customers to come and have a good time with you, with computers ready for reviews and video cameras ready for recorded testimonials. If the nature of your business makes this impossible (if all of your customers are far away, for example), then have a virtual review party in a chat room or on your social networking website.
- Don’t be a fake. Getting people who are not customers to submit reviews (or doing it yourself) is rarely a good plan. In fact, there are many notable examples in which it has backfired. Avoid this at all costs; get legitimate reviews from former customers who have an experience to share.