I don’t need to tell you how important online reviews are.
According to Statista, 93% of users read what other customers have to say about the product they’re planning to buy. Other studies have found that 91% of the time customer buying decisions are influenced by other shoppers’ reviews. So, you can imagine what a difference product reviews can make to your business.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When going through product reviews customers pay attention to specific things. It’s been found that:
- 54% of customers pay attention to average star rating
- 46% – to quantity of reviews
- 38% – to recency of reviews
In other words, it’s not only crucial to have good reviews, but also to make sure that you have many of them and that new reviews keep coming inconsistently.
Wonder how to do that? Let me show you.
I spoke to a company called PayKickstart – a shopping cart and affiliate management platform that managed to gather over 100 customer reviews for their product in just one week. Their product is B2B-focused and reviews were collected for their Capterra page, and the tactics PayKickstart used can be copied and applied to any type business and platform – whether your own website, Amazon product page, or other.
Without further ado, here’s how you can generate 5-star reviews for your business:
Step 1: Ask your customers to rate their experience
At the basis of PayKickstart’s tactic to generating great reviews is the so-called net promoter score or NPS.
Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. (Source.)
To calculate the NPS, customers are asked a single question, something along the lines of ”on a scale of 0 to 10, how would likely are you to recommend the company’s product or service to a friend or a colleague?”
”We asked our users to rate their experience with our product on a range from 1 to 10,” explains Mark Thompson, the CEO of PayKickstart.
Depending on your product, you can ask your buyers to review the product they received, customer support, overall shopping experience, etc. The main idea is that you only ask one question at a time and that people rate you on the scale of zero to ten.
To send out a survey, PayKickstart used a tool called Customerly, but you can also use any of these:
As the answers come in, move to the next step:
Step 2: Segment your respondents
Now that ratings are coming in, categorize them into three groups:
- Promoters – everyone who gave a 9 or 10
- Passives – everyone who gave a 7 or 8
- Distractors – everyone else who rated their experience with a 6 or lower
”Those who give you a nine or ten are your best promoters. Those are people who love your product, so they’re willing to give you a great review and tell their friends about your business,” Mark explains.
”Then comes those who give you a seven or eight. That usually means that they like your product and the overall experience has been good, but there are some things you can improve,” he adds.
”And finally, there are those who give you a six or lower – these customers who have faced some issue on the way, so their experience hasn’t really been perfect.”
As all these ratings come in, segment the customers into three separate lists on your email marketing tool. It’s best to automate this process, as that will save you hours of time.
”We connected Customerly with ActiveCampaign, our email automation tool. So, whenever a new response came in, those details were passed to ActiveCampaign and received the appropriate “tag”,” Mark explains. Then, based on these tags, the system knew which email must go out.
There are other tools that you can use for email automation, like Mailchimp or Klavyio. They also can be integrated with different survey sending tools, so that segments are created automatically.
Step 3: Give people a reason to leave a review
Remember that your business isn’t the only one that values reviews, so customers today receive a lot of requests. Your goal is to get their attention and make them want to leave a review.
There are several ways to motivate people to leave a review. What they all have in common is ”the carrot” – or something useful they can get in exchange for doing you the favor.
”Capterra gives businesses a bunch of $25 gift cards that you can send to 100 people, which is an incentive for them to leave a review.” That was the ”carrot” PayKickstart used in their campaign.
Now, what can you give to your customers that would motivate them to give you a good review? Here are a few ideas:
- a discount
- a gift card in your store
- free shipping on their next order
- a gift with their next order
Step 4: Set up an automated email sequence
Okay, so now you should have:
- A survey that’s sent out to your customers
- All contacts segmented into three lists based on the score they’ve given to your product or service
- ”The carrot” aka something that would motivate people to leave a review
The next step is to set up an automated email sequence, meaning that emails are sent out automatically based on pre-defined events or conditions met by an individual. In this case, that pre-defined event is a new contact added to the list.
”So, if a customer would leave us a nine or ten, we would send them an automated email that said ”thank you for giving us such a high score, and if you wouldn’t mind, we’d love you to leave us a review”, and then we’d send these people straight to our Capterra page.”
Since these people have already given your business a good score, they’re much likely to give you a good review as well. Therefore, according to Mark, they’re safe to be sent directly to your website or Amazon product page to leave a review.
Now, if a customer had given a seven or eight, they’d receive a different email, which aims to find out what the company can do to improve their satisfaction.
”Very often you can get a customer from seven to ten by answering just a few questions. Maybe they weren’t able to find something or maybe they were looking for something that we didn’t have. By proactively reaching out and answering these questions you can instantly increase customer satisfaction,” Mark has observed. ”And then, we would ask them to leave a positive review.”
Finally, there’s the third category – those who for some reason wasn’t happy with the product or service. ”We aren’t expecting a review from these people right away, but we always reach out to them to find out where we dropped the ball. These interactions are extremely useful, as they help us discover holes in our product, customer service, etc.”
Step 5: Use multiple touchpoints
By only using email, PayKickstart were able to generate 70% of their reviews in just three days. But they didn’t intend to stop.
”We have a private Skype group and a private Facebook group for people who use our product, so we decided to reach out to people that way as well,” Mark reveals. ”We went right to the $20 gift card incentive as the people in these groups are much more active and like our product.”
That is – PayKickstart skipped a step and didn’t ask these customers to review their experience prior to asked to leave a review. What to do if you don’t have private groups full of brand advocates? Use your public social media profiles. However, in that case, it’s recommended to start with the survey and only then ask people to write a review.
In short – the general idea is to use all touchpoints with your customers to generate reviews, whether online or offline. So, if you meet a happy client at a popup market, you can offer them to leave a review on your website (all they need to do that is a phone with an internet connection) and receive a discount right there, right then.
Bonus step 6: Repurpose the reviews you’ve generated
The main goal of reviews is to provide your store visitors with social proof. But there are more ways to use them and here are a few ideas where reviews can add extra value:
- Product videos
- Email campaigns and other sales materials
- Social media posts
- Paid ads
- Blog articles
Customer reviews don’t come easy, so make sure you use them to their full potential.
Here’s a quick recap of how to generate 100+ five star reviews in a couple of days:
- Send out a survey to your customers and ask them to rate their shopping experience.
- Segment your respondents depending on the score they’ve given you – promoters, passives, and distractors.
- Decide what you can offer to your customers to motivate them to leave a review (think – discount, a gift from your store, etc.)
- Set un an automatic email sequence that sends a customized message to each of the segments.
- Use other channels, like your social media, to generate even more reviews.
- Repurpose the reviews in videos, ads, social media posts, etc.
That’s all – you’re now ready to take your business to the next level with customer reviews. If you have any questions or experience to share, leave your comment below!