Matt R. Vance is the author of The Review Cycle and a veteran in the consumer and employee experience space. He lives in Logan, Utah.
In 1997, Amazon became the first company to collect and display product reviews. Today, reviews are inseparably connected to sales. I have personally seen sales double with a mere increase from 4.2 stars to 4.3 stars. Reviews precede dollars. So, why aren’t more customers helping you out after the sale?
Hold up for a second. You’re a consumer too. Do you review every purchase you make? Consumers don’t have time or motivation to leave reviews for every transaction.
Review fatigue is real. Only 3% to 10% of shoppers will typically write a review. (I’ve witnessed review rates as low as 1.5% on some products, and that’s across millions of orders.) Every time a consumer does so, it’s due to three factors:
- A motive: I may want to give back to an online community with a review, positive or negative. (After all, other reviews helped me.) Or I may want to receive likes for my review.
- A method: The most popular rating method is “innocent until proven guilty” — customers want to give your product five stars, but the rating goes lower as it fails to impress.
- A trigger: You can prompt customers to leave reviews, but they’ll feel most inspired by an extremely positive or negative experience. After all, if it’s not too bad and not too good, why take the time? You wouldn’t remark on something unremarkable, would you?
Start thinking like your own customers. Be mindful of their experiences and build a convenient and simple review request strategy that reaches as many of your customers as possible.
Realize that no matter what you do, you will get some negative reviews. That’s OK. Some negatives actually help validate the positive: A perfect five-star average rating will sell less than four-and-a-half stars because it’s viewed as being faked or too good to be true.
Be consistent asking all customers for reviews. The best way to overcome negatives is with a higher volume of reviews. Just make sure to respond to your negative reviews as well. The sales increase will be worth the effort.
Adapted from The Review Cycle by Matt R. Vance, available now.