Marketers focus on email, content marketing, and paid advertising methods to help grow their customer base. While these channels are undeniably important, they often overlook the fact that third-party reviews are far more persuasive sellers than marketers will ever be.
With prospects hunting for trustworthy
In this post, we’ll discuss what third-party reviews are in detail, why they’re important, and tips to garner your prospective customers’ attention.
There’s a notable difference between third-party vs first-party reviews and how prospective customers view them. While third-party reviews are gathered outside of a business website, first-party reviews are collected and published directly onto the site in discussion.
While first-party reviews are also a good way to provide prospects with immediate access to opinions of your product or company, third-party reviews add an extra layer of authenticity when on the search.
Why are third-party reviews important?
Third-party reviews are seen as more legitimate than first-party reviews, which a company collects on its own. Since it’s information coming from a seemingly unbiased source, that’s enough to make it far more trustworthy than any of your paid advertisements.
So to gain that trust — and those always-needed sales — you need to start racking up the third-party reviews. The more positive ones you can get, the better off your company will be. So, read on for some tactics below that will help you generate third-party reviews and grow your
Tips for Generating Customer Reviews
1. Create profiles on third-party review sites.
While many ecommerce brands give customers the option to leave reviews directly on their website, this isn’t necessarily the first place a buyer will look. More likely than not, they’ll go to Google, Facebook, or another third-party site to check reviews for your business.
This means the first step to generating reviews is setting up your profile on each relevant platform.
For example, ecommerce sellers that use Amazon should claim their
Consider each avenue where a customer might discover your business, and make sure you have claimed your profile so you can collect and manage these reviews.
2. Start with your existing customers.
Many brands create their review profiles after they’ve already established a customer base. If your customer service team is doing its job, you should already have plenty of satisfied buyers who enjoyed their experience with your company.
The problem? These customers aren’t automatically going to become aware of their ability to leave reviews for your business on third-party platforms. So, to build a solid foundation of third-party reviews, you’ll need to reach out to your existing customers for help.
The good news is that you should already have contact information available thanks to previous interactions. If you have a
As research from the
3. Sign up for Google customer reviews.
As your customer base grows, it’ll be tricky to reach out to each customer individually to ask for a review. Thankfully, the world’s largest search engine helps you optimize this process through the Google Customer Reviews program.
Once the module has been added to your website, the survey opt-in will automatically be shown to users after they complete their checkout. If the customer opts in, Google will send an email with the survey attached.
The data collected from these surveys count toward your seller rating on Google — the “star” rating that appears in your PPC ads and general search results. You will also get a Google Customer Reviews badge that can be integrated with your site, giving potential customers a quick form of
4. Include third-party review links on receipts.
It’s increasingly common for brick-and-mortar retailers to offer a survey on a customer’s receipt. Typically these offers include a prize that’s given to the customer once they complete the survey or write a review. While most ecommerce sites don’t provide printed receipts, your brand can still leverage this strategy when sending your confirmation emails.
When customers place an order online, they expect to receive an email to confirm their purchase. While you can certainly link to a custom survey, you could also use the space below the order confirmation to link to your third-party review profiles. A set of links with a short message like “Tell us about your experience!” or “Leave a review” is an easy, non-intrusive way to encourage customers to leave an online review.
5. Request reviews shortly after conversion.
You can also build social proof by getting customers to opt into a survey immediately after purchase. The easiest way to do this is to send an email survey shortly after a customer completes a transaction. In fact, research from Power Reviews indicates that as many as
While not everyone will respond to these unsolicited emails, you can make the task easier by following a few basic guidelines. Research from
You should make the review request as easy as possible for the consumer. Don’t give them a long survey to fill out. Instead, remind them of the product they’ve purchased, and include links to relevant platforms where they can leave a review (such as Amazon or TripAdvisor).
While you can certainly ask for a review shortly after completing a service-oriented task, you should wait a little longer after ecommerce sales. Rather than reaching out immediately, give the customer a week or so to use the product so they can give you honest
6. Deliver an amazing customer experience.
It should come as no surprise that the best way to get customer reviews is to provide an amazing customer experience. When expectations are exceeded, customers will share that
For ecommerce sellers, this means consistent product quality and meeting expectations for things like shipping and customer support. For service-oriented businesses, this means providing friendly, quality service during each customer interaction.
No matter what you do, your customer service team is generally on the front lines of the consumer experience. By helping them see that asking for a review should be part of their normal workflow, you’ll be more likely to gain reviews from each interaction.
Third-Party Review Value and Potential
To make an immediate impact on your customers, it helps to get your reviews published online. Third-party review value can look like more exposure on major review sites while attracting the interest and trust of those looking to bring legitimacy to your business. We hope you take these tips and put them into practice to bolster your advertising efforts and see the value in third-party reviews.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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