Customer reviews are powerful sellers, so it’s understandable that they would be one of the most sought after strategies to online retailers and business owners. Trust is an issue on the web, and customer reviews are a way of filling that void with reassurance – bridging this gap could very well mean the difference in achieving an online conversion, a customer enquiry or a transaction.

A customer review is a simple, cost-effective measure that can be channeled by all businesses practicing online. With a little encouragement, your online review system could potentially give your online portal some steady growth.

There are many ways to promote an online customer review system, however getting your review system to effectuate presents a bit of a challenge. It’s all about developing a model that slots in nicely with your business cycle. Need a starting point? Here are a few ideas to kick off the thought process:

  1. What physical resources can drive your review system offline? Despite having a beautiful review system up and running, you will need to drive word of mouth and encourage your customers to commit themselves to generating a review of your business. You also need to make things as easy for them as possible. Knowing this, how do customers arrive at your online review system when making a real-life transaction? You need something in the physical world to instigate online action.
  2. Does your website request reviews? You need to make your reviews system prevalent throughout as many online assets – where applicable. A strategically placed link, placed in the appropriate context, will work wonders for an online review system.
  3. Do you have an email campaign set-up? An email campaign is a great way to let your clients and prospects know about your review system, and furthermore encourage them to partake – think of the marketing message as well, as an email campaign is also promoting business objectivity. Want to learn more about email marketing? Check out our services page here.
  4. What incentives do you have in place to generate reviews? This one requires a lot more thought, and will be different for every business, but the objective is the same. Reward your customers for going out of their way – at the end of the day, they didn’t have to leave a review. Even if a review is negative, they have still done you a huge favour by leaving you unbiased feedback about your products or services.
  5. Are you proactive? If you know that you’ve got a happy customer, don’t be afraid to ask them to leave a review. After all, what’s the worst that could happen – they say ‘no’.

What are the benefits of an online review system? There are many. Your word of mouth will gain momentum, your review system will complement your local search efforts and you will appear objective and proactive in the eyes of your customers – which is what matters the most.