If you have made any kind of online purchase – be it clothes or mobile apps or booking a hotel room - you know what you look for first after you have spotted something you want to buy: reviews. Does the product have happy customers?
For an e-commerce website it is especially important - if you find websites selling similar products but one has lots of customer reviews or testimonials, you are more likely to order from that one. It is a proven strategy - just look at how successful the larger sites like Amazon are, the customer reviews greatly help with this.
Why is customer feedback important to better conversion rates?
Customer feedback serves as both - a meter of your performance so far and a guiding star to your future performance.
You as a seller and/or provider of service get to gauge how your product is being received. Even if you are well-established in your domain, periodical and/or regular customer feedback helps you keep your business on track and see where you can improve and where you are falling short of customer's expectations.
In addition, from the feedback if you look out for areas of improvement, you have opportunity to serve your customer better or even provide a better product. One of the main reasons to conduct a feedback survey or ask for reviews is to use the analytical insights to improve the product, sale process and/or your marketing strategy.
Product / Service reviews:
Reviews go a long way in establishing credibility of both the seller and the products themselves. From your own experience of online or offline purchases, you would know that you are more likely to buy recommended products from peer-recommended sources. This holds truer for online purchases for obvious reasons of distance and lack of face-to-face contact.
People want to conform. When your site's visitors see a product rated well along with the number of people who have made the purchase, they are more likely to buy that product. It is simple psychology at work. For most things, people believe in “tried and tested”.
In fact, like I pointed out in the beginning, looking out for reviews is now an integral part of the decision making process. It is highly unlikely that people will buy something without asking around, i.e. read reviews in the online world. In fact, it shouldn't be surprising that many an offline purchase is made after a thorough online research.
There are several external websites for consumer reviews that people look to when making a purchasing decision, one example is TrustPilot - it is highly recommended for you to set up a profile there so you can start gathering customer reviews.
How to use customer feedback to convert?
As a seller, you want volume. Because as a buyer, the first thing you would look for after you have seen the average rating for the product is what makes that average. How many people have rated it in the first place? A movie rated 4/5 by 5 viewers versus 50 is going to make a different impact on you. And you will deem the 4/5 more valuable and reliable as that number goes to 500 and even 5000.
So, how do you go about getting more people to give you feedback and/or review your product?
Ask for it.
It truly doesn't get more intuitive than that. You will not believe how many things that you thought you wouldn't get are only require asking. Sure, just because you ask doesn't meet you get them. But, the point is, if you don't ask, you will certainly not get it. So, ask for it.
Use pop-ups on site or send a post-purchase feedback email or better yet, do both and more. But, ask how the customer liked their experience. Ask if there is anything else you could do. Ask if they would recommend the product/service to a friend/relative and if not, then why. Ask, ask, ask.
If you are using WooCommerce for your eCommerce plugin on WordPress, it already has customer review functionality built in.
To enable this, visit "WooCommerce" > "Settings" > "Products" and choose to enable reviews on your products, you can also decide whether to limit this functionality to verified customers or let anyone leave a review. The reviews are then handled by the native WordPress comments functionality.
Delay visitor's departure.
Many a shopping cart is abandoned. Many a inquiry doesn't convert. Try to figure out why right away. Place the feedback form when the customer is leaving. While there is a small chance the customer might change their mind, but the information they leave behind will help you work better on the next conversion.
Here on WPLift we reviewed a plugin for WooCommerce called "Abandon Cart Pro" which allows you to email people who add something to their cart but dont complete the purchase, you can use this to contact them asking for feedback or even offer them a custom coupon code to entice them back.
Give something in return.
In order to get that all-elusive volume in reviews, you have to entice the buyer/user. After all, they've made their transaction, what's in it for them to give feedback or leave a review? You could introduce a reward system by which every review earns a point that can be redeemed for a future purchase. Else, you could give a discount right away. However, keep in mind that you have to strike a balance between the amount of discount you can afford and its attractiveness to the customer vis-a-vis the time spent on reviewing/providing feedback.
WooCommerce Beans is a free loyalty plugin that helps you improve long term engagement and promote your business by increasing customers interactions with your organization. You can use it to offer points to your users :
- When they subscribe to your reward Program.
- When they make a purchase.
- When they refer you to a friend.
- and more...
Create a testimonials page.
Use happy customers to your benefit. This aspect of your site is especially important when you have a high value product/service. A testimonial page/section on your site is something that prospective customers will be looking for. Remember to link to the page/section from the navbar or sub-navbar to make it more visible and easily accessible.
"Testimonials by WooThemes" is a clean and easy-to-use testimonials management system for WordPress. Load in what your customers are saying about your business, and display the testimonials via a shortcode, widget or template tag on your website.
Don't be afraid of negative reviews.
Allow and keep negative reviews. They help in two ways. Allowing feedback helps you improve your products. Keeping negative reviews go a long way in building credibility. 100% positive reviews is bound to bring in cynicism from a new visitor.
Static content becomes dynamic.
Comments/reviews on your otherwise static product page make it dynamic. Pages with fresh content are viewed favorably by search engines. This begins a lovely virtuous cycle in terms of SEO. A higher ranking leads to more traffic and more traffic in turn leads to more conversions. More conversions will mean more reviews which chips in towards a better search engine rating.
In addition, conversion rate of such organic SEO is better because customer comes to the site with an intent to buy.
As always though anything related to conversion has to be tried, tested and tweaked. For example, allow reviews for some products and with reviews and some without. Compare results and make changes accordingly. Try out different positions for the feedback form – use pop-ups and try in-page feedback forms. Try out text that you think will encourage reviews versus some text that might not entice a buyer into writing a review. See its effect on conversion.
Above all, mix and match various strategies. Combine, compare and contrast to lead you to an optimum conversion rate.
Author Bio: Rasika loves coming up with innovative ways of using SurveyFunnel to help customers boost conversions. She is something of an outdoors enthusiast – enjoys swimming, playing badminton and adores watching wildlife documentaries.