Ratings and reviews have become an integral part of every ecommerce business. The benefits for businesses of collecting and displaying feedback include higher conversion rates, increased trust and improved online reputation. Likewise, reviews are important for understanding clients’ needs, can be used to find weaknesses in business actions and help improve customer satisfaction.
Reviews and ratings collected through a Google-certified third party count as “Seller Ratings” (i.e. official reviews that Google and major search engines aggregate and associate to your business). Your aggregate rating can then be displayed in the form of stars on your Ads, which significantly improves their performance and efficacy and can differentiate your business from your competitors.
The quality and quantity of the collected feedback is of utmost importance for solidifying your social proof and strengthening your Seller Rating, and it is here where diversifying your review collection and adapting it to your business model is key. But before we explore in depth why diversity should matter, here is an overview of the most common ways to collect customer feedback.
- Email: the classic! An email linking to a feedback request form is sent to your customer after delivery of a product or when the service is completed. The client can then provide his or her opinion about the business and products ordered. This method is ideal for companies that want to collect product related reviews.
- SMS: when a customer completes a purchase, a review request link is sent to him or her via SMS. This method collects customer and product reviews on-the-go and is extremely flexible- your clients can submit their review whenever and wherever they want. Through this collection method eKomi clients have seen a review completion rate of up to 45%.
- Phone collection: this is probably one of the oldest methods for collecting feedback, though the one most rarely used nowadays. A representative calls the client on behalf of the company and goes through different questions to gather insights. The technique is used by businesses that want to gather market research, but can now also be used to generate a seller or product rating.
- Point of sale: one can also collect reviews from in-person customers at point of sale through an app, for example, which is easily installed on a smartphone or tablet. This app allows you to collect Seller Ratings on-the-go or directly after an instore purchase is completed. In the case of eKomi’s “Feedback App” the received ratings and reviews are automatically submitted to our system, syndicated to all search engines and count for Seller Ratings. Collecting feedback offline is appropriate for businesses which have a direct (face-to-face) contact with their clients.
- Instant reviews: This is when one integrates review collection directly in the purchase process, so after somebody completes the order on your website, a feedback form pops up to review the purchasing experience and interaction with the business. It is an easy way to optimize your purchasing / checkout process, while also collecting seller ratings. Also, this collection method can boost your feedback request response rate by up to 40%. Imagine that number of reviews!
After we briefly explored different techniques for collecting feedback, let us look into why diversifying your review collection is key.
First, each type of review collection method targets different stages of the buying process i.e. during all possible touch points with your clients. For example, using instant reviews you can collect a seller rating of your pre-sales process, and through an email you can collect a product review (i.e. post-sales process). By combining different techniques one gets reviews offering different insights, depending on the nature of your business, the number of touchpoints you have with your clients and the insights you want to receive.
Choosing the right method will impact the quantity of reviews you are collecting. A very good example here is Bookatable.co.uk. The restaurant reservation website became a client of eKomi’s in 2017. Before this point the company had collected only several hundred seller ratings. When joining eKomi, the company decided on our Pop-up solution as the best fit for their business, and less than a year later they have already collected over 30K reviews.
The change in the collection method not only helped Bookatable.co.uk collect a bigger quantity of reviews but also the quality of feedback improved. By asking their clients to rate their service immediately after a booking was made, there was no room for confusion as to what they were rating. The subsequent restaurant experience remained separate from the booking process. In that way the collected insights truly represented the experience the Bookatable.co.uk clients had with their service.
Diversity in collection methods is the key to more and better reviews. The ability to choose from a variety of techniques and adapt them to fit your business goals leads to higher response rates and more social proof for your business. Find the right feedback collection method and combine different techniques to gather more and better reviews than ever before!
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