building consumer trustOne of the best ways to boost your business is with testimonials from satisfied customers and product reviews. Statistics have shown that more than 70% of consumers will consult a product review before they decide on a purchase and 63% of consumers will buy from a site that includes product ratings and reviews on their website or blog. Clearly, an extremely effective way to increase sales is to build trust in your customers through effective use of customer reviews.

Here are 10 ways you can do this effectively.

1. Place At Least A Few Reviews on Your Home Page

While reviews for a specific product can be placed on the product page, you can draw the consumer in with a few well-selected ones right on the front page of your site. You want to be sure that the appeal for your product or service is placed front and center.

2. Join the Same Sites As Your Customers

We live in a society where people communicate in many different ways. That’s why social networking actually works. Being a part of the same social lines of communication as your customers makes your presence more accessible and will encourage more people to participate in writing reviews about your products and/or services.

3. Follow Up

If you want repeat customers make sure that you follow up with customers after they have made a purchase. They will be more inclined to write a review when their purchase is still fresh in their minds. You can even set up an automated follow up letter requesting a review so you don’t have to worry about it.

4. Ask Questions

In order to ask good questions you need to know what kind of answers you’re looking for. Learn about your target audience, their interests, concerns, and challenges in your particular industry. Once you know these questions you’ll be able to land some very effective testimonials.

5. Keep in Touch with Those Who Give You Great Reviews

If you notice that someone has given you an excellent review on one of the social media sites, make sure that you thank them and request permission to share their review on your website and social media platforms. This not only instills a strong relationship that will keep your customer coming back but puts out a positive message that will encourage new customers to reach out for that relationship too.

6. Keep in Touch with Those That Have Made a Negative Review About Your Service

Negative reviews also need to be addressed. With most eCommerce platforms such as BigCommerce, you have control over what reviews to show publicly and those that should be addressed, but maybe not shown if you know what I mean... That being said, you should always try to contact those with an unfavorable response to your product and/or service to try to remedy the problems. These types of reviews can be viewed as an opportunity for you to make some adjustments in your business, a warning sign of potential problems, and a chance to learn from your clients. One thing for sure, if a negative review is allowed to hit the mainstream social networking outlets, it could be devastating to your establishment. The sooner you address it the better your chances of turning it around. One thing for sure, it’s not going to go away unless you do something about it.

7. Hold a Contest

Running a contest is an excellent way to encourage your customers to write a review. There are many different ways to encourage people to write about your business or service. A slogan campaign, a hashtag promotion, or even a posting on Facebook can be very effective in making your business look good to a newcomer.

8. Start a Rewards Program

Incentives are great motivators when it comes to getting results. Offering customers a 10% off coupon for a review can produce surprising results. Better yet, don’t even tell them ahead of time and reward them afterwards and you’ll increase their loyalty to you indefinitely.

9. A Pictures Says a 1000 Words

When a customer posts a favorable review on their site ask for a photo to add to it. This not only makes the customer feel valued but it increases your level of credibility in the review itself. If the review has been posted on a social media site or another website, make sure you add the link to that site next to the review.

10. Be Warm and Fuzzy

The more you interact with your customers the more likely they will feel connected to you. Give your customers a reason to write back. Making it a natural part of an ongoing conversation will go a long way in getting that positive review that you’re looking for. It could be as simple as writing a thank you note or a response to a contact request but the give and take relationship can make a major difference in how many reviews you get.