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25 Apr 2022

Using Reviews - Don’t let your customers be secret admirers

Mark Twain famously quoted “ I can live for two months on a good compliment” and we believe that goes for us all if not longer.

In this modern world obsessed with ‘friends’, ‘sharing’ and ‘likes’ the importance of your happy customers spreading the word is a critical part of your business plan and customer reviews should be centre stage of your marketing strategy.

After all, customers are friends of your business and friends like sharing.

Why are customer reviews important?

Understanding how your customers feel about your business serves as an important benchmark, giving you the feedback to develop your customer experience and provide better products and services.

As detailed by feefo “translating your customer feedback into actionable insights will help increase sales, boost traffic and improve your brands reputation”.

Good customer reviews are also fundamental to successfully growing a business, raising your visibility with potential customers and influencing buying decisions.

According to Statista in 2021, many online shoppers in the United Kingdom (UK) considered what previous buyers had to say about products before purchasing the items themselves.

Approximately nine in ten UK consumers stated they would check online reviews before buying from a particular business. Even more shoppers said they often avoid enterprises with a rating lower than four.

How can you gain more of those all important reviews?

Asking your customers to leave positive reviews has a huge positive impact to your business and gaining reviews should be looked upon as a priority, but where to start in getting customers to spread the word?

1. Ask for reviews by email - We’d love to hear your feedback!” “How did we do?”  One of the most quick, simple and effective ways is to send an email containing a straightforward message and link to a page where they can leave a review. There are many affordable or free platforms you can use to request reviews. Ask for a Google review or use someone like Yotpo who also have a free review tool.

2. SMS requests - Did you know that 56% of all online reviews are posted from mobile devices? Todays ‘on the go’ culture has meant the power is literally in the hands of customers with the ability to communicate immediately  via mobile devices, phones or tablets. Research shows that 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes, whereas email typically has a 40 to 50% open rate.

3. Hot off the press – An effective way of asking for reviews is at point of payment when your customers are at your till point, buying or have just bought your product or service. You can either ask if they would be happy to leave a review later or seize the opportunity and with the use of technology, hand them an iPad or tablet, so that they can fill out a short feedback form which can be published as an online review. Remember the best way to ask for a post purchase review is by bringing it up naturally in conversation.

4. Website landing page – If your business has a website, having a dedicated landing page for customers to leave reviews is a great way of collecting feedback.

5. Include a slip with each purchase/order- A simple but effective approach to letting customers know you value their reviews  is when bagging/boxing up their purchases slip a personal printed slip/card into their bag asking  if they would leave a review.

What next, now you have your reviews how do you best use them?

Shout about It – Don’t be shy, if you have a business website consider using reviews on your homepage, let people see you are proud of your business and your valued customer reviews, after all we all like being liked and why not shout about it

Share The Love – Contact customers who have left a review, thanking them. You customer may also be part of the independent retail community and you can “Share The Love” by  tagging their business via your social media channels. Include their business name and picture, not only is this a great way to say thank you but also increases credibility for the review

Display reviews off-line – Local press is still an effective way of publishing your small business to the local community and including customer reviews in an advert can help create customer awareness and increase footfall

Turn a negative into a positive – The ostrich syndrome will not make a bad  review disappear. Facing it head on and not panicking is key. Answering the negative review quickly is important. Remember the road to success always has a few bumps to navigate and a negative review is an opportunity to shine and build an even stronger relationship with your customer than before

To summarise, any kind of customer reviews, good or bad have worth. Learn from the not so good ones to improve, and use the good ones (hopefully most of them) to increase brand awareness and sales

Important note

As you take time to plan your customer review programme, review The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) insight on making it illegal to incentivise reviews so offering a discount for positive reviews will be a fineable offence of up to 10% of the company’s global turnover. (It is already illegal in the US)

Do not offer a compliment and ask a favour at the same time. A compliment that is charged for is not valuable.” Notebook, 1902-1903 Mark Twain

If you want to find out more about how Expression supports independent business owners who love their business visit

Did we mention we have a 5 star customer satisfaction score at Expression? :)

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