How to Automate the Collection of Reviews

Online reviews are all around us. Visit any website today, and chances are high that you will come across “testimonials,” and other types of customer feedback. There is a very good reason why this is the case. Reviews play an important role in driving business around the world. So, how do you Automate the Collection of Reviews?

The importance of online reviews

When it comes to the importance of online reviews, there are several, often cited statistics;

  • 88% of consumers incorporate them into their purchasing decisions.
  • 92% of consumers read online reviews.
  • 51% of consumers would select local reviews that have positive reviews.
  • 48% will visit your website after reading a positive review.
  • 73% only need 6 reviews in order to form an opinion about a business.

Should you Automate the Collection of Reviews?

Clearly, online reviews are important, but how do you go about collecting them? Managing the feedback that is left across the web by your customers tends to be easy if you are a very small business. Let’s assume, as an example, that you are a small town Jewellery, that handles only a few customers on a daily basis.

The only thing that you need to do in order to get feedback from your customers is manually send them an email, call them or send an SMS asking them to leave a review of your products and services. But what happens when it comes to larger entities?

Let’s assume, as an example, that you own a busy retail shop. The fact that you handle so many customers on a daily basis makes it difficult for you to manually follow up after each and every customer. This is where automating the process of gathering online reviews becomes necessary.

How to Automate the Collection of Reviews

There are several things that you can do in order to simplify the process of gathering and syndicating online reviews;

Hire the services of an Online Reputation Management (ORM) company

If you are really serious about capitalizing on the power of online reviews, the first thing that you need to do is hire the services of an Online Reputation Management company. There are plenty of these out there, all of whom seek to, in various ways, manage mentions of your brand across the internet. So, what do ORM companies do?

ORM companies automate the process of asking for reviews

One of the most difficult things, when it comes to getting online reviews from your customers, surrounds the question of how, when and where to ask for reviews. Should you go after your customer immediately after they have made a purchase, or should you wait a couple of days before pleading your case?

And which medium should you use when asking for reviews? Is it better to send an SMS, or to call? Or should you use both methods?

ORM companies take away the hassle that comes from trying to come up with answers to any of the above questions, taking away the need for you to remember to ask for a review from your customer. This is particularly useful for businesses that handle large volumes on a daily basis.

Reviews integrated into your website

It’s not easy, as we have already noted, asking for reviews from your customers. There are issues of timing and medium, which are the reasons why you may not be having as much success as you would like to have. Now, one of the ways through which you can automate the process of gathering reviews from your customers is by having the entire process integrated into your website.

Let’s assume, as an example, that you run an online retailer. Most of the eCommerce platforms that can be found out there allow you to add a section where customers can leave reviews about particular products or services. This then makes it easy for you to gather feedback without actually having to manually go after individual customers.

Prominently display your Google, Yelp and Facebook listings on your website

Related to the above point, you can make it easy for your customers to leave reviews by prominently displaying your Google, Yelp, Facebook and other listings on your website. The important thing to note is that people are not naturally motivated to review your products and services. Making it simple for them to do so then helps improve your response rate.

Shopper Approved

When it comes to the collection and syndication of online reviews, there are, as we have already noted, a wide range of companies out there. Of these, one of the best is, without doubt, Shopper Approved. The great thing about this company is that it allows you not only to automate the process of gathering reviews from your customers, but also that of having them syndicated to Search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Getting Seller and Product Ratings

Adding to the importance of online reviews for businesses is the fact that they form part of the data that is used for the star rating extensions that appear in Google organic, as well as in Google Ads. The five-star-based system acts as a draw for customers, giving those companies that have them a boost in CTR of up to 17%.

Shopper Approved is one of the companies that have been licensed to syndicate both Seller and Product ratings, which makes it a good choice as far as the automation of online reviews is concerned.

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