📈 To review, or not to review
As humans we are wired to do things or like things that other people do or like.
It’s called Social Proof.
According to Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence, social proof is one of the key ways to persuade people.
Consumer trust in institutions is lowering.
The presence of social proof is more and more important.
What’s the most effective type of social proof?
I’m so glad you asked!
In my experience, the best form of social proof comes from cold, hard, auto-approving, never filtered, never creepily solicited, never edited… REVIEWS!!
Let’s break this down into 3 key parts: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
😍: In your review set up, you SHOULD DO these things:
Choose the right tech.
(I’m a die-hard Okendo fan – I’ve tried them all, I’ve compared them all, and to me, Okendo is BY FAR the most advanced + easy to use + quick to stand up + BEST PRICED).
Stylize your review section ON SITE.
We can’t Go-to-Millions by cutting corners. YOUR REVIEWS NEED TO FEEL NATIVE.
THEY NEED TO MATCH THE PDP’s THEY SIT ON. Your reviews need to be easily accessible, meaning you need to feature your reviews across your website:
- On homepage
- On your collections pages
- On your PDPs
- Extra credit: in cart (such a game-changer in my experience)
- *I’m a big fan of hard-coding certain reviews – reviews that we are confident we want to highlight / reviews that are convincing + succinct (your customers are there to shop, not to read).
- **Hard code 1 solid review on homepage, a couple on your PDPs, and 1 per product in cart).
Seed your product BEFORE launch (where possible)
It’s really risky to buy something that is new to market.
What if it sucks?
How are we supposed to know what’s actually good if there aren’t any reviews yet for that SKU?
- How do we fix this? By having reviews ALREADY collected for ALL products.
- Before you launch a new SKU, seed it to as many people as you possibly can. Have people try it.
Send everyone who tries it a review request by SMS.
Have them leave a review, with their HONEST opinions. Auto-publish their review (no filtering, no cherry picking, no lying).
- Now, let’s unleash the product EARLY (but only to our Tastemakers).
Build a community of your most VIP customers (the ones who have been with you the longest / have shopped the most / have somehow qualified to be in your “these are our happiest customers” list.
Let’s let this small group of customers have early access to the product. Unleash it to them with enough time for them to shop it, for you to ship it, and then for them to try it + rate it. Give them a code to shop it, but don’t make it free. We want whoever takes this offer to want the product badly enough to spend $.
If you’ve been designated as a VIP / tastemaker / extra-special customer, you’re going to see this early access as a value-add to your experience as a customer.
You’re probably going to leave a good review, especially if your taste / feedback / opinion is your ticket into this cool-kids club of early shoppers.
- Send review request communications across email + SMS + highlight your reviews on social (in story).
Keep your reviews top of mind, and keep your review request short, sweet, perfectly timed (triggered only after delivery confirmation + the customer has had enough time to try the product).
- Auto-publish all reviews.
1 star reviews get published. When you hide a review, the customer who left that review switches from an unsatisfied customer to a ROYALLY PISSED CUSTOMER.
If you hide their review, they won’t just go away. They’ll find you!!
On your Twitter timeline. In the comments of your posts on social media.
They’ll write your CX team. Then your CX team will have to answer them and try to shake them off / get them settled.
Then, your ROYALLY PISSED CUSTOMER will screenshot the exchange they had with your CX team and then post THAT on Twitter / on social.
See how bad this gets? See how quickly this goes from 1 bad review to 0 bad reviews but 10 bad public moments?
- Work hard to maintain an average review rating of at least 4 stars / 5 stars.
This isn’t easy. This isn’t always possible across all SKUs (some SKUs aren’t going to make it – that’s okay).
However, wherever possible, create such a great product that is marketed in such a clear way that it is as good as expected upon arrival.
If it’s as good as you say it is, then on average, most people will be delighted by it.
🤭: THINGS TO AVOID:
- Sending your review request too early
Trigger your first review requests to send at least ~5 business days AFTER the product is marked as delivered.
Do you know the amount of 1 star reviews I’ve seen that say this: I gave this 1 star because it didn’t even arrive!!
Yes, in this instance, your customer is being rude. But, it’s still on you.
- Only sending review requests by email
SMS = THE FUTURE
- Badgering people into giving reviews
I love reviews, I really do. However, sometimes you just gotta call it a day. If your customer has opened your review requests without taking the action of leaving a review, then at some point it’s better to leave them alone (stop asking them to leave a review), then to hit them over the head with your requests over and over. When you do this, you’re kinda begging them to give you a bad rating, aren’t you?
- Requiring too many fields in the review form.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Have your customer verify their purchase, write their first name, give a star rating, write their feedback, and then please let them leave! A completed review form is our goal.
🧛♀: LYING ABOUT YOUR REVIEWS IS REALLY SCARY.
IT’S WORSE THAN NOT HAVING REVIEWS ON SITE.
IT’S SKETCHY. DON’T DO IT. I’M A GROWTH MARKETER – I LOVE TO PUSH THE LIMITS. LOOK AT ME NOW. I’M USING ALL CAPS. I COULDN’T BE ANY RISKIER.
However, you’ll never catch me altering or running away from customer feedback – your customers are in charge and their opinions (and your ability to make them truly happy) will dictate your success.
ON THIS EPISODE OF SHOP TIL WE DROP (AKA THINGS I BOUGHT THAT I DIDN’T NEED BUT HAD TO HAVE) SECTION:
Yes, the mint was an out-of-character choice. I’m as shocked as you are.
BTW, did you know that the Apple store will pricematch anything within 10%? I DIDN’T!! The guy at the Apple Store told me and then told me to look on Best Buy lol and then he hooked it up with the discount. Just sharing the good news. 5 STARS!