8 Ways to Get Customer Reviews

We’ve talked about how essential customer ratings and reviews are for your business and for your website’s SEO value. But the reality is nobody really likes to post reviews. So now here are 8 ways you can encourage customers to post their ratings and reviews.

Get started
More often than not, the first few consumer reviews are the hardest to get. Once you’ve got a few reviews, other people are more likely to post their ratings and reviews without having to be asked. So to get started, it’s a good idea to ask existing customers to post the first reviews.

This is also where using rating and review software comes in handy. Open communication lines with your customers, they’ll appreciate it. And when you need a hand, they’ll be more willing to help out.

Use other websites
Aside from setting up a great rating and review software on your website, it’s a good idea to make profiles on other websites. Websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc are great for helping you get more customer reviews in a quicker, faster way. Using Local directories like Yahoo Local, Yelp, Google Places, or City Search are also effective websites that can help you achieve what you’re looking for.

Get your staff involved
It’s also a great idea to get your staff involved. Teach them about the importance of customer reviews. Well trained staff can help you get customer reviews. For example, if they’re on a phone with certain customers, they can jot down the testimonials or ask certain customers- i.e. those who very much like your brand/services if they can post a review of your products and/or services.

Look for reviewers
Big established selling websites like Amazon have a lot of reviewers. Take a closer look and you’ll find that a lot of the top reviewers actually have their contact information listed. Do a little research and find relevant reviewers and ask them to post ratings and reviews.

Free Samples
If you can afford it, go ahead and give some samples. Some big businesses provide free samples to anyone- and you know how it goes, everyone loves free stuff. Giving a few samples away is a good way to get people talking. And don’t forget to ask the recipients to drop by your website and let you know what they think of it!

Offer Trials
Another strategy to get people talking about your product is by offering free trial versions of your product. For example, give users a week or two to test your products. Again, this is a great way to get people talking.

Have feedback cards
If you have a regular store, have feedback cards customers can fill out. For online businesses or a more environmental choice, send emails out instead. You can offer these at purchase— meaning they can fill out these feedback cards, or you can send them an email a few days after their purchase. Sending the email a few days after their purchase is also a good idea. It gives your customers a chance to test the product and let you know how they liked it.

Be accessible, flexible and ask for suggestions
Make your contact information (Telephone, email, Facebook, Skype, etc) readily available. Remember, we humans are naturally social. Aside from liking things that work systematically- e.g. being able to purchase with little trouble, we also appreciate being able to relate to a non-computer. So add a personal feel to your business by being accessible to your customers. Let them know you’re around if they need help.

Secondly, be flexible be it with your strategies of how to run your business or with dealing with customers, and even how to ask for customer ratings and reviews. For example, there are several ways of asking for customer reviews such as:

• Please let us know how you like ________
• Your opinion matters! Please rate and review ________
• Make your voice be heard_______

However you choose to ask for consumer reviews, always aim for simplicity (in presentation) and speed (easy to rate, review, etcetera).

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5 Secrets to Getting Positive Customer Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews ReVuGot a website? You better seriously consider having some kind of review software as well. Research has validated that customer ratings and reviews help bring in more than 50% of your website’s visitors. In other words, you’re the ratings and reviews on your products and website are precisely what help half of your new visitors decide whether or not they’ll buy from you. Aside from helping increase website conversions, because more and more people relying on the internet for their shopping needs, even just having some kind of a rating and reviewing service available on your website is crucial to building customer trust. That said, here are 3 secrets to get positive ratings and reviews.

Make It Easy

The easier, the better. Using a good review software that makes it super easy to rate, review, comment, and share is the best type to use. Make it easy an experience as possible for your customers to post reviews.

Review Reviewers

One of the ways to encourage reviewers is by featuring one of them every day/week. Have a banner or a small portion in your website’s front page, Facebook, or even Twitter account where you can feature a customer’s review. Of course, be sure to let the reviewers know when they are being featured. Most people really like this and if they’re regular customers, the chances are they’ll see how other people are getting featured and they’ll want to post a positive customer review that might just land the feature page!

Think Numbers

Remember, the more reviews you’ve got the better. If you can get 8 or 10 reviews total and majority of those being good reviews, that’s fantastic! If you get 2 or 3 bad reviews, that’s still pretty good. In short, having 8-10 reviews, even if 2-3 of those are negative is better than having just one good review.

Be Quick to Resolve Issues

If someone does post a negative review, rather than getting defensive, listen carefully and try to resolve the issue as best and quickly as you can. See negative reviews as a way to keep improving your business. While generally speaking we do not encourage you contacting people who posted negative reviews, it’s a good idea to contact the people who posted thoughtful, constructive criticism. Some businesses offer such people free trials or upgrades.

Deliver and Keep Your Customers Happy

Deliver what your customers expect and keep your customers happy. Offering first class products and services are a sure way to get positive customer ratings and reviews without asking. So keep in mind and strive for excellent service.

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Why You Need Customer Reviews and How to Get Them

review softwareWith over a hundred million online shoppers in the United States alone, we’ve seen e-commerce sales grow by leaps and bounds. I mean, just last quarter, according to comScore’s report, Americans alone spent over $43 billion via online shopping, and that number’s still growing! As the number of online shoppers increase, so does the number of people relying on online customer reviews to help them decide whether or not they will buy from a certain site. Time to take notice!

The Statistics

It’s quickly becoming the age of the online shopper, so it’s good to pay attention to details of how things work. Here are some statistics from local consumer reviews of 2012 to keep in mind:

  • 72% of online shoppers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a family or friend
  • 63 % of online shoppers are more likely to buy from a site that has user reviews
  • 65% of online shoppers read between 2-10 reviews
  • 58% of them trust a brand or business they may never have heard of, as long as the brand or business has positive reviews
  • 105% of a site’s visitors are more likely to buy from a site where they are able to interact with the site’s owners through questions or customer reviews

Quite astounding isn’t it? Numerous other statistics studying the effect of customer ratings and reviews reflect the same numbers.

How Customer Reviews Boost Your Website

So what exactly do those statistics mean and how do customer reviews really help? Here are some other ways:

  • User reviews help erase doubt and increase your credibility
  • Pick the right review software and the customer ratings and reviews will be indexable, meaning search engines will favor your website more and your website’s SEO ratings will improve
  • Customer reviews help increase click-through-searches or the traffic on your website
  • Customer reviews help increase website conversions. Sometimes a good review is all a person needs to decide whether or not they will buy from your site or not
  • Even bad reviews help build your credibility- but having too many bad reviews (e.g. 12 bad reviews to 2 good ones) can also be harmful to your website

Getting Customer Reviews

So customer reviews work wonders for your business. Not sure where to start to get them? Here are the essentials:

  • Install a good review engine that will help you get customer reviews. Do choose a customer review website which makes posting ratings and reviews as simple and easy as possible.
  • Ask for reviews. You can even offer discounts for the following purchases of people who’ve bought something from your site. Other people even incentivize in a different way- they look for well respected people and send them an item or two to give their ratings and reviews on.
  • Aside from getting reviews from your own website, you can also get customer reviews on websites like Google +, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, or Bing. Go ahead and transfer those reviews to your regular website.
  • Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. So don’t delete them all. As long as you don’t have too many negative reviews, don’t be afraid to leave a couple or a few of them up as long as you have enough positive ratings and reviews to counter the negative ones. Anyhow, see all negative posts as a way to improve your site and services.
  • Sort the reviews according to what’s more helpful. Some types of review software help you do this automatically. A little organizing always helps!

That’s it for today. Did you find this article helpful? Let us know and feel free to share.

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5 Ways to Increase User Generated Content

Customer ratings and reviewsUser generated content is one of the best ways to increase your website’s SEO value and user conversions. Here are 5 ways you can increase user generated content.

#1 Update Regularly
To keep your website’s content looking fresh not just for your website visitors but also for the search engines, post regular updates. Make it a habit to update your website’s content at least once a week is a great idea. Without these regular updates, search engines bots will get bored with your website and start pushing it down. In other words, no new content means your website’s ratings will go down. So keep those updates coming in, even if it’s just simple stuff.

#2 Get Customer Ratings and Reviews
One of the best ways to increase user generated content is by using a review engine or review software. Customer ratings and reviews are probably one of the most useful types of user generated content. They not only help keep your website’s SEO value up, but they also help build user trust and website conversions. Be creative in the ways you try to get customer ratings and reviews. Just remember, no matter what, keep your customers happy and see customer reviews as a means to help you improve your website.

#3 Use Social Media
There’s nothing like social media to make or break your business. Play your cards right and you’ll be swamped with customer ratings and reviews and more. It’s a great idea to have buttons that allow people to “share,” “like,” “tweet,” “email,” “bookmark,” etc from every page of your website. And if people need to sign into your page, try to make it so they can log on with their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages and they’ll love you for it. After all, everyone appreciates some convenience.

#4 Encourage Discussion
How? You say? Creativity is key. Depending on your type of business or nature of work, you can vary how you’re going to do this. Some businesses encourage their customers to suggest ideas or to share their opinion on some products and services and thereby help them improve, while others may post something artsy and attract people’s interest in that way. Whatever you decide to do, go ahead and do what you can to encourage discussions.

#5 Track Your Progress
Setting up a review engine on your website can open you up for negative comments, but they’re good too! Without some kind of a review software, customers can’t communicate with you and you miss the whole point of increasing user generated content! So set up your goals and track your progress as you go along.

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Effective Ways to Build Your Business with Customer Reviews

commenting systemSmart business owners have already opened their businesses to internet and mobile marketing. But there’s one thing a lot of people miss— and it’s something that is beneficial for both new and seasoned marketers = customer ratings and reviews.

How Online Reviews Help
We humans are naturally social beings. As our buying and selling habits go online, so have our habits of asking friends, family and acquaintances what they think about a certain product. Research shows how quickly ecommerce is building up, and with it, are people’s dependency on online customer reviews. No kidding, statistic show that nearly 70% of people trust online customer reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. So there you are- customer reviews are the key not just for increasing website conversions but also to building your business!

Gathering Customer Reviews
This one can be tricky, especially for new businesses. Of course the most basic step is to get a good blog commenting service. You can’t expect to get any comments without first having a good commenting system in place. Once you’ve got that down, you can start to strategize how to encourage your website visitors to leave ratings and reviews. Generally speaking, customers tend to share their opinions when it is related to these three components:

  • Discounts, Sales, Coupons, or Local Deals
  • General business or product information
  • Customer ratings and reviews

So, time to get creative!

For Start-up Businesses
If you are just starting to build your business, one thing you can do is actively ask your potential customers to let you know what they think. Secondly, if possible, try to look for popular people in your locality who are known to review things. Find out if they’re willing to review your product(s). In other words, you can incentivize by giving them your product to test and write about or by offering discounts or freebies for the future purchases of people who leave customer ratings. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’re buying reviews.

For Established Businesses
As for those people who already have an established business who’ve only just brought their business online, if you don’t already have a log of testimonials or customer ratings and reviews offline, ask your most loyal customers to give you. You can also search your business name online. Surely some of your customers have said a thing or two about you online- and who knows, you may be able to use it.

Dealing with Negative Reviews
Turn every negative review into a positive one. Even negative reviews can build your business. Whether you display the negative reviews or not is your choice, but carefully study each negative comment to see how you can use it to improve your product or business. However you choose to deal with it, always see it as a way to help your business get better.

Building your business
Easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be. Use an excellent commenting system that’ll make it easy for you to gathering customer ratings and reviews and communicate with your customers. Some of these commenting systems also make it so that user comments are automatically indexable by search engines, which help build your website’s SEO value. Furthermore, some rating and review software offer other features like instant sharing, all for free. In short, if you’re serious about building your business online, you should harness the power of customer reviews. Once you see your sales and website conversions increasing, you’ll never again underestimate the power of a customer review.

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5 Essential WordPress Plugins

5 Essential WordPress PluginsWordPress is one of the best open source blog applications, and one of the reasons we all love it is the applications! However there can be a downside. There are well over 15,000 WordPress plugins, making it a tricky for any website owner to pick and choose the essentials. Here are 5 essentials- or what we consider to be the best WordPress plugins.

WordPress Database Backup
Sick of losing your files? This WordPress plugin gives you the option of keeping your WordPress database nice and safe. If you want, you can also go for the premium version, otherwise known as “BackUp Buddy.” Pretty neat? We think so.

All in One SEO
This All In One SEO application works really well with a wp review plugin. Boost your blog’s ratings in search engines and get website traffic cranking.

Re-Vu WordPress Rating Plugin
This Wp review plugin replaces the whole WordPress commenting system with one which allows rating, reviewing, and sharing easy and quick with just a few clicks. With the Re-Vu wordpress rating plugin, comments on your website are also automatically indexable by search engines, thus helping increase your website’s SEO value.

Akismet
This is one of the best wordpress plugins, and while it’s often already installed in your WordPress blog, you may have to activate it. What’s so great about Akismet? It’s great for helping you block off the spammers. But there can be a downside to it. It’s so good at filtering spam messages sometimes non-spam messages get blocked!

WordPress Mobile Edition
There are more and more mobile internet users out there, the Re-Vu team included. Make your WordPress blog available to a much wider audience by using this nifty little plugin.

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There are just a few of the best wordpress plugins. We do hope you try these out and enjoy the benefits. After all, why deprive yourself of a better WordPress experience when you could be having it so much better?

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Improve Your Landing Page for Better Sales

customer reviewsThe look and feel of your website’s landing page is almost just as important as the products you are selling. Just think of it this way: when you walk into a certain place, there are some areas where everything just seems so inviting. It just makes you want to sit on one of the chairs, pick up a book, get a nice drink, and just spend a few hours there alone or with a friend. On the other hand, there are some places you go to and at a glance you’re immediately repulsed. In other words, you need to put as much care into fixing your landing page to make it as inviting as you can.

Characteristics of a good landing page:

  • Have a strong, good Headline. This might be the only thing your visitors see, so make it attention getting.
  • Sell your product. Why should they buy your product? Make clear why or how your product or services are better than someone-else’s.
  • Have nice, attractive Photos. Photos can help you get the professional feel on your website.
  • Have Customer Reviews and Testimonials. There’s nothing like testimonials to convince visitors to become customers, and this why using review software is so important.
  • We cannot overemphasize the importance of having a ratings and review aspect on your website. So aside from using a review site, actively invite customers and visitors to post customer reviews. This will not only boost your sales, but it will also help you further improve your website.
  • Use the right Keywords to attract your customers to your landing page. Just think, if you were interested in buying Green Auto Plugs for example, and you clicked on it and ended up on a landing page that’s selling laptops, you wouldn’t be pleased. Likewise, use the right keywords to attract customers who want what you are selling.
  • Give reassurance in the form of a Guarantee and Security. Make it easy for your customers and potential customers to make the transactions. For example, you can offer refunds.
  • The bottom line is Simple is Beautiful. So keep your landing page as simple as possible as to not confuse and drive away your customers and visitors.

Whether you’ve been selling products online for a while or are just about to start, you need a landing page that will help you achieve the results you want.

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THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS

thinking outside of the box to improve your businessGet your business out of a slump and growing fast by thinking outside of the box. Creativity and business go well together, just be sure to mix in some good ole not-so-common, common-sense. Really though, to jump-start and keep your business growing, you need to constantly think of ways to keep your current customers happy and increase your customer base. Let’s go through a few things that’ll help you out.

Happy Customer = Good Business
Perhaps the simplest, most reliable formula in business is that you keep your customer happy and it results in a good business. While often easier said than done, of course one of the first things to do is make sure you are offering good products/services. Secondly and perhaps more important, develop good relationships with your customers. One way to ensure that is by using a review engine.

A review engine like Re-Vu not only helps you easily communicate with your customers, but it also allows your customers to leave ratings and reviews of your products and website. Whether you know it or not, customer ratings and reviews are essential for building your customer trust. So be sure to use good review software to improve your customer relations and website rating.

Keep Your Ear on the Ground
Keep yourself in the loop of what’s trendy and what’s working not just for you but also for your competitors. Read your competitors’ customer service reviews to learn about what their customers like and don’t like to see what you can possibly adapt and what you should avoid doing. One way to do this is to set up a blog for your business. Post entries at least once a week and employ a good blog commenting service to help you communicate with readers. If you’re hesitant to create a blog directly representing your business, you can create a neutral account where you can still get the customer ratings and reviews that you need.

Be Creative
In business, creative thinkers win. Approach every “problem” as an opportunity to think of a better way to get around it. Remember, your business is what you make it. Don’t feel it’s a “burden.” Rather, see it as a challenge. Get creative about what you are selling. For example, to help build customer loyalty, it’s good to have special events or offers for them every couple months. More importantly, always deliver consistent value to your customers and don’t hesitate to ask for customer service reviews. Part of being creative is learning how to make your business better each time you get negative customer ratings and reviews. In this way, always keep an open mind and keep your ideas flowing on how to constantly improve your business performance, your customer base, and of course, the value of your business.

Let us know if you find this article helpful, and please do share it with your friends!

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The Psychology of Colors and the Art of Getting Consumer Reviews

The Psychology of Colors and the Art of Getting Consumer ReviewsThe psychology of colors and the art of getting consumer reviews are probably not two things you hear talked about that often— and especially not together. A common characteristic they share however is that they are both helpful for improving online sales.

Psychology of colors
Most of us go about our lives without ever noticing colors. In fact, most of us never even thought of the psychology of colors- but the fact is colors have an effect on our feelings, moods, emotions, and are a powerful communication tool. It also plays a big role in memory recall. It is for this reason that the best retailers and business people don’t leave out colors. For example, navy blue helps build trust. On the other hand, the color yellow is attention grabbing and encourages buyers to spend. Combined? Think of most banks or the colors of the most popular online selling websites. Ingenious? Maybe not. Strategic marketing? You bet. Here are a few common colors and a breakdown of what they mean in business:

Color Meaning / Effect in business
Red Attention grabbing, energetic, but can also evoke passionate responses. (which may not always be positive)
Orange Evokes exuberance, fun, and vitality. Lighter shades appeal to upscale markets.
Green Usually used for health products, denotes freshness.
Blue Trustworthy, fiscally responsible, secure.
Purple Creative, royal, sentimental.
Yellow Communicates warmth, positivism, and naturally attracts the eyes, making them good point of purchase displays.
Pink Conveys youthfulness, energy, and excitement.

In another post, we talked about how important it is to have a good landing page. Part of that is having a good color scheme. So what does that have to do with getting customer reviews? A lot. Like we’ve said before, using a commenting system on your website is essential for helping increase traffic to your website. In addition, customer ratings also have the effect of increasing conversions to your website.

Getting Consumer Reviews Part 1
Since customer ratings are so important, there are certain steps you can take to encourage your customers to leave reviews and ratings. First of all, remember that most of the time, people don’t want to leave reviews. The people who leave reviews are either those who really like your products and services, or those who really hate it.

Obviously, the first thing is to make sure you are offering the best possible services. Second, use a commenting system on your website. Third, incentive. For example, you can either offer your products free to certain people to get their reviews or give discounts to people for their future purchases. However, you don’t want this to turn sour. If people are writing dishonest reviews and ratings and you are basically just paying people off, that will only just backfire.

That’s it for our part 1. Let us know how you liked this article and please feel free to share it with your friends and family!

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WHY YOU SHOULD USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE

Ratings and ReviewsSocial media has evolved into being one of the most important business tools. The basic rule is, use it or lose. Fair enough. So there are the giants so to speak—Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. But there is a long, long list of other social media websites like Stumble Upon, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. What the regular tend to overlook however, is the important role of plugins and applications in social media marketing.

How it works
According to a 2012 report by Forbes, 94% of all businesses with a marketing department have social media integrated into their marketing plans. 58% of that 94% say that in the past 3 years that they’ve used social media marketing, they have seen a steady growth in their sales. Fair enough. So why is social media so important, and why is it so effective? The answer lies in exploring how social media works.

The keyword in social media is social. We humans are social beings. We enjoy socializing. In fact, we rely on it in many ways. For example, before we buy things— be it online or offline, we rely on hearing or reading customer ratings and reviews. Social media thrives on exactly that- a customer review. Basically everything we can see on social media points back to ratings and reviews:

“Hey Janet, I just went to see _____ movie last night! It was great!”
“I just bought a new phone. I give it 3 stars.”
“Has anyone tried buying this flashlight before?”

And so with social media, there is constantly a new customer review with everyone posting new ratings and reviews of different products, places, things, food, etcetera. So in this way, social media helps build your website’s trust, increases sharing opportunities, and helps you grow your business. Let’s look at that in more detail.

Building trust
One of the #1 ways to build trust is by using a good review software. Why? Because ratings and reviews are so important for building user trust— this is something that’s imprinted in human nature. From time immemorial, humans have relied on what other people say to help them come to know and trust something or someone. In today’s modern world, it’s no different. That’s why using a review software to help increase your website or product’s ratings and reviews is so important to help you build trust.

Sharing opportunities
Social media gives you the perfect tools to encourage your users to share. Some businesses even hire review sites to increase the number of ratings and reviews they have on their website as well as to share their content. But why do that when you can have it completely natural? So employ a good review software to build up your website and products’ ratings and reviews, and don’t hesitate to ask your visitors to share and post a customer review or two. Remember, everyone likes to give their opinion anyway, so why not capitalize on that?

Grow your business
We talked about it earlier. Don’t underestimate the power of a customer review or ratings and reviews. Of course the challenge to you is to make your website and products to be interesting, and ever-appealing to your customers. At the same time, you should use a good review software along with your social media plan. As the number of your customer reviews grow along with the number of your ratings and reviews, watch your business grow.

Getting it all together
In short, use social media along with a really good review software to help increase your website’s ratings and reviews. There are review plugins like Re-Vu which are not only economical but also full of features that will help you build your business, increase the number of customer reviews, as well as catch the attention of the social media market simultaneously. Have fun growing your online business!
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