Avoid These Customer Review Mistakes

Avoid These Customer Review Mistakes

Avoid These Customer Review Mistakes

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Customer reviews can be an effective tool for not only attracting new customers, but also for assessing your performance to determine areas that need improvement. There are many ways to incorporate online customer review systems into your web design.

If done right, this can help prospective customers to trust your business, and promote sales. If implemented poorly, however, reviews may very well spell doom to your business reputation and prosperity. You might do several things with reviews, albeit unconsciously, that will get your potential customer leaving annoyed with your site.

So, you have to be meticulous when it comes to the implementation of customer review systems on your website. You should start with avoiding some common mistakes. In that light, let’s look at some of the mistakes you should avoid in order to have a successful review system.

Avoid Showing Average Scores Too Early

When not configured, review systems normally display average scores as soon as one customer posts their review. A simple review system can generate an average score of two stars from one review of a product. Why is this not healthy for your website or business?

  • The score is yet to normalize from having a few users rate it, so it might reflect poorly on your product or service.
  • It’s an indication that you don’t care enough to do simple logic and curation of your website to help users make a choice.
  • Even when the scores are high for very few reviewers, it’s like reverse social proof and simply shows that users don’t care enough about your website to rate whatever it has to offer.

So, how do you avoid this problem?

You should work out the display logic for your rating components. When incorporating a customer review system into your web design, it’s imperative that you have several things in place:

  • A threshold that defines when reviews should display.
  • A message informing a user that they’ll be the first to review the product when there are not enough reviews yet.

Stop Wasting the Above the Fold Space

Some companies like to place the ratings below the features that load when visitors first get to a site. Why do they do that?

According to some marketers, this is to maximize the chances of getting reviews while keeping the risk of getting bad reviews on the low. Even when they get bad reviews, they will be below the fold. This practice is not healthy for your business.

It negates all the effort that was put into designing a review engine. You can either decide that reviews are not good for you, or that you will get reviews to work and place the components above the fold. This applies to both the "Be the first to review" message when your product does not have enough reviews to display, and the actual scores when the review threshold is met.

Avoid Editing Out Negative Reviews

In any business, negative customer reviews are inevitable. However, do you know what some organizations do to reduce potentially undesirable ratings?

They curate reviews, leaving out the negative ones. Your business may not go far with this kind of practice; avoid it!

It is quite normal to have a couple of poor ratings as customers are used to seeing them. In fact, it makes your ratings more credible. Users may have some doubts when reviews are all positive, so try to be authentic. Get a good sample size for the ratings before displaying and allow the chips to fall where they might.

Never Let Reviews go Unreviewed

User reviews by themselves are great. However, if you have taken the time to allow users to leave actual comments on your product or service, you should go the extra mile and allow them to rate the reviews.

You can add elements such as "Did you find this review helpful?" It is also advisable to set the default of reviews to display the most valuable reviews first.

While prospective customers may toggle to see the most-recent reviews first, showing valuable reviews first is beneficial in several ways:

  • You may have the best understanding of your products or services, but you cannot dictate what elements and benefits customers find most beneficial. If users flock to one particularly good review, you will potentially get a better conversion. You’ll also get to know what resonates with your target audience.
  • Even bad reviews can be beneficial as they can help you make improvements in your products and services in a bid to enhance customer satisfaction and improve sales.

Don’t Allow Out-of-the-Box Reviews to Undermine Customer Experience

In some industries, companies need review systems just for the basic ratings and the actual customer comments. Most of the times, however, those ratings leave a lot to be desired. Luckily, segmentation can transform some review systems from good to excellent.

If you are in the hotel industry, for instance, you should realize that individual business travelers require very different services or products from people going on family vacations. As such, a positive review from a business traveler will matter more to other prospective business travelers.

So, it is advisable to allow segmentation by guest type. This will make it easier for prospective customers to identify the correct fit as you can apply this concept to any industry or business. Simply find out if there are segments that users need to find the ratings that are relevant to them.

Don’t Shy Away From Asking For Reviews

Customers who have already bought your products or service can also help to review your business. However, you need to think through your review system if this is to work well for you. Once you are sure that a customer has received their order, you can get in touch with them directly to solicit for a review.

You can also prod your customers to write reviews by giving them incentives. This approach is largely dependent on your industry, and it may not work for your kind of business.

Final Thoughts

Customer reviews can be very complicated as there numerous ways in which they can become more detrimental than beneficial to a business. Nonetheless, if business owners do their homework well, they can get the best out of it. It is imperative that they incorporate review systems into their web design in the right manner.

If business owners display review components above the fold, avoid editing out unfavorable reviews, and allow users to rate a review. Give users the opportunity to segment as desired while setting a threshold before showing average ratings. Lastly ask consumers to rate products, and they’ll eventually manage to make reviews promote conversions.

About the author:

Justin Soenke is a trend-based serial entrepreneur and thought leader in the areas of cyber-security, web design, SEO, social media, eCommerce and managed IT. Justin has overseen the creation and success of over a dozen companies in the technology, security and media sectors, and is the contributing source for his SB Design Blog, SB Tech Blog and SB SEO Blog among regular contributions to many outside blogs and websites, all for our clients.

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