There’s no denying that getting reviews for your DTC product is the most important thing.
Who doesn’t check reviews before buying products?
This is why I asked Nik Sharma. He’s the founder of Sharma Brands which invests in, advises and operates many of the top DTC brands in the United States. And I also asked some Indian DTC founders for their insights on getting reviews.
All that and more went into the making of this all-you-need-to-know guide to getting stellar reviews for your DTC products.
#1 Make people want to give you reviews.
The reviews you don’t ask for, are the reviews you’ll never get. So the first step is to ask your customers for a review. Because unless your product is extremely good (or bad), they won’t bother leaving a review, without being asked.
Make it personal. Nik Sharma had this advice for when you’re asking for reviews: “Make the note personal when you reach out to the customer (don't use templated emails).”
But how exactly?
- Send in a cute note/sticker with your product, encouraging them to drop a review. Bewakoof.com, an Indian fashion brand, always sends small cute designed stickers with their products.
- Write a personal note to them. Mention their name. What they bought. Thank them. Or, write something that brings a smile to their face.
Here’s an example of CD Baby’s order confirmation email:
“Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Tuesday, June 18th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!”
(Source: Seth Godin's blog post)
Asking isn’t enough. Because people don’t do everything they’re asked to. So, build goodwill. If you genuinely try to help your customers and make their life easier, they’ll be more than willing to drop you a 5-star review and recommend you among their friends. Make them feel that buying from you is not just a transaction, it’s a relation.
For example, when someone buys something from you, email/WhatsApp them a thank-you note along with something that shows that you care about them. Like a guide to how to set your product up, or 5 ways to maximise your product’s benefits or professional live/recorded demos of your product.
They will forget. Remind them. After you’ve brought a smile to their face and generated enough goodwill, ask them for a review for the last (or second last) time.
We asked Arita Abrol, the founder of Siachen.in to help us with this. Siachen sells natural hair care, skincare and wellness products. She gave us a helpful piece of advice:
“what works best for us is to engage with our customers via WhatsApp and solicit their reviews.”
“We have a multi-prong review mechanism in place which includes:
1. Automated product review request on email after order is delivered
2. Facebook and Google review request link sent on email after delivery
3. Whatsapp message sent for soliciting website review, Facebook review and/or google review
In our experience, customers are MOST responsive on WhatsApp.
They are very open, and it allows us to have 2-way communication with them in real-time.
Nearly 95% of the reviews we get are first received on chat. Subsequently, we request them to further rate us on social media and on the product page on our website.”
What not to do when asking for reviews?
- Don’t demand. Don’t say “give us a 5-star review,” say “Did you like [the product]? Share your review and help thousands of people who’re looking for it”
- Don’t irritate. You can send one email or WhatsApp message or text. Or maybe two. But no more. Annoying them will decrease your goodwill. They might stop buying from you the next time or leave a bad review.
#2 Make Reviewing a Piece of Cake
Make it easy for people to leave a review or a rating. The easier it is, the more likely they’ll do it.
One-Click Ratings. Ratings shouldn’t take more than a click. You can add rating links to your email or WhatsApp message. Somewhat like this:
You can link each option to a prefilled Google form (check the link in the above example).
Review prompts. Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with a review. It’s especially true for positive reviews. Your customers may not be able to put their thoughts into words. Here’s where prompts will help them. It reminds them of what they wanted to say. Here are some examples you can use:
“[The product] tastes like…”
“It feels so…”
“The customer service is…”
Mention how easy and quick it is to drop a rating or a review. Because people are busy. When asking for reviews, write something like: “It takes only 20 seconds!”
#3 Reward for the Reviewers.
The second piece of advice Nik Sharma gave us was all about rewarding your reviewers. Here are his words:
“make it worth their while... answer WHY they should even do that? Will they get extra rewards points? Will they get 10% off their next order? Will they get a free gift with their next purchase?“
Rewards work when you don’t have goodwill with the customer. They make for great incentives for people to drop a review, and even better, a positive review.
But what you reward is just as important. If you reward them with something like a 10 or 20% off coupon for their next purchase, they will be more likely to buy from you again. But if that's not financially feasible, go for a giveaway. Tell customers that if they write a review (which takes only 20 seconds) they can enter into your private exclusive giveaway of [something they want].
Respond to reviews. People love getting attention. So go reply to their reviews. All reviews: Good or Bad. (But especially bad ones). Thank them or tell them their feedback was heard. Make them feel they did a good thing by reviewing. You can also send them a personal note, thanking and learning more about their feedback. This restores some of the goodwill and makes the odds of them giving you a review better.
Well, that’s all. Go, apply this and rethink how you ask for reviews.