Customer reviews are a valuable source of truth to any company, providing revealing insights into what is and isn’t working. Acting on the feedback shows customers their opinions are respected and valued, which helps to build stronger relationships. Collecting customer reviews gives companies data to improve their products and services, and ultimately deliver a better experience.

Other customers take notice, too. Our research from October 2022 found 84% of consumers trust reviews from other customers, so showcasing as many good reviews as possible is a great PR tool. Today, the great news is that quality customer feedback can be accessed from a wide range of sources. Here’s how companies can collect customer reviews via some of the key channels at their disposal.

Website

The website is a company’s ‘shop window’. Customers won’t have landed here by accident, and will be looking to gain value from their visit. If the website has fulfilled their needs and expectations, they’ll likely want to tell others about it. So companies need to make it easy as possible for customers to leave reviews. Optimising the site with strong copy and clear call to actions is a great start.

But companies can go even further. To demonstrate that they really value the importance of reviews, why not display them on the website? Showing honest reviews is an ideal way to reassure potential customers. It signals trustworthiness, and helps convince users their needs are being listened to. For example, Smart Money People offer interactive widgets where customers can see past reviews and click through to the company’s review page (where they may leave a review, too)! So the widgets are also a clever way to increase feedback.

Email

Email is an invaluable tool for collecting customer reviews. If companies are already in dialogue with their customers via email, they should take the opportunity to directly ask them for feedback – particularly if they’ve been able to meet the customer’s needs. At this point of contact, the experience will be front of mind for the customer, so they should be more willing to leave a review. The phrase ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ comes to mind!

A simple, but powerful way to make email go even further is via email signatures. These have the ability to house an eye-catching call to action requesting feedback, linking directly to the review site. At Smart Money People, we can provide these to companies we work with.

Social Media

Social Media plays a huge part in shaping perceptions of companies. Many customers leave feedback directly via the platforms, and often expect business to respond (particularly if they’re posting about a negative experience that they want resolved). Given social media is so public, it’s vital that companies keep tabs on this. Leaving negative reviews unaddressed can be very damaging.

However, the flip side is that social media provides a great opportunity for customers to share their positive experiences. Where customers are already engaged enough to leave some nice words in a comment via social media, they’ll likely be more than happy to provide a full review. So companies should take advantage and not be afraid to ask! And to maximise social media feedback opportunities more generally, companies could also schedule a regular, simple post inviting their customers to leave reviews – highlighting the benefits and importance of doing so.

Paper form

Website, email and social media are all great ways to collect customer reviews. But it’s important to remember that not everyone is tech savvy, so companies should also offer more traditional methods to fully maximise feedback opportunities.

When communicating with a customer via direct mail, companies could include a form for them to complete and send back (a pre-paid envelope may increase response rate). Or branches could provide forms for customers to complete in store when they’ve completed a transaction – a polite and friendly ask from the cashier should do the trick! At Smart Money People, we recognise that some people are unable or would prefer not to leave reviews online. So we can provide companies with branch feedback forms to help meet the needs of these customers.

Summary

There are a number of techniques companies can adopt to maximise the amount and quality of customer reviews they collect. 

Reviews