Tips for Retailers, P1 – Encouraging and Gathering Customer Referrals

Word of mouth – especially customer reviews – are one of the strongest tools an ecommerce entrepreneur has at their disposal. It is easy to let frustration set in after your customers are happily consuming your product and not sharing rave review, here are a few steps to encourage your customers to submit reviews.

Knowing Where to Start

It’s important to not take the blanket approach. It’s in your best interest to identify your most loyal users and the users who consistently have great experiences with your organization – you can expect to see a lot of overlap in these segments. Once you identify these cohorts, you’ve identified the customers most likely to write a review.

Signifiers of a loyal user: Have they bought more than one product or even multiples from you? Another key metric to consider is order value. Filter out the users who consistently spend larger average cart values in your store. These are like loyal and happy customers who have a high likelihood of sharing some rave reviews. Sandbox Commerce’s Engage dashboard give shop owners incredibly insights into who their loyal users are for mobile app usage.

Asking for customer reviews

We now have a persona in mind and know exactly which users are likely to write a review for us. Now it’s time to start asking. It’s essential to leverage the power of email to create a scalable and personal point of contact between your users. 

It’s important to make these feel like intimate and personal – here are a few tips:

  • Address them by their first name
  • Use plain text – avoid images or any flash – it should feel like a letter of direct correspondence
  • Reference products they have purchased from your shop
  • Give a reminder of how much you appreciate their business

Make sure you mix it up and experiment which formats yield the best results. Once you’ve found a template with a good open rate and acceptable response rate, automate and send it to the masses.

After you’ve done some testing to deduce which templates work best for certain types of purchases, putting automatic triggers in place is the next step — an easy best practice is to set a trigger for any customers that are placing a second order with your shop.

Automating personalized emails that encourage referrals and guarantee customer satisfaction is essential to scale your online business. Remember, word of mouth and customer reviews is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have.

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