9 essential features your review management platform needs to have
How do I choose the best review management software for me? After working for many years in this industry, we have identified some critical features.
The challenge is that there are many ways to solve this and it can be difficult to choose the right solution. You mainly have three options:
- Develop your own solution.
- Use the embedded solution with your platform provider.
- Use a dedicated solution designed solely to collect user reviews.
There are pros and cons to all three options, but we can discuss that later. The goal of this article is only to give you an overview of what you should think about before choosing a solution for user reviews.
1. How good is the solution for collecting user reviews?
You could send out 10,000 emails and texts to past customers, but if none of them open the messages or click the links, you’ll be back to square one very quickly. For us at Lipscore, we therefore have a strong focus on a high response rate.
First and foremost, you need to look at the average response rates each review management platform gets, so you know how many reviews you can expect to generate. What os the average response rate on ratings (usually 1-5 stars) and reviews (free text)? Our experience is that there is an extremely big difference in the solutions out there.
2) Review Moderation Module
A scathing review comes in from a deeply unhappy buyer. Potential customers are going to see it and think twice about buying your product/service. What do you do? Review moderation.
That’s what you do. Any review platform worth your attention will equip you in the following tools:
Immediate unhappy customer notifications: So that you never overlook a dissatisfied customer and can take immediate steps to make amends and win the customer back, with as little damage for your brand reputation as possible.
Automatic or manual follow up prodecure: Initiating a private dialogue with your customer off-site to get to the bottom of your their bad experience and find a way to make it right is crucial in your customer win-back efforts.
Possibility to reply to reviews in public Your private dialogue with the customer is of the highest value, but replying in public with an apology and showing your willingness to fix the problem gives your prospect buyers a sense of safety and trust, knowing they can count on you if something goes sideways.
Simple review-upate request: When your customer is happy again and would like to change their feedback, you should be able to offer them an effortless way to do so.
Reviews moderation is not meant for negative reviews only. Enthusiastic, elaborate reviews rich in detail and value for other customers deserve your appreciation, while the ones containing questions are often a chance to help your customer post-purchase or even upsell.
3) Protection against “fake reviews”
It’s a sad fact of the eCommerce industry – fake reviews are everywhere.
Both positive and negative fake reviews have a detrimental effect on your business – positive fake reviews misinform your customers, encourage them to buy mismatched products and above all, ruin their trust when the truth comes out. Negative fake reviews scar your reputation and scare your shoppers off, pushing them into the arms of your competitors.
You need a system to protect your brand’s authenticity, and any decent review management platform should do that.
There are at least three ways to ensure reviews authenticity.
Reviews by invitation only: Email or SMS feedback requests are sent exclusively to buyers at a set time after they’ve made a purchase. Reviews left via invitation should be marked with a Verified Buyer badge, guaranteeing their authors purchased the product they’re reviewing.
Reviews published with their author’s full name: Not only do the reviews come from verified buyers but are additionally displayed with their author’s full name. It increases credibility and has a tremendous disciplinary effect, as the reviewers take more responsibility for their words, thus formulating their opinions in a polite manner, even when disappointed with your product or service.
Social log-in required for external reviews: If a webshop opens up for external user’s feedback too, the requirement for social log-in takes the anonymity off the table and makes it harder to leave an offensive review without consequences. Also, an external review obviously should not be marked with a Verified Buyer badge to make a clear distinction between the reviews coming from more and less secure source and bring their lower credibility to shopper’s attention.
4) Hands-free, branded review requests
Your customer has gone to your website and bought from your brand. If you send them a generic review request, it won’t just be ignored, you’ll also break the brand experience you’ve worked hard to deliver and lose that all-important credibility.
Any decent review platform will offer both customizing your review invitation and total automation, empowering you to automatically send out beautiful, on-brand review invitations that are likely to drive the best results.
5) Reputation protection
All too often, negative feedback is left on the website without anyone addressing the problem, because you simply do not have a system that notifies when negative user reviews are received.
Your best chance to get a review edited or removed by your customer is when you immediately take steps to wipe away your customer’s tears. Being immediately notified about a negative review is one thing.
Another is what your reviews software allows you to do with it and above all, what you want to do with it.
It’s a complex matter and there should be a number of solutions available to you.
If it’s a negative review you don’t want to follow up on: You should be able to leave a public reply with your apology and suggest the customer a solution: for instance, a link to your returns policy or whom to contact if they need assistance.
If it’s a negative review you definitely want to follow up on and fix what went wrong: You should have a way of hiding the review from your website for a limited number of days, which will give you a chance to reach out to your customer, make amends and ask them to change or remove their feedback. If you fail, the review should be posted back to the website as it is.
If the review is “inappropriate”: Meaning vulgar, politically incorrect, offensive, spam or fake, you should have a fair option of taking it off your site, contacting the customer with a request to change their review so that it meets your guidelines for acceptable reviews, and if they don’t – remove it for good.
6) Simple reporting and data analysis
Most e-retailers like to know how their store is performing, but unfortunately very few review management platforms have good solutions for this.
Unfortunately, this is probably related to the fact that many review management platforms have such a low response rate that it does not make sense to do deep analyzes. Before choosing a platform you should ask potential platforms about their response rate, but also do not forget to get a demonstration of their solutions to make good reports and do analyzes.
The e-commerce of the future will be much more data-driven than it is today. If you want to keep up with the best, you must have full control over your customer data.
7) Quick and easy integration
A review management tool might look good on paper, but if it’s non-compatible with your website, or takes too much time and effort to get set up, it will be more trouble than it’s worth.
So, be sure to check that your chosen tool integrates with your store and how much effort – if any – this will require from your development team. There is a number of ways reviews softwares can be integrated: via native apps and plugins, integration modules developed by your eCommerce platform, API or 3rd party tools. Each method requires different amount of time and effort and, above all, not all reviews platforms are meant for all eCommerce platforms. Make sure to figure out ifprovider you’re considering can guarantee the integration with your eCommerce platform is not only possible but won’t burden your team too much.
8) Onboarding support and customer success program
As with all other types of technology, there are big differences in how much service you can expect from your user review management platform, both before, during and after a customer relationship. Do thorough research.
9. Control of own customer data
With GDPR and stricter protection of customer data, you should check where in the world customer data is stored. Several of the large companies store data outside Europe, which is not entirely unproblematic.
Also be aware of what happens on the day you terminate your agreement with the user review management platform. Not only do some players have long and cunning agreement texts, but they also do not allow you to take with you the user reviews you have collected for a new system. This means that in the event of a change, you will have to start all over again.
Let’s help your business get more ratings and reviews!
Lipscore is the most effective platform for gathering and using ratings and reviews. We help companies become more profitable and access important customer insight, product insight, and purchasing power.
We’d love to see how we can help your business get more ratings and reviews and how you can use this to increase your turnover.
Get in touch with us, and we’ll contact you in the way you prefer — no strings attached.