December 16, 2014

Marketing Research Chart: When to ask for customer reviews

SUMMARY: Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute (parent company of MarketingSherpa), said it best: "Let someone else do your bragging."

Customers are rightly skeptical of your marketing, but they are much more receptive to transparently hearing the pros and cons of your product from their peers. According to MarketingSherpa data, customer reviews may be an overlooked opportunity for many marketers.

This week, we look at data from 1,035 U.S. and UK businesses to discover when in the customer lifecycle they collect third-party reviews.
by Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content

In a business survey commissioned by Trustpilot, people were asked:

Q. If you collect reviews, at which stages during the customer lifecycle do you collect them?

View Chart Online

Click here to see a printable version of this chart

When retailers should ask for reviews from customers

Most companies (58%) ask for feedback within one week of purchase. "Generally speaking, if you’re selling physical goods — whether in-store or online — you should aim to request feedback within a week of purchase," said Nico Lutkins, Global Director of Enterprise Marketing and Customer Advocacy, Trustpilot.

"The one note of caution for e-tailers is to make absolutely sure that the item has arrived (ideally supported via a delivery tracking code) before requesting feedback. Otherwise, you’re likely to cause confusion and frustration," Lutkins added.

When service companies should ask for reviews

However, 20% of companies asked for feedback right after purchase, with 18% asking after each customer interaction. This may have to do with a different sales cycle than the majority of respondents.

"If you sell more complex products or services, like insurance or telecommunications, it still makes sense to request feedback shortly after the transaction has been completed, but we recommend requesting feedback at additional points during the customer lifecycle to measure multiple dimensions of the customer’s overall experience," Lutkins advised.

"For example, this can take place after the customer interacts with your customer service team to process a claim or after a technical support issue has been resolved. These interactions influence the customer’s decision to purchase from you again and recommend your business to others."

Always be listening to customers

"While you may have specific preferences on how and when you gather feedback from your customers, you cannot dictate when and how they share it," Lutkins said.

"For this reason, you should also closely monitor and be responsive across other channels consumers may use, such as social media and call centers. Be sure to document and incorporate this feedback with the reviews you proactively collect in order to form as holistic and accurate a view of the customer experience as possible."

If you want more ideas about how to gather and use customers reviews, take a look at the Related Resources section of this article for supporting MarketingSherpa case studies and articles.



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