In our daily lives, we are asked for reviews nearly every day. After a meal in your local restaurant, after a stay in a hotel or an Airbnb, after going to your barbershop, after an online purchase. Reviews are everywhere, and that's normal.
Normal because if we're asked for reviews, we're also craving for reviews. We are all reading reviews before making a decision, for products buying or for choosing the best place to eat or to have a drink. So if those reviews are such important for us to make the right choice, collecting good reviews has become mandatory for businesses. Reviews are at the heart of their acquisition strategy.
But if reviews are a powerful acquisition weapon, it's often not enough to spot experience improvements you should make, to identify how your users feel about specific parts of your product or to understand what you should be next. And this is where a customer feedback solution will help you.
Collecting reviews is different from collecting feedback. The content is different, the moments to collect them are different and the ways we'll use them are different.
The best moment to ask for a review
The moment you'll choose to ask for a review depends on your product. It will be, obviously, different if you are a restaurant or a SaaS platform. But every time, identifying the right moment in your customer's journey is an important part of your review collection strategy.
Review management specialists recommend to use "strategic moments", such as a second order, after they referred you to a friend, etc. Look for signals showing that they are happy and loyal customers, to maximise the leverages of reviews.
How to leverage reviews
If you collect reviews, it will help you to build social proof. Reviews are a way to show that other people are enjoying your experience. It will convince people to choose your product if they also want to live this experience. This will create trust between your company and your future customers. That's also why using fake reviews is one of the worst strategy: from the beginning, you're breaking this trust and it will be nearly impossible to regain it in the future.
Social proof and trust are two of the most efficient levers to acquire new customers and so that's why reviews are such an efficient tool in acquisition strategies.
But if reviews are a powerful weapon for acquisition, feedback is the most effective tool to improve your experience and so your retention. Feedback are not meant to be made public, they are for your team to understand how your customers feel about specific parts of your product or service. They are levers to become better. When they leave a review, people rarely talk about specifics. They share their overall impression. And if overall impressions can be great to persuade people to become customers, they're not precise enough for you to improve. So, in addition to reviews, you need to collect feedback.
The best moment to ask for a customer feedback
The best way to collect feedback is to do it right away after the interaction you want to measure. For example, your user just used the export feature of your product you want to improve: this is the best moment to ask them how they feel about it and what they would like to see improved. Why? Because they still remember why they used it, how it went and what they wanted to be improved. If you send an email 3 hours or, worst, 2 days after the action, those feelings and thoughts will be gone.
So being able to collect feedback in context, right when you need it, is a key to succeed. Use precise user targeting capacities to display in-app survey at the right moment, in the right context.
It's also the best way to be able to compare responses before and after you make some changes. Let's say you improve your export feature thanks to the feedback you've collected: if you ask again the question about how they feel about the feature after you improved it, the responses you'll get will be focused on this topic and so you'll be able to see the true impact of your iterations. If you only rely on reviews, you won't know if your work was efficient.
How to leverage customer feedback
Obviously, collecting feedback is not enough. You have to act on them to see their impact and to encourage people to continue giving feedback. If people respond but never see any of their suggestion being followed, they'll stop sharing them.
In your analysis, separate the people who had a good experience from those who had a bad one. When their experience was good, look why. Search for what they valued the most in this experience and double down on that. This is what people love about your product and why you should invest on.
When their experience was bad, understand why. Did they encounter a bug? Is there a feature missing? Do they understand how to use your product? Could the UI be improved? Those responses will be direct and actionable insights for what you should do to delight your users.
And if they're delighted, then they'll be more keen to share their good review with the world and you'll create a virtuous circle.
The true opportunity of using reviews AND customer feedback
Collecting feedback to improve the experience and the product before asking for a public review is a real opportunity. Because if you spot areas of improvement, and if you iterate to make your product better, the reviews people will share will also be better. Ans so your acquisition strategy will be even more efficient.