Ratings and Reviews are the most influential tool in your online toolbox. There is nothing that gives a visitor confidence in purchasing at your online store, or hiring your service than a line up of solid reviews.
For years now, it has been my practice to encourage my clients to ask for reviews on Google +, Yelp, Facebook, etc. A lot of times this request is met with lackluster responses. I certainly understand. I too am not in a habit to request recommendations from my clients – I feel as if I am imposing on their time and kindness.
Needless to say, I tell my clients that asking for reviews provides their clients the opportunity to thank them for all their hard work and service. (I am going to have to listen to my own advice more often!)
Social Proof Science & Purpose
The Entrepreneur Magazine states: Online Reviews Are the New Social Proof and quote from the Wall Street Journal on research that show humans buying patterns are influenced by the group. The New York Times takes a more jaded approach in this article: People are Complete Suckers for Online Reviews. I believe the study displays the simple truth that if many people think something is great, there is a good chance that they will too. This reminds me of the ‘What are you looking at?’ game we would play in crowds … we would see how many people we could influence to follow our gaze at an object in the sky. Based on this fun article by Andrew Gallup from Princeton University he must have played the same game as a kid. But I regress.
How can You Apply Social Proof to Your WordPress Site/Store
Well, for those of you who have online stores, or who sell products/services online – I have found a great solution to the rating and review conundrum. There is a company that now integrates with your WordPress system that will automatically send out the review request in a light and happy way. It is simplified to give the least inconvenience to your customer, while allowing them to ‘thank you’ for your outstanding products and services. WhiteSpark is a Canadian company, but don’t hold that against them. They have mastered that balancing line between rating requests and solid marketing techniques. Give them a try.