How to Collect Customer Feedback and Use It to Build Trust

14 min read

98% of customers consider product reviews when making purchase decisions. But no surprise there! You probably also check reviews when shopping on a marketplace or browsing a store’s page on social media.

Generally speaking, customers don’t trust businesses with negative reviews, or worse…no reviews at all. That’s why collecting reviews and working with feedback should be on your ongoing to-do list as a small business owner.

Read on to learn how to collect feedback in ways that are convenient for both you and your customers. And take note of our breakdown on using reviews to strengthen your relationships with customers—even negative ones!

Five Ways to Collect Customer Feedback

Each month 47% of internet users around the world post reviews about businesses. Customers are generally willing to share their opinion on a product or service to help others make an informed decision based on what worked and what didn’t for them.

Displaying customer reviews on your website builds trust with potential shoppers

To harness the power of customer reviews, all you have to do is make it as easy as possible for them to let you know how they feel.

Customers are more likely to write a review if the process is straightforward and only takes a couple of minutes. Filling out 15 different forms, or answering surveys with 50 questions? Hard pass.

Shoot for allowing a customer to leave a review in a way that takes no more than two minutes. But how do you ask a buyer to leave their feedback? Well, you’re in luck, because there are a ton of different tools at your disposal to help you go from 0 to 60 reviews in no time. These tools range in access, operating through social media, emails, SMS, and messenger applications.

Send an Email a Couple of Days After the Order Is Delivered

You can ask a customer to leave a review in an order confirmation email. However, they obviously can’t leave meaningful feedback before they actually receive their order. So often, they end up putting it off and eventually forget you even asked them to write a review.

That’s why it’s better to send a feedback request later, when you can be sure that a customer has already received their order.

If you run an Ecwid store, you can set up automated emails for collecting customer feedback. They display the product a customer bought with a button to leave a review. When the customer clicks “Leave Feedback,” a new email window will open with the prefilled store email. All your customers have to do is type a quick review and hit send.

A feedback request email you can send out automatically

By default, this automated email is sent four weeks after the order status is changed to “Shipped.” If your shipping generally takes more or less time, you can update your send time accordingly (remember to update order statuses promptly as well).

Pro tip: If you add a discount coupon for the next purchase, customers will be more willing to write a review.

Send a Thank You SMS with a Review Request

If you have your customers’ phone numbers, you can send them an SMS or text them through a messenger app.

There are various SMS marketing services available for businesses, but it’s easiest (and free) to reach out to customers via popular messenger services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Telegram.

Keep your message short, but be sure to include your store or brand name and a link to the page for collecting feedback. Don’t forget to thank customers for taking the time to leave their review!

If you run an Ecwid store, you can send SMS notifications using apps from the Ecwid App Market, for example, SMS Notifications via Twilio.

Add a QR code to Each Order

Customers can quickly scan a QR-code with their smartphone and leave a review. Put a QR code on a business card or a thank-you note you add to orders. Or, print a QR code on a sticker and put it on the order’s wrapping.

If you sell digital products, you can add QR codes to them too. For example, you can insert it at the end of a recipe or a tutorial video.

Make sure to include a short note to a QR code, for instance, “Scan a QR code to let us know if you liked the product.” Tell your customers about using QR codes for leaving their feedback on product pages and your business’ social media profiles.

There are various QR code generators you can use for free, for example, QR Code Generator, ForQRCode, or QR Code Monkey.

Call Your Customers

This way of collecting customer feedback is quite interfering, but it’s also effective. However, if your first call didn’t bring any results, it’s better to send a message instead of calling again.

When talking to your customers, ask them what they like about your product and customer service. They can provide feedback on improving your store and let you know about difficulties with placing an order.

Add a Customer Review Section to Your Website

As we mentioned in the introduction, most customers read reviews before making a purchase. Make sure it’s as easy to find reviews on your website as it is to leave them.

Kissed By a Bee adds a customer review section to each product page in their online store

You can collect and display reviews in your Ecwid store using the following apps:

  • HelpfulCrowd automatically collects verified product reviews, including photo and video ones. The app also allows visitors to ask questions about items on product pages.
  • With Trustami you can collect and manage ratings and reviews from more than 20 platforms, including eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Amazon, Trusted Shops, and Google Shopping.
  • Stamped.io helps you collect reviews via email, Facebook Messenger, and SMS. You can display reviews on your homepage or product pages.
  • With TargetBay, you can get product and photo reviews and build forums and QA sections to better connect with customers. You can also add TargetBay trust badges to your site.

Learn more about ways to collect customer reviews in your Ecwid store in the Help Center.

Customers often leave feedback on special review websites like TrustPilot, Yelp, or Consumer Reports. So it’s a good idea to browse these platforms and copy reviews to your website, or take screenshots of a particularly detailed or positive review to post on your website. It’s also a good idea to include a link to the review source, so interested people can independently verify these reviews as genuine.

Should You Reward Customers for Reviews?

Some may argue that rewarding customers for taking the time to review your product is a good tactic. Rewarding customers for leaving their feedback is definitely beneficial in the following cases:

  • When you just launched your store, and there are just a couple of reviews
  • When you have loyal customers who forget to leave reviews.

We recommend giving out rewards in the form of a points program or discount coupon towards their next purchase to encourage loyalty.

In Ecwid, you can add a discount to your Feedback Request automated emails

On the other hand: never post fake reviews! It’s obvious to many informed consumers when a review is not genuine, and stock pictures are easy to identify with a quick Google search. Once trust is broken between you and a customer who has found out about your fake review, it is not easily mended.

Pro tip: If you offer a discount for a review, make it clear that you’re looking for honest reviews, not just positive feedback, and that they will receive the discount no matter what they say.

How to Deal with Negative Feedback

With 82% of shoppers specifically seeking out negative reviews when thinking of making a purchase, you definitely need a system for handling negative feedback well. A good set of guidelines here can actually work in your favor: 45% of shoppers are more likely to visit a business if it responds to a negative review and makes things right.

Deleting negative feedback seems like an easy way out, but it may look suspicious if your store has only 5-star reviews with no complaints or negative feedback at all.

If you receive a negative comment, there are some steps you can take to make amends: first you need to figure out whether it’s an internet troll, a real problem, or a misunderstanding.

How to Deal with Trolling

Trolls intentionally try to provoke conflict or arguments in an online community. They intend to make other users display emotional responses, so they often post insulting comments. In this case, there is no use starting an argument, or really engaging with them at all.

What you can do is ask clarifying questions to figure out whether it’s a troll or a customer who really needs help. For example: “Did we get it right…?”, “Could you elaborate on…?”, “What exactly did you have difficulties with?” Follow-up questions will help to figure out who you’re talking to and how to solve their problem.

If there is no real problem and you’re dealing with a troll, adopt a strict tone and warn them that you block users that are openly insulting without genuine cause. Then delete their messages and block them in order to shut out the negativity.

How to Deal with Negative Reviews

Patience, respect, and being willing to help are the main principles of dealing with negative feedback.

Sometimes people can’t explain exactly what the problem with your product or service is. That’s why start with clarifying questions and answer customers’ questions only after you understand their issue.

For example: say a shopper bought a smartphone in your store. They reach out to you saying that there is a virus on the phone. After you ask a couple of questions, it turns out it was actually a series of Wi-Fi notifications that were bothering the customer.

You should never ignore a customer’s problem, even if you see they are misunderstanding how your product or service works. Show that you’re willing to help them. Put in the time and effort to genuinely try to help them fix whatever is happening, even if it turns out that it’s not your fault.

Don’t:
“You didn’t get it right and pushed the wrong button.”

Do:
“I know this situation can get frustrating or upsetting. Let’s try pushing this button and see if it helps.”

A customer might have a problem with services you use, for example, shipping providers. In this case, solve the problem together and keep your customer updated on their case. For example, “We’ve reached out to the delivery service, here’s what they told us,” “Yes, the order was shipped to the wrong address,” “We’re going to take care of this and get back to you soon.”

Make sure customers don’t doubt your competence and put trust in your ability to make things right, and even dissatisfied shoppers can be turned into loyal customers.

Learn more: How to Handle Negative Feedback: A Practical Guide

Work with Feedback Regularly

It’s not enough to just collect reviews, it’s vital to analyze them and work with them. Each review is an opportunity to make your online store better and more attractive to customers. Don’t pass up this opportunity! After all, by leaving a review, the customer has already taken the time to help you along the way.

Have a review for us on this article? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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