For an online store, the ratings and reviews customers leave across the web can sometimes make or break the business. That’s why so many sites utilize third-party companies to handle post-order surveys. Unfortunately, the functionality of services themselves can wreak havoc, so it pays to research before making a final selection.
Until this much-needed factor of post-sales data collection becomes more competitive – from additional, trusted companies – options are limited. From a shopability standpoint, though, not all are created equal.
Here’s what to consider when enlisting third-party services for post-order collections.
1. Is the request for submitting reviews and ratings non-obtrusive?
Some services force a pop-up upon load of the invoice/receipt page. Most browsers today are pre-configured to block these actions, requiring the user to allow access. These types of pop-ups, however, also frustrate users of all levels (newbies and seasoned online shoppers), and thus, are a no-no.
Lightboxes are different than pop-ups, and most survey solutions now use this method.
2. Can you control when requests are sent?
Depending on what you sell and who ships your orders, you may want to ask customers to review their experience from 7-28 days after placing the order. Even if you ship orders the same day, you want to make sure the customer has had time to not only open the package, but actually use the product. Send a request too early, and you may experience lower ratings with reviews that simply state they haven’t yet received the package.
3. Is the process easy?
If the survey requires an order number and order date, this information should be auto-filled. The customer shouldn’t be bothered with having to look up information, but rather answer a handful of questions and write a brief review.
4. Does the service require a login?
I recently argued with one service site which requires reviewers create a login in order to “maintain” their review account and so they can participate in forums. Unfortunately, this requirement interrupts the process of telling merchants what they need to know. A client recently experienced more than 100 requests being sent, with only one review actually being submitted. Another customer attempted a review, but grew so frustrated he spent quite a bit of time drafting a letter to both the service and the store owner. He loved the store and had a great shopping experience, but recommended the company get a new service. They did!
Once you’ve begun collecting data from shoppers you need to analyze it regularly. While most customers won’t spend time writing lengthy messages, the few who do will tell you important things. Take everything into consideration when planning store and checkout changes designed to better the shopping experience.