Personal recommendations have long been a top reason people decide to purchase products. This is as true today as it was 50 years ago. But the venue has changed in a big way.

Today, honest opinions from real people can be found with a few clicks of a mouse, in the form of product reviews. But just how much do these reviews matter? You may be surprised.

Consider these stats: 70% of global consumers trust online reviews, 57% of online shoppers specifically seek out websites with product reviews, and a whopping 90% report that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.

Okay, that’s great to know. But if you aren’t receiving as many reviews as you’d like, what can you do about it?

A lot, actually!  Here are some powerful strategies to encourage consumers to leave more reviews on your products.

Send follow up emails to all buyers.

A day or two after your products have shipped to customers, send a follow-up email requesting that they leave a review.

The speed of your delivery and the initial impressions of the product will still be fresh in your customer’s mind. It’s a prime time for them to write a genuine review of your services.

Thank customers for their reviews.

If you are able to, send a message to buyers who choose to leave a review. Thank them for taking the time to contribute their feedback.

Showing gratitude that they took the time to write a review – even if the review itself isn’t 100% positive – will encourage them. To continue using your site. To continue buying your products. To review future products.

Fix problems.

If a customer reports an issue in a review, do what you can to fix it. Reply to the review in a public way when possible. For example, if a part is broken, state that you will send a replacement promptly – and then do so.

Also, be aware that other customers may have the same issue, even if you haven’t heard about it. According to Lee Resources, for every one customer who complains, 26 others remain silent about the same problem. So look for a long-term fix if there is one.

After you’ve handled the problem, politely request that your customer remove or update their review. This back-and-forth will show all of your customers that you actually read the reviews and that you are a responsive company, which will encourage more people to post reviews.

Pay attention to reviews on social media.

According to Touch Agency, over a million people view tweets about customer service every week. An estimated 80% of those tweets are negative. You can combat this problem in two ways.

First, encourage people who have left a positive review on your site to share it on their social media accounts. That way you will have more positive comments to outweigh those negative ones. And second, address those negative tweets publicly when possible. Again, it shows that you are responsive to customer issues.

You can also leverage those social media reviews to increase the number of product reviews on your website and marketplaces. When a Facebook or Twitter follower sends you a comment or review on social media, respond by thanking them for their comment and directing them to your product review page.

Share reviews in marketing material.

Everyone enjoys seeing their name and effort recognized by their favorite companies. If your marketplace or store uses newsletters or social media, highlight customer reviews.

Sharing customer feedback will show other users that you are listening to them and making an effort to improve the quality of your products. Recognition of customer reviews also gives customers an incentive to leave their own review, since it’s possible they’ll see their name and review on your company’s Facebook or newsletter one day.

Hold a contest for review writers.

Are reviews coming in slower than usual? Give customers a boost by offering an incentive for reviewing the products they have purchased.

This could mean entering them into a raffle for a gift card, a discount code for a future purchase, or another prize that would appeal to your customer base.

Offer a chance to review your product when it’s delivered.

You’ve packed the product, instructions, receipt… you’re almost ready to seal the package. But before you do: add a form for customers to fill out and write a review of the product.

Make sure to include appropriate postage, so customers can pop the review back in the mail to you with no hassle.

Continue to follow up.

Some customers like to take extra time to test a product’s durability and stamina. They want to know that a product holds up to ensure it’s a good investment and a good buy.

If a customer has not left a review of a product after a month, 6 months, or a year, don’t be afraid to follow up with them. They will have a more thorough and experienced review to share with other shoppers.

Product reviews benefit both you and your customer base, improving your relationship and increasing profits in the long run. Using the appropriate methods of communication with your customer base will create an interactive, honest community for your business.