Ninety-two percent of consumers are reading online product reviews to help make purchase decisions. It’s therefore imperative that businesses not only seek reviews but also do everything they can to make sure they’re favorable. A reviewer’s guide is one of the best approaches to ensuring the tester has a great experience. Providing basic “getting started” instructions, answering common questions and pointing out compelling features can be the difference between a 3- and 5-star product review.

So, whether you offer hardware, software or a service, make sure you consider these tips when drafting your guide:

  • Experienced author – lean on a product team member to create the guide so the set up and execution is flawless.
  • Multiple images – pictures say a 1,000 words, so use graphics or screenshots to explain important details. Circle, star or otherwise point to icons, tabs or menus you want to be sure the reviewer sees.
  • Call out examples/use cases – provide examples of how a real-world customer would use it. These uses cases will aid in understanding the value of your product and just might make their way into the actual review.
  • Highlight the best features – a new user might not look at everything or complete every step, so call out several features they must experience.
  • Test – Have someone less familiar with the product follow the guide from beginning to end. You may get recommendations on how to make the instructions clearer.
  • Contact information – always provide name, phone and email of a technical contact in case the reviewer has issues or questions. Sometimes this requires evening or weekend contact.

Just because the reviewer will be in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean you have to give up control; give them a map that will help them see your product’s greatest attractions.