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For Customer Experience Professionals

The Design Guide For Online Customer Reviews

Six Principles For Maximizing The Value Of Customer Reviews

January 18, 2008

Primary author headshot


  • By Megan Burns
  • with Bruce D. Temkin,
  • Steven Geller

Why Read This Report

Online customer reviews are a trusted source of product information for consumers — and therefore a potentially valuable sales asset. But many sites do not implement these tools effectively. To get the most from online reviews, Forrester recommends that firms follow six principles: 1) Help customers write great reviews; 2) encourage them to describe themselves to other shoppers; 3) integrate reviews throughout the research process; 4) design product pages to highlight review content; 5) let customers control which reviews they see; and 6) use reviews to showcase great customer service. We expect online customer reviews to get more sophisticated in the coming years, giving rise to new features like social navigation, review syndication, personalized reviews, and review-based quality metrics.

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Table of Contents

  • Customer Reviews Help Shoppers And The Companies They Buy From
  • The Anatomy of An Online Customer Review
  • The Six Principles For Designing Great Online Reviews

  • Customer Reviews Will Get More Sophisticated
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents