Why (Good) Reviews Are So Important
The only means by which news and gossip travel faster than by word of mouth is by way of the internet review.
Approximately 85% of buyers hold reviews in the same regard as a recommendation from a friend. (source)
Reviews are holding more weight in customer buying decisions at record rates.
It’s estimated that more than half of adults consult online reviews before buying your product or using a service. (source)
Eight out of every 10 millennials never buy anything without first reading a review. (source)
No matter what industry you are in, you simply can’t ignore the authority that reviews have over customer choices.
Customer review acquisition is one of the top things you should be spending your marketing dollars on.
This does not mean you should pay for reviews, but there are several marketing techniques you can use to get customers to review your business.
Whether it’s a non-monetary incentive or a Facebook campaign for customer feedback, there is plenty you can do to get those reviews rolling in.
Dealing With Negative Reviews
Before delving into the techniques that will get your customers to rave about you, it’s important to dress the elephant in the room: the negative reviews.
Whether it was a disgruntled customer who misunderstood your return policy or a failure in the line of communication in the customer service department, one negative review is enough to make a small-business owner’s palms sweaty.
Luckily, there is a way to turn those scorchers into the perfect opportunity to showcase your excellent customer service and compassion towards customers.
By handling negativity in a positive way, you will boost your overall rating.
How to Get More 5-Star Reviews
It’s safe to assume that most people won’t make the time to write your business a review, positive or negative, on their own.
However, you’d be surprised at how many people happily give their feedback when asked at the right time and in the proper context.
By implementing the following techniques, you will soon see positive reviews popping up across various online platforms.
Speaking of platforms…
Have a Presence on Several Review Sites
Yelp, Trip Advisor, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, and TrustLink are all trusted and highly used review sites.
Having a profile on these sites will allow your past customers to rate their experience with you and compel prospects to use your product or service.
By making yourself available on multiple platforms, your customers can write a review on the platform they are most comfortable with.
Having a profile in multiple places across the internet boosts your visibility and ranking on Google.
AWEBCO Local Listing services get you listed across all of the most important directory and review sites that people use.
Make Reviewing You a Breeze
Complexity is the ultimate stifler of creativity.
If you make your review system complicated by asking for too much information or by having faulty, clunky software, you risk losing willing reviewers in the process.
Worse than that, customers who have to jump through hoops to leave you a review probably won’t express the same splendor with their words.
You want your customer to put all of their efforts into writing the testimonial, so make the interface as simple, quick, and user-friendly as possible.
The easiest way to do this is to provide your customers with links to your profile on trusted review platforms. The timing and placement of these links are important.
You can send them in follow-up emails or in Messenger.
Companies like Air BnB and Uber send a review prompt once the customer checks out of the place or arrives at their destination.
Some restaurants and public workspaces leave cards on the tables with their information on it.
Incentivizing Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic way to get customers to leave a review, and it doesn’t have to be expensive!
The best part about this is that you can be creative and come up with an offer your customers can’t resist.
Whether it’s coffee, cupcakes, or a discount, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to incentivize your customers to write a review.
Keep in mind that the review doesn’t have to be positive in order to qualify for the incentive. Encourage your customers to be honest.
You may get insights from less than lovely reviews that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Say Thank You
One of the best ways to get your customers to write a review is to simply say thank you.
This involves going beyond the standard thank you/confirmation of purchase email.
If you really want to drive your customers to leave a raving review, why not send them a thank you card that shows your appreciation and asks for their testimonial?
In the world of digital domination, your customer will be delighted to receive a tangible thank you note in the mail.
By using these custom made “Thank You” postcards from AWEBCO, Byerly Garage Doors increased their online reviews by over 10x!
And yes, they were all 5 star reviews from happy customers who were glad to share their positive experiences.
Leverage Social Media
Many of your customers likely spend a great deal of time on social media. Facebook and Instagram dominate society.
Instagram influences buyer choices dramatically, and Facebook provides a platform for businesses to claim a page and get reviewed by customers.
Use Facebook retargeting to run ads to your previous customers asking for a review.
Your ad will be refreshing for your customers who are used to being bombarded with ads from unfamiliar brands they don’t know or simply don’t care about.
Ask and you shall receive (most of the time).
Make Reviews a Priority
Last, make sure all of your customer service representatives are well aware of the importance of getting customer reviews.
Soliciting a customer review can be incorporated into the “script” that your reps use.
Many companies have success by offering cash bonuses to employees who get a certain number of customers to review the business.
When you and your team understand the importance of customer reviews and implement the techniques, you can increase sales, build relationships with customers, and grow as a business.