In today’s marketplace you will find a variety of tools and advice that yield all kinds of results. As a business owner it can be hard to know what advice to listen to and implement within your business model. The general consensus is the same though, the more good reviews I can get from my customers – the more new customers I will get as a result, ultimately leading to greater success. That being said, I would like to show you how easy getting new reviews can be. Start with this mindset: Every new customer I get is an opportunity to earn a new 5-star review.
Step 1 – Provide a Great Experience for Your Customers.
This is the most important step of all. If you cannot provide a good experience, then nothing else matters. You might as well read another article about how to make your customers happy in your industry because this article is for those businesses who have made their clients very happy.
A happy customer isn’t just satisfied with your product or service, they are raving fanatics who will shout on top of the mountain how happy they are with you.
Step 2 – Collect Customer Information
You need to find a way to collect the email address or telephone number of clients during their interaction with your company. For most businesses this is not an issue at all; even restaurants get tons of phone numbers each day when making reservations and takeout orders. More reviews are written from texting than by email.
Step 3 – Automated Software
There are dozens of Online Reputation Software options available to help generate reviews. Check out G2Crowd or Capterra for some highly rated ones.
Here are some things you will want to consider:
- Is it industry specific software?
- Does it connect to your CRM, or customer database, to make your life easier?
- Does the software company offer a fully managed service option?
- Does it post the reviews to your Social Media as content?
- If your business has more than one location, what kind of data will it show you for bigger picture analytics?
Once you have picked an automated software that fits your needs make sure to use it consistently. Create a game plan for your review generation strategy. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
- Which Review Websites are most important for you?
- How many customers do you have per week?
- Are you sending emails or texts?
Start with the most important review websites and focus your energy there. Most software will allow you to pick the review websites where you want to generate reviews. For most businesses that would be Yelp, Facebook and Google+.
If you see 100+ client transactions per week, you should start slow and scale up. Some review sites have harsh algorithms that want to see consistency across a timeline. Start slow and scale up the review numbers as you enhance your content and imagery in the software.
You should consider A/B Testing with content and imagery to see which review generation option is most effective for your business. There are three major analytics to consider when it comes to review generation.
- Review Requests Sent (Total)
- Review Request Engagement (Open Rate)
- Reviews left by customers (Conversion %)
Find out what photos/templates/words yield the best results. We recommend A/B Testing like this:
Send 50% of your requests to one template (A), and 50% of your requests to another template (B) and see which one performs better. Keep the better performer and keep running tests to see how far you can optimize your review generation. There are many techniques you can use depending on your industry to really optimize your conversion rates.
While there is no “industry average,” I happen to have intimate details with these analytics for thousands of businesses. Here are some benchmarks you’ll want to strive for:
- Total review requests sent by each business
- 50% Open Rate
- 10% Conversion
This means that 50 out of 100 will see the request. Then 10 of those 100 will write you a review. If you can stay above these averages, then you will be in great shape. Text messages tend to do better than emails and some software will ask a customer more than once for a review request if they did not convert on the last attempt. Once you figure out generating new reviews, then you can start figuring out how you want to respond to reviews. Just remember, the best way to get reviews is to earn them and implementing tools within your business to maximize your requests for reviews, don’t ever solicit reviews.
Are you serious about getting more reviews? Join our FREE WEBINAR, on Jul 13, 2016.
Do you have tips of your own for getting new reviews? Questions about your industry? Feel free to reach out below!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community