— June 27, 2018
While most companies understand that online reviews are essential to the growth of their business, many don’t know how to procure them. Business owners may be reserved and don’t want to seem like a bother to their customers, so they avoid any direct asks or inquiries. Luckily, customers don’t view it that way.
Reviews have transformed how we operate on social media and how we make recommendations to others. Only 7% of people said that they do not read reviews when making a decision about whether a company is good or bad. That leaves 93% of the consumer market left reading reviews, often before they even visit your website.
If you take a look at the numbers and start to consider their impact, it’s easy to understand why you need to increase the number of online reviews your company has. But where do you start? Check out our tips on the best ways you can get more online reviews for your business below.
Ask For Them
If your company currently has no online reviews, don’t expect them to magically appear overnight. It takes effort to build a solid pool of reviews. The best way to increase your online reviews is just to ask for them. That’s right, just asking will always get you more reviews than staying silent. In fact, 68% of customers left a review when the business asked them to do so.
Action is always better than inaction and that extends to reviews. However, there is a time and a place for everything. Make sure you time your ask correctly to get the best responses.
The best time to ask someone for a review is immediately following a positive experience. This can be after a purchase delivery, after a problem has been resolved, after a great customer service interaction, or even after you receive a positive email directly from the customer/client.
People tend to leave positive reviews after positive experiences. The faster your response time is after these positive experiences, the better your reviews will be.
This is why customer service is essential. Having a system in place for both reviews and customer service will allow you to increase your responsiveness and keep customers/clients happy.
Make it Easy
The next way to get more online reviews for your business is to simply make it easy. As obvious as this might be, a lot of businesses don’t practice it. While you might think something is easy and has clear instructions, a customer/client might not. Go above and beyond to minimize the effort that they have to take and you’ll see a huge influx in reviews.
Some ways you can do this are:
- Sending emails right after positive communication (see above)
- Include a dedicated testimonial and review page on your website that has clear CTAs and is linked back to your homepage
- Create an email list that sends automated emails to previous customers/clients
- Take advantage of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Conduct surveys that are easy to follow and that include an area for reviews
- Call your biggest customers for personalized asks
- Implement a system that allows you to get notifications to contact people who leave negative reviews before they go public
If you’re still struggling to gain traction on your reviews, start incentivizing your requests. Offer something in return to customers that leave a review and encourage them to share with friends/family. These incentives don’t have to be huge, but people appreciate the effort.
You can use discounts, free shipping, coupons or even a % off of services on their next visit when they leave a review. Another great idea is to put together a monthly raffle that includes all of the customers who left a review in that month.
The opportunities are endless. Get creative and find something that works best for you. Just remember that if you’ve offered an incentive, you need to award it to everyone who leaves a review – both positive and negative.
As a side note, you can also incentivize your employees with review solicitation. Give out a prize to whoever gets the most each month as a motivational drive.
Make it a Habit
Arguably, the most important part involved in getting more online reviews is being consistent. Take everything from above and practice it every day. Engrain it into your routine and make it a habit so you don’t lose out on potential reviews.
However, sending out constant personalized emails can take a toll on you and cause you to lose focus of more important tasks. To avoid redundancies, use a task management software to create templates that you can continue to use time and time again. There are also a number of systems in place to help work this into your daily routine.
Give Your Reviewers Attention
When customers take the time to give your business a review, acknowledge them! Show some gratitude, mention them on your featured testimonial page, create a fun video to thank reviewers, etc. Whatever you do, get creative and be authentic. When you show your reviewers attention it encourages others to follow suit. It also boosts loyalty and public relations.
Take the time to respond to your reviewers on social media and review sites (both positive and negative). The time and effort will pay off.
Getting more online reviews will take some time, but if you ask for them, make it easy, use incentives, ingrain it into your daily routine and show acknowledgment, they’ll start pouring in left and right.
Another great way to increase your online reviews is by putting a system in place that actually works.