There are multiple factors that can affect the decision of a customer when making a purchase. A common approach for many is to ask their friends for recommendations or to conduct their research online.
Since buying online has become easier and faster than ever before, the internet often does a lot of the selling for a brand. This can have a major impact on whether or not a customer makes a purchase.
The reality is that the best sales representatives and marketers of a company are not the sole providers of sales. Existing customers also play a large role. According to experts, customers trust the recommendations of friends and family over any other type of online advertising from a brand. When there are no trusted recommendations, researchers found that more than 80% of consumers relied on online reviews instead.
For a business to keep up with the competitive, online-first market, they need to get their happy customers sharing positive reviews of their experiences. The good news is that most customers are happy to help. A majority of customers who were asked for a review were willing.
The real question is how does one get their customers to write these amazing reviews that help close deals? How do you ensure that customers are satisfied and happy enough to supply the positive reviews needed?
Below are 5 tactics that can help companies obtain great customer reviews:
1. Optimize the Content
Reviews can appear unsolicited from both satisfied and dissatisfied customers on third-party websites. When people are on your site, however, it’s best to ensure that they can easily leave reviews there.
Optimizing your website, social profiles, emails, and even blog posts can provide people with an easy way to write reviews. This includes:
- Installing website badges to quickly direct visitors to your Facebook, Amazon, and Yelp pages.
- Optimizing the website for mobile devices to accommodate users who arrive while performing searches on their phones.
- Keeping requests short if asking for customer reviews via email.
2. Provide Incentives
Customers value their time, so it’s important to ensure that brands are giving them reasons to leave a review.
Providing them with incentives can make customers want to provide their feedback. These incentives can come in the form of coupons or discount codes. Brands can also encourage entries to a contest to win gift cards or even cash.
3. Meet Customers in the Middle
Avoid emailing customers to ask them to leave a positive review on third-party channels like Yelp. Rather, you should ensure that your request matches the avenue where you want your customers to provide their reviews.
When deciding to send out an email to ask customers for reviews, ensure that the email has direct links to the exact place where you want them to leave their honest feedback. For example, brands that wish to obtain reviews on Facebook should request via Facebook Messenger. When asking for customer reviews from different platforms, it’s essential to make the request as integrated as possible. One of how this can be done is by linking to a Yelp page via the email signature.
4. Respond To All Reviews
No one is perfect, and mistakes can happen despite the effort made. Nothing can stop a customer from leaving a disappointing one-star review on your website, Facebook page, Google My Business, or Yelp listing.
Despite this, brands should always take their time to respond thoughtfully to these customers without being defensive. The best thing you can do in this scenario is to attempt to work out a resolution. This may even benefit the business in the long run.
Customers are humans too, and the idea of a compassionate and empathetic customer service team from a brand can have a positive effect. This will eventually lead to an increase in total reviews, especially good feedback.
5. Share Positive Reviews From the Past
When a company begins receiving positive feedback from its customers, it can keep the momentum up by highlighting and sharing the reviews with others. Doing so can inspire new customers in following the act and leaving great reviews themselves.
On TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, and other review websites, it’s possible for business owners to pin specific reviews that are helpful. This is similar to upvoting, which can move reviews further up on the website so that more users can see them.
Ensure that you periodically do this for positive reviews so that the brand page consistently highlights the top feedback.
Another way is to share positive reviews via your social media channels to open up this option for the audience there. It’s possible to format positive feedback as quotes on Instagram or reshare positive reviews on your Facebook page for followers to see.
Social proof is one of the best marketing tactics available today. This means that if customers can see other people sharing positive reviews, there’s a higher probability of them doing the same.
Aside from securing new reviews from customers, companies should also spend time promoting positive feedback across their social media channels.
The Bottom Line
No matter the type of business you own, the truth is that online reviews have a huge impact on bringing in more customers.
To start gathering customer feedback at scale, the best approach is to incorporate it slowly into your business process. This begins with having an active strategy for customer service and online reputation. Brands can use templates and ask existing, happy customers for their reviews.
The more positive reviews that a business has, the more trustworthy they appear in the industry. This in turn creates trust in potential customers who discover the brand online.
This is also why companies should not shy away from simply asking their customers for a review. You can make it easy for people to provide positive feedback by asking at the right time and right place.