Customer reviews is one of the greatest tools to enhance sales. Over 70% of consumers say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. This shows that consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by the reviews they read. In fact, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Reviews are not only good to attract customers towards your business but can also have a substantial effect on your overall online presence. Online customer reviews have an ability to positively influence your search engine placement, leading to increased visibility and enhanced conversions from search traffic.
With the growing importance of online reviews, businesses need to become proactive and encourage happy customers to share their experiences. A great customer experience can result in a glowing review soon after the purchase.
Getting those first reviews is, however, difficult. If you know how to correctly ask for reviews, you can definitely succeed in getting them, resulting in a strengthened relationship with customers. Your ability to generate online reviews can either make or break your business. To help you in your attempts, this post runs through seven ways to get more online reviews.
1. Setting-up profile
It is crucial to consider all the 3rd party review websites that are relevant to your business where customers can write online reviews. Make sure you have a business profile on all the relevant online review websites including social media platforms. Some of the famous sites include Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, and Trustpilot to list a few. You will also have to make a research on your competitors’ presence and be visible on the platforms they already are.
2. Asking directly
You should prompt customers to leave online reviews. You can ask for reviews through your website, email newsletters, and product pages. Once buyers make a purchase from you, you can send them emails requesting them for a product review. Asking for a review when the transaction is still fresh in their minds is preferable. As per research, 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. Let your clients know that their reviews will be helpful to your business.
This is how Expedia asks for reviews after a trip is booked by customers.
You can even ask for a review after you have resolved customers’ queries. If you get a compliment through email, phone or in person, you can ask the customer to leave an online review. You can personalize your message, and keep your tone warm and lighthearted to increase the response rate from customers.
3. Making it simple
Put direct links to your review profiles in various places like e-mails, newsletter, and website. Make it simple for your customers to review you, keeping your review system easy and user-friendly. Avoid including overly-detailed instructions and multiple steps, asking them to log in. If you make your review process long, customers might lose patience and leave the process in between. Companies who have simple review processes get more customer reviews because their platform is easily accessible and can engage customers before they lose interest.
You also need to ensure that your review request process is mobile. Some apps allow customers to enter reviews in your email and they automatically get posted on your website. This makes the review process hassle-free and convenient for clients. You can even create a tutorial that helps customers on how they can leave their feedback and where they can post.
4. Rewarding customers
You can provide incentives to gather reviews, especially in the initial stage. You can even consider offering points in your customer loyalty program, including giving a small gift card in exchange for an online review. Announcing a monthly prize or giving away coupons will motivate your customers to share their feedback and also keep shopping with you. You can offer a coupon for sharing on social media too, which can lead to the promotion of your brand.
Some of the other ways include giving recognition to your customers for reviewing you. You can declare top 10 or 20 reviewers to honor your customers and help them gain status.
It is, however, important to check the rules of 3rd party review websites before you provide incentives because many of them are strict when it comes to how businesses ask for reviews.
5. Following up
If you are sending emails asking for reviews from customers, you can track whether they have opened your email or not. There are chances that customers might be ready to help you and write a review but didn’t open your email due to any reason. Apps like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor can let you know whether a particular email has been opened or not.
You can shoot an email again with a changed subject line after three or four days to get reviews from those who didn’t open the original email. This can help you garner additional reviews.
6. Responding to reviews
You should monitor your reviews regularly to see what customers are saying about you. Along with monitoring, it is crucial to thank everyone who reviews you with a personalized note. Appreciate them for taking out time to give you feedback. By letting them know that their time and opinions are valued, you can make them share their thoughts again.
Responding to customers’ reviews promptly shows that you care for them. This can even instill trust in your brand.
7. Acting on negative reviews
Along with positive online reviews, you can even get negative reviews from your customers. Negative reviews alongside positives ones emphasize their authenticity and ensure customers that they aren’t being fooled. When handled correctly, they offer a unique marketing opportunity to businesses, allowing them to build trust and confidence in their brand. So, take negative reviews as an opportunity to learn from your customers and bring an improvement in your business.
In the case of negative reviews, you should respond to every customer personally, especially in case of a complaint. A single negative review can drive away approximately 22% of customers, whereas around three negative reviews can drive away 59% of the customers. This shows the importance of addressing negative reviews carefully.
Reply to your clients politely and rectify the situation. This will make them think that you listen to them and are engaged, thus encouraging more feedback. By responding to a negative review directly, and then personally following up via email or phone call to resolve the issue, you can enhance clients’ experience with your business and make them your major brand advocates.
Once the problem has been resolved, you can encourage your clients to write another review to share their experience with others.
Consumers generally visit social media, forums, review sites, etc. to read online reviews before they make any purchase. This has made it essential for businesses to utilize the power of social proof to attract customers.
If you are treating your customers right and providing them high-quality services, they will tend to write positive reviews about you. Online reviews will help you to create loyalty among your prospective and existing clients. They will also allow you to rank higher in Google searches, bringing traffic to your site.
Getting customer reviews and leveraging them fully to drive sales is challenging. By using the tactics listed above, you will be able to make your clients share their experiences, leading to the enhanced brand image of your business and a positive impact on your sales.