6 Simple Ways To Get Customers To Review Your Business Online.
When you own a business, you know that online customer reviews are very influential. From Yelp to Healthgrades, Angie’s List to Trustpilot, people are sharing their experiences on everything, and what they say has an impact.
These days, a Google review can shape your business far more than a Google Ad. According to a Zendesk survey, 90% of participants claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decision, and 86% said their decision was influenced by negative reviews.
As social media expert Brian Solis said, “Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
Many businesses focus on what to do about the one or two bad reviews, but the most effective way to combat a few negative words is to load up on the rave reviews. This means you’ll need to encourage your happy customers to take the time to write about their experiences. Here are six tips to get you started:
‘Booking.com’ Is A Trademark – Does This Matter To Your Business?
Is It Time To Change Director Board Compensation In Private Real Estate Firms?
1. Set Up Profiles on Multiple Review Sites.
Consider all the sites that are relevant to your business: Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Yahoo Local, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, and CitySearch. Even if you don’t think you are in a review-driven industry like restaurants and hospitality, general review sites like TrustLink and Trustpilot are great (Trustpilot has the added benefit of showing up on Google).
2. Ask Your Customers.
Want to know the best way to increase the number of reviews for your business? Just ask. Your customers understand how important reviews are to your business, and as long as you provide an excellent product or service, they won’t be annoyed if you ask for a review. Don’t wait too long: customers are more likely to give you feedback right away.
The next time a customer compliments you via email, phone, or in person, mention that you’d appreciate if they left the same feedback in an online review on Trustpilot, Yelp, or the review site of their choice.
3. Make It Easy to Leave Reviews.
Unless someone has a negative experience to share, the average customer is not going to look for ways to leave your company a review. That’s why you need to ask them to post a review and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places; for example, a follow-up email, newsletter, and your website. Yelp offers downloadable “Find us on Yelp” banners that you can use on your website or print out for your store.
4. Incent (but Don’t Buy) Reviews.
Sometimes even your most satisfied customers need some extra incentive to take time out of their busy schedule to write a review. Offering a small incentive is a good way to show your appreciation. You just need to make sure your offer is for writing a review , and not for writing a good review. Monthly giveaways, where you choose one reviewer at random, are effective ways to encourage reviews, and there’s no semblance of a transaction where you are paying for a review.
5. Thank Your Reviewers.
If the review site allows it, thank each person who reviews your product or service. In addition, you can even surprise a top reviewer by sending them a discount code or freebie after they’ve posted a review. This simple act will turn a satisfied customer into an incredibly loyal evangelist.
6. Make Reviews a Part of Your Work Processes.
Make sure that all customer service and sales employees understand the importance of soliciting reviews from the customers they work with. At our company we saw the number of reviews rise after implementing an incentive program where employees receive a cash bonus for any reviews (for example, 3 reviews=$100; 15 reviews=$750).
Choose whatever kind of bonus and program makes sense for your business. It’s just an added incentive to help employees remember to ask for a review. Given the importance of reviews in the customer decision process, this is one of the most effective ways to spend your marketing dollars.
Read all of Nellie Akalp’s articles on AllBusiness.com.
Related Articles on AllBusiness: