Customer reviews have become one of the most effective marketing tools in recent years, and you should expect that prospective clients and customers are going to check to see what other people have to say about their experiences. Nowadays, 92% of consumers read online reviews, whereas only 88% did in 2014. In addition to driving more people to your website or store, customer reviews can also help to push your business to the top of the list on major search engines. While you may know how important reviews are to your business, you may still struggle with getting people to actually leave their opinions about your business. These expert strategies are designed to get customers to start leaving reviews that vouch for your brand’s superior products and services.
Show Up Where Your Customers Go Online
Start your review increasing mission by gathering some information about how your customers currently interact online. Web analytics provide insight into which social media platforms and search engines are bringing people to your website, and this information helps you plan where to start your campaign to increase reviews. Once you know where your target audience goes, set up profiles on the major platforms. For example, you may prefer to entice people to leave reviews on LinkedIn if your main focus is B2B sales. Alternatively, you may want to set yourself up on Yelp or Google Local if you need reviews for your restaurant. Just as location is everything for brick-and-mortar businesses, you need to remember that your customers will be more likely to leave reviews if they are already on a specific platform.
Incorporate Review Requests Into Company Processes
One of the best ways to get positive reviews is to ask customers for them when they are having an excellent experience. Train your sales team and customer service representatives to remember to mention the opportunity to leave a review shortly after a person has received a service. While you should never pay customers for their feedback, you can use incentives to reward your employees for seeking reviews. For instance, you could start a company contest to see who gets the most positive reviews within a week. You could also read a few rave reviews during your next company meeting to highlight how great it feels to read positive feedback from your customers. You’ll be surprised at how many reviews you receive when you just ask your customers. Most people don’t mind helping out your staff after a job well done when they know where to go to leave a review.
Turn Reviews Into Conversations
Too often reviews are thrown into the online atmosphere and nothing ever gets done. You’ve also likely heard tons of advice about how to spin negative reviews into a chance to highlight your company’s focus on improving customer service. However, very little attention gets paid to the power of extending a review into a conversation. For instance, asking a customer who simply added five starts to a review what they liked about their experience encourages them to leave further feedback. You can also encourage reviewing customers to come back and try a new product since they are more likely to leave another review that increases the amount that shows up during searches for your company profile.
The best customer reviews are those that are spontaneously posted after someone is motivated by a positive experience. Yet, most customers still need a little nudge to get them to leave feedback online. Now that you’ve got a few ideas for encouraging customer engagement, get ready to read and respond to the newest reviews to encourage the cycle of business growth to continue.