Business owners recognize how important online customer reviews are for maintaining a positive reputation and reaching new customers. After all, what people say about your business has a strong impact on prospective customers. A recent Zendesk survey reported that 90% of participants’ buying decisions were influenced by positive online reviews, and 86% said that they were influenced by negative online reviews. Additionally, social media expert Brian Solis states that those with hands-on experience with your brand are the ones who truly define your business.
Here are simple ways to encourage customers to leave online reviews.
The best and simplest way to get reviews is to simply ask your customers directly. On your website, having too many call-to-action buttons asking for reviews is not advisable, so keep it simple and limit your ask to the most important review sites for your business. If you receive positive feedback from customers through email, or on social media, you should take advantage of the situation, and politely ask them to leave feedback on online review websites like Yelp or Google+.
Make It Easy
Customers won’t normally go looking for ways to leave reviews about your business. This leaves unless they feel inclined to share an especially great or terrible experience. As such, it’s important for a company to make the task of leaving a review as easy as possible.
Try sharing instructions on social media, with a direct link to review profiles on different review sites. Don’t forget a call to action on your newsletter and your website in a permanent and visible spot.
If you’re looking to get more reviews on your company’s website, don’t make it too easy. Removing any possible barriers (like a captcha) is not advisable, as spammers and trolls will take advantage of this. A social media login is a good way to manage spammers. When you ask customers to login, their synced social media profiles validate their identities.
Another easy method for getting reviews is through star rating. There are several websites that do this without requiring a detailed written analysis (like Amazon).
Incentives are a great way to get customers to take action. You can set up a contest or giveaway where people who leave reviews about your company are entered into a monthly drawing with a random winner. Or offer to donate a certain amount to charity for every review.
Make sure that you’re not asking them to write a good review, but an honest review. Do not require your customers to buy anything to enter, but focus on targeting existing customers who haven’t given their feedback yet.
Deliver Good Customer Service
Sometimes, even if you don’t ask the customer to write a review for your product or service, they act on their own accord because they are very satisfied with the experience your company provided. If you always provide outstanding service for all of your customers, positive reviews will happen on their own!
Publish Both Positive and Negative Reviews
This might seem counterintuitive, but you should publish both positive and negative reviews. People expect negative/so-so feedback because it feels unnatural and untrustworthy if all reviews are glowing and positive. If you suspect, however, that someone is spamming you, it’s okay to get rid of those unhelpful reviews.
Posting both negative and positive feedback can reassure buyers about their purchasing decision. Aside from that, your customers will feel more confident that their review will be published if they decide to write one.
Once you receive a fair amount of feedback, you can make use of it to encourage more incoming reviews by:
- Featuring good reviews on your website/social media accounts
- Politely asking these existing reviewers to publish their reviews on more review sites
If you get negative reviews, instead of removing them, take action. Solve whatever the customer issue is, and try to improve their experience. Ultimately, the most important thing your company can do is to always deliver the best possible customer service so that glowing reviews will come to you automatically.
Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.
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