Earning positive customer reviews is essential to succeeding as a business.
Research suggests that over 99.9% of consumers say they read reviews when shopping online at least sometimes. That’s up from 97% in 2018. Furthermore, 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions compared to 89% in 2018.
The implication is clear: earning positive customer reviews is crucial for bringing buyers to your business and earning their trust. It’s powerful “social proof” that your product or service is what it claims and that it’s worth the investment.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover the best ways to get more customer reviews for your business, including the following:
- Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews After They Submit Payments
- Include QR Codes on Your Marketing Materials
- Ask for Reviews During Your Routine Meetings
- Offer Customers Incentives for Leaving Reviews
- Use Your Website as a Reminder to Leave Reviews
- Open the Conversation to Reviews on Social Media
- Reply to All Reviews—Both Good and Bad
One of the easiest ways to get more customer reviews is to ask for them immediately after a customer makes a purchase. This encourages customers to think about their experience and leave feedback accordingly. Whether positive or negative, this strategy can help boost review submissions. And the more you have, the better.
To set this up, you’ll want to ensure you collect customer email addresses during the billing process. From there, you can send a friendly follow-up message at a set time after the purchase, e.g. a few days or a week later. Thank the customer for their purchase and express your appreciation if they would leave an honest review.
For in-store purchases, you can do the same by including a review request at the bottom of the receipt bill with the help of a QR code, which we’ll jump into next.
Another way to get more reviews is to include QR codes on all your marketing materials. These can direct visitors to your Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, or other business profile, where customers can submit a review online. This not only helps boost your credibility to other potential buyers, but it can improve your local SEO by making your business appear higher in search engine result pages (SERPs).
You can put your review QR code anywhere: on flyers; business cards; the windows of your brick-and-mortar store. If not many people actually scan it, that’s okay. You are at least showing that you care about your customers’ opinions and feedback.
With ongoing client relationships, you can ask for feedback during routine meetings. Reviews can be written on platforms like Google My Business (GMB) or Yelp, or even left verbally. For a verbal review, you’ll want them to record a simple audio or video file. This can then be used as a testimonial or success story on your business site, further showcasing the positive impact of your product or service.
Though it can be daunting at first, don’t be afraid to ask for a review in person. Wait for an opportune moment, then lead into it naturally. For example, right after you’ve made a breakthrough for your client or completed a project to their satisfaction, just ask, “What’s your customer experience been like so far?”
From there, you can express how much you’d appreciate it if they left their feedback in the form of a review. Let them know it won’t be a big commitment and will only take a couple of minutes.
The best reviews are unsolicited. However, some customers may require a little nudging, and in those cases, it can be a good idea to offer an incentive. Why? Because it appeals to the quid pro quo mentality that benefits both parties involved.
Just be careful that you don’t violate any policies set by platforms like Google or Yelp. For the most part, it’s acceptable to offer incentives for customer reviews as long as you do the same for all of them, regardless of whether they’re positive or negative.
For example, a roofing company could offer its customers a free discount on their next purchase for leaving a review on their website. Similarly, an insurance company could offer its members a free branded t-shirt delivered through the mail if they rate them on Google. Use your imagination and be creative. Try to think of a token or gesture of appreciation that would be attractive to your customers.
Your business website is prime real estate for receiving feedback. Consequently, you should have clear, strategically placed calls to action (CTAs) to allow customers and potentially even prospects to give their thoughts.
For example, perhaps a prospect was disappointed with your sales development efforts and needed to voice their concerns. Alternatively, maybe a first-time customer is pleased with the fast check-out process and wants to let you know. Either way, requesting reviews on your website gives your company the opportunity to learn and grow from the feedback of others.
To maximize the number of reviews you receive, try to make leaving one as easy and straightforward as possible. Don’t expect visitors to click through multiple pages, they should be able to do it with minimal effort, ideally with a single click.
Though it’s not a core review platform, social media can be a great tool for opening up the conversation about your brand. You can encourage users of your product or service to share their feedback publicly and let them know their voices are heard by engaging with their posts.
For example, a landscaping company customer might share a photo of their new backyard on Instagram. You can like their post and then leave a comment thanking them for their business. They might respond with how happy they are with your job well done. This can be a powerful form of validation that your brand may not have received any other way.
By engaging with potential, current, and past customers on social media, you can open the door to candid and authentic testimonials that are just as powerful as any Google Review.
Finally, it’s important to reply to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative. This helps position your company as a trusted leader because it shows you’re willing to acknowledge potential mistakes and do your best to fix them, as well as thank those who leave positive reviews. In short, it shows that you care.
Even if a user leaves a bad review, this can give your customer service representatives an opportunity to turn their opinion around to work in your favor. Ultimately, your duty is to always respond and show that you are doing your best to make things right.
It may be tempting to ignore bad reviews because you don’t want to draw attention to them. However, this can be counterproductive since it can look like you don’t care about your customers’ experiences. Instead, respond promptly and tactfully and show that you are dedicated to improving your business.
At the end of the day, positive reviews will come as you continue to deliver excellent service to your customers. Quality work often speaks for itself. However, you can accelerate how quickly you get good reviews by implementing the tactics outlined above.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we know and utilize all the best practices to using customer reviews to advance your sales development and marketing strategy. If you need a hand in using customer reviews and testimonials to accelerate your business growth efforts, contact the lead generation experts at Abstrakt!