70% of online customers rely on reviews to make buying decisions. help your site rank higher in search engines, allow you to connect with customers, and help bring in more business. Happy customers write great reviews, which lures more customers. Here’s how to make your business stand out.
Before you start asking reviews, make sure your business is ready for them! Do your customers have positive experiences with your brand? Focusing on customer experience is absolutely critical if you want to build the foundation you need to ensure that you get your customers saying great things about you online.
Once your business is on good shape, it’s time to get some reviews. And all you have to do is ask! If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. One of the most underused tools is a personal, transparent ask.
Reviews could be on Facebook, Yelp, Google Plus, or an industry specific site. Determine which sites already have the most reviews for your company or your competitors and target those. Then, start sending your customers to those profiles! You can create a web page that includes links to your profiles on some review sites, or add the links to your email signature.
A great way to ask for reviews is to contact the customer when your brand is at the top of their mind. How many times have you gotten emails asking for reviews that come days or weeks after you’ve last had any interaction with the business? Make it easy for them to recall what happened and write an honest review by emailing them within a few days of an experience
- When they hit a usage milestone (measured by value that they’ve gotten or time they’ve spent)
- When you send your invoice and reinforce the value of doing business with you
- When they’ve contacted you with positive feedback (or had a positive interaction with your team)
There is a right way and a wrong way to ask reviews. You should never ask for a good review, which could turn a customer off and make them feel like you’re manipulating them. Instead, ask for an honest review.
A mixed bag of reviews gives you an opportunity to improve your business. It also helps establish trust and credibility with all the customers you ask for reviews from, and will make them feel more comfortable leaving reviews.
If you don’t get responses the first time around, don’t be afraid to ask again! Don’t take it personally if they did not add a review, it’s highly probable they just didn’t see your email the first time around. If it’s been a week, look through your email marketing system like MailChimp and see who did not open your email. Send the same email to those customers, just with a different subject line. You’ll likely see your responses increase.
If you’re having trouble getting customers to leave reviews on their own, try offering an incentive like coupons or free gifts. You could even try holding a contest, where anyone who gives a review is entered into a drawing for a big prize, like an iPad or a gift card. It will be well worth the expense to buy a prize your customer want.
Getting online reviews for your business is a necessity in this digital age. With these steps, you’ll create a glowing online profile in no time!