At some point in our lives, most of us will probably read or write an online review for a business. In fact, studies have shown that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust reviews from family or friends. We have already mentioned how to integrate social media and your website and content generation tips to build your online presence, and now that your customers can see you’re active online, you can focus on how you can inspire them to leave reviews.
Try some of these tips to help boost your positive online reviews and deal with any negative ones in the right way.
- The most important and obvious, although some businesses still overlook it, aspect of increasing your positive reviews is to offer an absolutely exceptional customer experience. Customers that are happy with your service are much more likely to take time out of their schedules to write a glowing review for your business. They also will be more willing to help grow your business in others ways, such as by recommending to friends or sharing their positive experience on social media. Giving customers a great experience is the first, and most essential way, to generate more reviews.
- Ask for reviews – but ask the right customers. Which of your customers get the most value out of your products?These will be the first ones you’ll ask! Concentrate on those that have referred others to your business, promote/share your content on social media, or have been the most engaged on your social media outlets or website. Remember that those customers that use your product the most and are most satisfied with it are much more likely to leave a positive review.
- Ask at the right time. It’s best to ask for a review soon after a customer has finalized their purchase and are happy with it. If you wait too long after the initial interaction, then your customer will have to put more effort into remembering the details of the transaction. The customer might then get frustrated or forget and not leave a review at all. You want to make the review process as easy for your customers as possible. Encourage customers to write a review right after you’ve sent an invoice, or after they have reached out with good feedback about your business.
- Encourage honest reviews and respond to all of them. Don’t reach out to your customers and ask for a “good” review, but rather ask them to be honest and reflect their individual experience with your business. Even if someone posts an average or negative review, the way you respond can offer you a chance to correct any problems and actually improve the way customers view your business. You can look at negative reviews as an opportunity to improve your business’s customer service. If you are receptive and take action in response to negative reviews, that previously unhappy customer may be so satisfied that they go back and write a positive review explaining the turnaround. Make sure you respond to all other reviews, too. Thanking a customer for a positive review can help build your business’s relationship with them, and encourage them to promote you further.
Keeping your customers happy is the first part of increasing your online reviews. Once you do that, using a few simple tactics can increase your chances of those satisfied customers leaving reviews. What strategies have you used to increase your business’s online reviews? How about from a customer’s perspective – what inspired you to write or read a review? We want to hear about your experiences!