There's a right way and a wrong way to do anything in business. When you're looking to get more online reviews from your customers, follow these pro tips.
Would you trust a stranger to give you a root canal, fix the car you use to drive your family around or install equipment in your business? Probably not.
So, when you're hiring people or giving your business to companies, you want to get a little background. Are they trustworthy? Do they charge a fair rate for their services or products? Will you be treated with respect?
Fifty years ago, you might have gotten this information by chatting with a neighbor over the backyard fence. Today, online review sites are the virtual version of that fence, but now you can hear from dozens or even hundreds of others to get an accurate, unbiased picture of how a company operates and whether it deserves your business.
That's great for consumers, and it can be great for businesses too - assuming the reviews you receive are mostly positive. Getting better reviews than your competition is a surefire way to improve your reputation and your bottom line.
So let’s jump into our business owner's guide on how to ask for and get online reviews from your customers on review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp!
The Stats on Reviews
If you're like most people, you rely on online reviews to make buying decisions, and you give them a lot of weight.
About 84 percent of American consumers trust reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations, according to a recent survey.
From the healthcare industry to the wedding services industry and even law, you're losing potential customers if you’re not receiving a steady stream of positive online reviews.
Young people are especially likely to depend on reviews. According to Pew Research, about half of American adults under 50 say they always, or almost always, read reviews and customer feedback before buying new items.
And, while the survey reveals that 7 out of 10 adults are willing to write reviews for businesses, only about one in 10 is in the habit of actually following through on this.
On the other hand, people who had a poor customer experience will more readily leave negative reviews.
Translation: Happy customers are willing to write reviews, but you have to make it easy for them to do so.
How to Ask
The key to getting those all-important, customer-attracting reviews is simply to ask for them. Really, it's that easy.
You can request reviews in a few different ways:
- In Person Requests - At the end of every transaction, just before saying goodbye, try to gauge how satisfied the customer is. Say something like, "Were you happy with our service today?" If the answer is positive, follow up with something like, "So glad to hear it. We would love it if you would write a review on [site] or [site]."
- Via Email - If you send out emails to customers, either individually or as part of an email marketing service, include a review request at the bottom, just before or after the signature. Write something such as, "How are we doing? Please take a minute to review us on [site] or [site]." Link to your organization's pages on those sites to make it easy for customers to navigate.
- Via Text - If you communicate with customers via text message, you can add a request for reviews at the end of a message. Ideally, you'll add a line like "Would you mind taking a minute to review us on [site] or [site]?" at the end of a message.
(Note that asking for reviews in mass marketing email or text blasts doesn't easily allow you to target only satisfied customers, and it may inspire dissatisfied customers to write reviews too.)
Simplify Your Success
So, yes, online reviews can be a make-or-break influence in the success of your business. But asking for reviews at the end of the transaction doesn't guarantee your customers will remember to write them, and it can feel a little awkward to ask your customers to do you this favor.
You can easily deal with this by using an automated system like ReputationStacker.
All you have to do is enter an email address or phone number for your customers into the ReputationStacker dashboard it sends them an email or text message with single survey question. Customers who aren't satisfied with your service are directed back to you, allowing you to address their concerns and hopefully win them over. Satisfied customers are directed to the review site of your choice, where they can write the glowing review you deserve.
No matter your industry, getting a steady stream of online reviews can seriously improve your business and reputation.
The surest way to get as many great reviews as you deserve is to use ReputationStacker. It reaches out to customers for you, so you can sit back and watch the positive reviews roll in.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.