Customer reviews have practically unparalleled power when it comes to increasing sales. Customers are always looking for social proof. Whether that proof comes from people that they know and trust or from strangers online, reviews from other customers can have a dramatic impact on how they view products and services. Most people conduct research online before buying a product or using a service. That means that reviews left by customers in the past can dramatically impact your business today.
Digital technology has changed the way people shop. For instance, it is now possible to scan barcodes at the store to learn more about individual products or brands. People are always on the lookout for new information about the companies and brands that they support. Often, this information comes in the form of customer reviews.
Customer reviews can benefit your business, as well, helping your company appear higher in the search engines – particularly in the local search results. Unsurprisingly, people are more likely to click on sites that have customer reviews. Having a higher click-through rate can help your business get listed higher in the search engines. Search engine algorithms favour businesses that are prominently featured on popular review sites. They use your online reviews to determine how relevant your business is to people in your local area.
You may be surprised to learn that only about 23% of consumers have ever taken the time to submit a rating or review online. Unfortunately, most online reviews are negative since people are more likely to takeaction if they have a bad experience.
Getting more reviews for your business can not only help your customers but it can also help your business.
What steps can you take to earn more reviews for your business? How can you inspire customers to leave positive feedback about your products or services?
One of the easiest ways to start getting more reviews is by filling out a detailed profile for your business on each of the major websites that specialize in customer reviews.
Once you have done that, the next step is to brainstorm ways to convince customers to leave online reviews for your company, products, or services. There are a lot of different methods that you can try including the following:
Ask for reviews directly. Consider posting a request for reviews on your website or sending out a request in your next email newsletter. You can even take a more traditional approach by mailing out postcards to your customers asking them to leave you a review. This is a simple, effective technique that many businesses fail to take advantage of.
Let customers know how and where to leave reviews. Most customers don’t have any idea how much today’s businesses rely on reviews. To make it as easy as possible for them to leave you feedback, consider putting together a how-to guide that shows various options for posting reviews online.
Reach out in person. Instead of sending a cold, automated message asking for reviews, consider sending out a personal message to customers. Customers often appreciate it when businesses take the time to reach out to them personally.
Consider offering a bonus in exchange for reviews. Incentivizing the review process can be a good way to get people to leave reviews. If you decide to go this route, it is important to approach it in an ethical manner. Although you can offer discount codes, free items, or other bonuses in exchange for reviews, you can’t dictate whether or not the reviews need to be positive in nature.
Don’t allow negative reviews to go unanswered. If someone leaves a negative comment about your business, post a public response showing that you are doing your best to resolve the issue. Other customers can see that you take negative feedback seriously and that you care about your customers. Don’t forget to respond to positive reviews, as well. Thanking people for a positive review is a great way to generate goodwill for your business.
One of the keys to success with marketing is to use the same strategies as the most successful businesses. You can take a similar approach with customer reviews. One company that gets it right when it comes to reviews is Amazon. Try analyzing how they use reviews to boost their business. Based on your analysis, ask yourself whether or not you could implement any of those same techniques with your business to start obtaining more customer reviews.