Sep 11, 2020
Every successful marketer knows that word-of-mouth advertising trumps all when it comes to generating new business. When your prospective customers or clients hear the positive opinions of others, it builds trust and influences decision-making in a way regular advertising can't.
Customer reviews are the new word of mouth. People look for them, learn from them, and base their buying decisions on them. Positive reviews can spread quickly and lead to explosive sales, while negative reviews can stifle revenue and cause a business to take a step back.
Luckily, getting great customer reviews isn't just about having your products and services on the market and hoping for the best. There are tactics you can use to ensure customers are satisfied and willing to leave positive feedback.
Typically, there are four reasons that a person would look for an online review:
Naturally, the goal for any business is to get positive reviews and use them to boost sales and grow their brand online. Here are five tactics you can use to get great customer reviews:
The first step in getting great online reviews is to make it as easy as possible for people to leave them. The more effort it takes, the less likely someone is to dedicate the time to leave the review you want. Social media and third-party review sites are great platforms to help get the good word out about your company, product, or service.
Some of the most effective ones include:
There are also many niche review sites depending on your industry that may be effective for eliciting great customer reviews. An example would be Trip Advisor in the travel sector or Open Table for restaurants or cafés.
The key for all of these platforms is to make it simple and ask for reviews, so there is no confusion about what you want your visitors to do.
Your website is a great tool for getting customer reviews. Your web pages and blog posts should be optimized to allow visitors to leave their comments quickly and easily. You should also provide a clear path to all of your social media channels.
If you have an e-commerce site, you may want to consider adding live chat to receive instant feedback from customers. Chatbots are also useful to help answer queries and use automation on platforms like Messenger, Instagram, SMS, and email.
These functions can satisfy people's "I want everything right now" mentality and provide value as it reduces response times and enhances your customer service.
“93% of U.S. adults read reviews before making online purchases” Podium
If inbound marketing is part of your process, you will have a great platform to ask for customer reviews.
Use email at key points in your customer journey to nurture and covert. For example, you can send an email after a purchase (set a timeline that makes sense for your brand) has been made asking for a review. You will get the most honest feedback possible because people feel as though they are communicating with you one-to-one. That will help you boost sales or make the necessary adjustments if you notice a negative pattern in the responses.
If you don't want to ask for a review, consider adding a link to an online survey. Polls or surveys are easy to set up, and the data can be analyzed efficiently. With a survey, you get to dictate the information that's collected so you can also take the opportunity to learn more about your customers.
If you find that you aren’t getting the number of reviews you’d like or you just like the idea of rewarding your customers, consider adding incentives to the process.
Everyone believes their time is valuable, so give them a reason to leave a review. Incentives like discounts, coupons, gift cards or contests should motivate people and may even boost your sales when they go back and shop again.
Here's an example from peer to peer review site, G2.
Be aware when using this tactic that you need to develop a reward system that creates the right results for your company. Offering incentives have been shown to improve the positivity of reviews but you also want to be transparent and ensure reviews are genuine, not just motivated by the 'offer'.
Asking for reviews at the right time will help you get more out of the process and improve your customer service. Whether it's on social media, your website or through email, timing is always important. The last thing you want is to get under someone's skin at the wrong moment and end up with a negative review that others will see.
This means that you need to understand and track your customer journey. Know where and when a person interacts with your brand. This will help you to map out the channels and points of interaction that will have the most impact and help you to drive engagement.
Good times to ask for a review include:
The idea is to approach them when they are feeling satisfied or fulfilled so that they will pass that feeling along in the review.
If you already have great reviews, promote them! There's no point in having them hidden away or stored on a database. Not only will it encourage people to buy from you but it may prompt them to share their own thoughts.
Consider putting reviews on your website homepage. If you have product pages and review that relate directly to that product, include them there too. You can also add a 'testimonials' page where all your reviews are housed and people can access them easily. Here's an example from cereal company Surreal that promotes testimonials on its homepage and also has a 'Review' section in 'About Us'.
You could also consider adding a 'Tell us what you think' form or function so people can easily submit their own reviews.
It's important to be proactive when it comes to customer feedback. If you're out there looking for reviews then make sure you or someone in your marketing, sales, or customer service team makes the time to go through them and respond.
Positive reviews are easy to respond to. A simple acknowledgment and thanks for someone taking the time to leave one should be enough. However, negative reviews require more time and attention.
Did you know that 94 percent of consumers say that a bad review has made them avoid a business? But, 45 percent said they are more likely to interact with a company if it responds to negative reviews according to Review Trackers.
So it's important to pay attention to what the reviewer is saying and respond with either a solution or an opportunity to contact the company to rectify the situation. Here's a great example of how to deal with a negative review from Jobber.
There is really no perfect formula for getting great customer reviews, but if you follow the tactics listed above, you’ll be successful more often than not.
Customers trust what others say so it's worth putting the effort in to not only promote your product to others but also learn more about your customer base and products or services.
If you want to prioritize reviews, make sure you task certain team members with the job and allow them to devote enough time to make it feasible. Once the strategy is in place, execute it and keep moving forward until you have a multi-faceted process for getting reviews from a range of platforms.
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