by: Braidyn Browning
In the digital age, it can feel like the human touch in any purchasing decision is no longer relevant. However, the research shows that consumers often turn to the opinions of others when making any form of buying decision. Online reviews have become the new word of mouth marketing for business world wide. This means it is crucial to foster good reviews in any way you can. But how can you encourage the public to leave positive reviews and why would you do so instead of letting reviews pour in organically? Here, we’ll address the importance of raking in solid reviews and how it impacts your business long term.
Possibly the biggest impact online reviews have is the impact on your search results. If you are able to gain a slew of positive reviews, you are more likely to turn up in internet searches. Potential customers will then compare your company to the other competitors that populate in their search. One of this biggest determining factors on their decision from there may be based on the reviews you and the competitor have received.
We now understand that good reviews help you to be found and to draw in new customers but why else should you care about them? And why would you work to gain more positive reviews from customers?
According to Vendasta, 92% of customers read online reviews and 68% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. According to BrightLocal 85% of consumers treat online recommendations with as much trust as a personal recommendation.
Asking customers for a review let’s them know that you genuinely care to receive their feedback.
You may ask for these reviews individually or send out your request in a mass email. We find that reminding followers on social media to review you can also be a good means of raking in the feedback on both your social pages and your website.
If you mail your product to the customer, you may find success in leaving a feedback card in the package or more information on how they can go online and review the product they’ve received. QR codes are killer for pushing people easily online for reviews.
The final step in the positive review process is to work to collect and share those reviews when you can. Whether you’re sharing on social media or on your website, sharing positive reviews not only reflects positively on your business but also makes the customer feel heard and valued.
Reviews may not always be completely positive but this gives you a chance to learn and to grow. By receiving even the tiniest bit of negative feedback, you can address any areas where the customers are unsatisfied and in turn, foster more positive reviews in the future.
When negative reviews are received, be sure to respond to them in a kind, professional and TIMELY manner. Best case scenario, the customer’s issue is easily resolved. This gives you the chance to correct an error and let the customer know you truly care about their satisfaction. If the issue is not able to be resolved, you are at least letting both that reviewer and future customers know that you do monitor and care about what your customers are saying about you. It lets everyone know you try your best to resolve any issues that crop up. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve cringed over reviews that were made months ago on various websites and never received a response from the company. Don’t be that guy.
Ideas for raking in the reviews:
- As we mentioned above, if you are offering a product that is mailed to the customer, be sure to include some sort of card, message or print piece that easily pushes them back online to a platform they can review you on.
- Set up multiple channels in which customers may leave a review: Google Local, Yelp, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc.
- Post to social media, include a note in your newsletter, send out an email campaign, include a note on your website. Reach out to your customers in every way you possibly can to get reviews from them.
- Follow up - Once a product has been sold, send a note (email, DM, Tweet, etc.) and ask for a review.
- As we stated above, post your positive reviews anywhere you can. This lets the person who provided the review know you care about them and it also reflects positively on you.
- Give incentive where you can. This doesn’t mean that you need to BUY the reviews but maybe offering a drawing to win a prize or a discount on their next purchase may be enough to get them talking.
- Send out an annual survey. If you’re a large corporation with a large audience or even just a small business owner with very little time on your hand, annual surveys are a means of collecting mass reviews/feedback all at once.
- Ensure that everyone is on board with pushing the importance of reviews. If your entire team is aware and asking for reviews, you’re more likely to receive feedback from a variety of customers.
We hope these few tips and insight on the importance of customer reviews has helped you to better refine your process. Gaining feedback and catering to unsatisfied customers can be a tedious process but it is ultimately a crucial part of the process. If you hope to gain new customers, staying in tune with your online reviews is a must. If you’d rather offload that work to someone else, we’re always here for your marketing needs. Find out more information here or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll manage your online presence and marketing for you so you can get back to running your business.