There are several reasons reviews are important for your business. First and foremost, smaller local companies rely on Google searches to acquire customers — reviews play a significant role in the searcher's decision to check out your brand.
Then, there's the benefit of establishing legitimacy (necessary for online consumers who are often skeptical of whom they buy from) and shining a bright light on all the positive experiences customers had with your brand. Potential customers can tolerate even negative responses if they feel you responded appropriately and quickly fixed the problem.
Harvard Business Review reported that reviews foster trust and help buyers purchase from companies they have never heard of before. What’s more, HBR says that with every one-star increase in reviews on Yelp, businesses see a 5-9% increase in revenue!
Still not convinced? A study conducted by Psychological Science says when consumers are shown two products with similar ratings, they are more likely to purchase from the brand with more reviews.
Fortunately, we have the scoop on how you can get more reviews for your business. Here are five tips on how to encourage customers to write reviews.
Send Customer Feedback Emails
It isn't always easy getting customers to write reviews, but there are a few sure-fire ways to encourage them to take action. First, you can send monthly emails to customers or clients, asking them for their feedback about your business. A quick 30-second survey would do, and the success rate has been phenomenal for companies.
According to Outcry, "the response rate for an email survey is roughly 24.8%. So it can be expected that one in four people will fill out a Feedback Survey sent through email."
After your survey, you could ask for a review on Google. To make it easier and more convenient for your customers, have it all set up for them — links and all.
Make it as simple as possible. Another option, if you work by appointment, is to send a text after for a review. Consumers a more susceptible right after appointments, so that's the best time to encourage action.
Build Rapport with Personalization
Personalizing messages or videos to customers is great for building rapport and making connections if your business allows. People respond well to being addressed personally. Forbes research has found that 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging, and 71% of consumers say a personalized experience would influence their decision to open and read brand emails.
A great way to add this touch of personalization in your message is to take the time to thank them for their patronage before asking for a review on if they loved 'XYZ.' This includes using their name and relevant information to influence their review.
There are also many ways to deliver a personalized experience — from personalized emails and letters to asking them in person or over the phone. When combined with a small gift in return for a review, you'll acquire more reviews. Of course, this is assuming the process is stiller quick and easy for the customer to do on a phone or computer. After all, people are busy.
Engage With Existing Reviewers
Another important tip to keep in mind is the importance of keeping up with responses to your existing reviews before nudging new ones. Being active on your review page conveys the professionalism and care your business provides its customers. When prospects notice that you're actively engaged and willing to help customers with good and bad experiences, they feel more assured that you'll give them the same valuable attention.
This means, if people are happy, thank them for their review and ask them to come back. If people are dissatisfied, respond to them and offer to fix the problem. This is essential because people read reviews when researching companies.
Oberlo reports that 97% of shoppers who read online reviews from other consumers also read responses from businesses, and 79% of shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With that said, you should also keep in mind that more than half of customers expect businesses to respond to their negative reviews within a week.
Offer an Incentive
Incentives are another great offer for consumers in exchange for their reviews and feedback. The key is to make the incentive clear right away so that customers will act. This can be with discounts/offers, donations to charity, or even through publicity. People like shoutouts, so — if they allow — you can link to the customers' websites, social media, etc., when they do a review for you.
Another popular incentive is to consider offering free content to customers that leave reviews, including:
Simply Ask for Reviews (In Clever Ways)
Finally, one of the best things you can do for more reviews is simply to ask for them. After all, you'll have much more luck with respondents who are asked to leave a review than ones who are not.
You can cleverly ask by simply:
- Mentioning it in emails
- Customer service emails
- Purchase emails (after a purchase)
- Asking on social media
- Ask followers to review if they love your product
- If a commenter is satisfied, ask for a review in a comment back
- Including a review call-to-action (CTA) anywhere — on receipts, signs, invoices, etc.
- Have a QR code on business cards that takes them to your Google My Business page
- Whenever possible, make these CTAs automated, or else you will spend a lot of time asking
Get People Talking With Arizona's Family Marketing
By now, it's pretty apparent what reviews can do for the growth of your business and the public image of your brand — positive or negative. People just want to be assured that they're not guaranteed a negative experience with your brand and know how you react to negative experiences when it happens.
They just want to know you care about them beyond their purchase. Encouraging more reviews and responding to all current reviews is a significant first step in the right direction. Working with a media partner like Arizona's Family Marketing is the next step to ensure a team of experienced experts guides you.