People trust people more than brands. Think about it. Who would you trust more for a recommendation – a friend who used a service or a branded commercial? No wonder the age-old trick of word-of-mouth recommendations has helped businesses grow. Even with ecommerce taking over brick and mortar businesses, the conversations still happen in real life. The only difference is that they happen online more, with reviews bypassing word-of-mouth policies.
Did you know that 91% of consumers place an order for a product or avail of a service only after poring through online reviews? The average customer reads at least 10 reviews before deciding to invest in a business. Reviews can, therefore, make or break your brand’s image. But don’t let that thought demotivate the entrepreneur in you. Garnering positive reviews for your business isn’t as hard as you think.
Using my experience, I have come up with a few tips that you can use to get your customers to leave reviews for your brand. Let us conquer this together!
1. Ask your customers
Do not make the process complex. All you have to do is ask. Your customers know how valuable a positive review can be for your business. If you were able to provide your clients with solutions they are looking for, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help you. However, understand your limit and never cross it.
“You want to request your customers and not pester them till they leave the site. So, be polite and mention how you owe the existence of your brand to your customers”, says Alicia Jensen, the Marketing Head of the academic brand MyAssignmenthelp. Also, do not make it mandatory to leave comments. Your customers do not want to be forced into it.
2. Make leaving reviews easy
We all are caught up in the humdrum of life and can barely afford to spare a few moments. How many times have your hit the ‘Remind me later’ button when asked for a review? There is nothing to feel guilty about because we all are busy and don’t want to waste time.
Now, if you do not want your website to suffer the same fate, you need to make the process of leaving comments easier. Moreover, a customer will not put in the effort to look for your site unless he or she has a complaint. So, use direct links that will take customers to your review profiles.
3. Give them options
Keep many options so that the customers can choose how they want to leave a feedback as per their convenience. Offer a simple rating option, where they can rate you out of 5 stars. To make things fun, you can use emoticons – a sad emo 😔 being the lowest rate and the heart-eyed smiley 😍 being the highest.
After the rating system, you can offer ready feedback templates like ‘Need Improvement’, ‘Satisfied’, ‘The Best’. In the end, you can provide a feedback box where customers can share what they feel about your brand elaborately.
4. Incentivize the process
We all love rewards and freebies. So why not leverage this human instinct to garner more reviews for your brand? Moreover, you need to show your customers how thankful you are for them taking out time to write a testimonial. Offering a reward can reflect your gratitude.
But you need to be clear that you do not want to BUY positive reviews. Assure your customers that they will receive the promised reward for any feedback – negative or positive, short or lengthy. Every time a customer leaves a testimonial, you can add bonus coins to their accounts. Or, you can give them a 5-10% discount for every ten reviews they write.
5. Set up profiles on reviews sites
Like I said before, the average customer looks up for at least 10 positive reviews before making a purchasing decision. With companies posting false testimonials on websites, customers turn to Google for honest and unpaid feedback.
So, register with review sites like Topassignmentreviews.com, Google Local, Yelp and TrustLink and link these profiles to your reviewing panel. This way, you will get to maintain transparency and your customers will be sure that your brand is worth their trust, money and time.
6. Use social media platforms
Social media is that magic potion that can take businesses to new heights in no time at all. Considering the majority of online buyers are millennials, it’d be a shame if you don’t reach out to them via different social media handles. Use Twitter to post questions regarding the performance of your business and ask for suggestions.
You can use Facebook and Instagram to host polls, where you ask them which products/services they liked the best. You could also ask customers to “vote” for a product they would like you to bring back. “Share every story or post in your profile where your customers mention your brand. This will also help you boost your brand’s social media engagement quotient”, says Emilia Brooks, the social media manager of Myassignmenthelp.com.
7. Always respond to reviews
No matter how busy you are, make sure to show gratitude when someone leaves a review for your business. When your customers see that you respond to every feedback, they feel valued. This convinces others to spare a moment and share their experiences. So, you see, it’s a chain reaction.
Now, when it comes to replying to reviews, steer clear of sounding too robotic. Your replies should not look like an automated template. Start by addressing the person with the name to make it personal. Also, respond as quickly as you can and do not forget to thank the person for the suggestions.
8. Acknowledge negative reviews
Most brands ignore negative reviews, thinking that the less a matter is stretched, the faster it will be resolved. But that certainly isn’t the case. In contrary, you can salvage the situation by addressing the situation with care and tact. So, make sure to leave a personal and detailed apology along with an immediate compensation.
Also, don’t remove the negative reviews. If all the testimonials are sunshine and rainbows, your customers will start doubting the authenticity of the positive reviews. Keep the negative reviews to make your brand look more genuine. Also, use the opportunity to improve your business and show that you care about your customers’ satisfaction.
Customer reviews serve as social proof of your business. Most of the time, prospects turn into customers after reading online reviews. But, however much you try, each of the above tricks will fail if your business doesn’t offer quality solutions. So, the onus rests on you. Make sure that your customers’ in-store experience is brilliant. If you can leave your customers satisfied, they’ll be more than happy to leave a review.
Have other tips to help entrepreneurs like you? Share how you got customers to leave reviews in the comments section below!